Band Basics: How to get booked, level 1.

11 Oct animal5504875
I deal with a ton of messages and emails from artists or agents looking to get booked at places. Most of them suck balls, and not in a fun way. (Coz that might be more useful than the application they sent)
**Skip to the bottom if you’re too lazy to read all the points**
Now, I’m not saying every artist should be a marketing genius, or that every agent/manager should be amazing at what they do. But common sense is worth more than a degree in entertainment management or whatever qualification it is that people waste their money on.
If you want to be considered for an event/venue, try the following few basics. Logically, there’s a bit more to doing things properly, but if you just start with these points, you’re better than 80% of your peers/competitors:
1. Write a coherent message. Seriously, just freaking read what you wrote afterwards. Imagine this is a job application. Or the first time you’re meeting your lover’s parentals.
stupidpeople2. Keep it short and sweet. I have not met a single venue owner/booking manager who have ever read an entire band’s bio in an initial mail. Nobody gives a shit where the drummer’s grandma was born or that the pianist started playing on a plastic banjo at the age of 2. That’s the type of shit fans MIGHT read once they already like the band/artist.
3. Info that’s needed: Who you are/who you represent. Short summary of artist bio “Kosie is a country singer from Vereeniging, who plays a lot of sokkie covers and some catchy originals. He can either perform solo with his ukelele and backtracks, or with his 3 piece band called Kosie’s Koeksisters.” Then briefly mention if you are open to playing door deals, or if your intent is to charge a fixed fee for your performance. I realise that not everybody feels comfortable doing this. But it makes my life much easier when I know what you want. Don’t feel obliged to give a set fee yet, as you don’t want to lose a potential booking because you got greedy in your mail. Also, just the fact that you have to apply for a spot, means that you are probably not worth that amount yet.
3b. You might mention a few notable venues/events that are relevant to the one you’re contacting. And for the love of fuck, your artist didn’t “share a stage with Francois van Coke” if he played at 10:00 and Fokof headlined at 23:00.
3c. CONTACT INFO. Cell and email. Basics, but often forgotten.
4. Links, not attachments. Links to Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Only attachment should be a photo worked into the message.
5. Do your research. It’s all good that you’re trying to get your music(ian) into as many places as possible, but at least open the event or venue’s page before you message them. II just received yet another request this morning for an Afrikaans sokkie-poppie to play at a rock venue. Seriously?
5b. Research will help you to sound more intelligent. If there’s a detailed mention in the event description informing you who to mail for artist applications, and you send a message (or worse, post on the FB event) asking that very question, I will laugh at you (and hate you at the same time). Again, it’s not only me. Ask anyone that has to deal with that level of lazy stupidity from 40 bands per day for a week after an event is announced.
5c. When should you approach a festival? Generally when they announce that artist submissions are open. Not a freaking week before the event, or if it’s annual, give at least a month after the event before bugging organisers about the next one.
Bonus point: Build relationship with the relevant people. This point, much like the others, actually deserves a post of its own. But for now, just realise that networking is important, and you’re more likely to get booked if you have had a beer/tequila/conversation with the decision maker in question.
Again, there’s a bit more to the game than just the mentioned points, but you gotta start somewhere, right?
Just remember this
  • Common sense.
  • Keep it short, info relevant and links to what’s more.
  • Do your research.
  • Network.
If you think this post might help bands be better, please share it.
Also, please do give feedback/input if you have any. There’s a lot more that can be added to what I said, so feel free to do it.

Top Oppikoppi Tips nobody bothers to give you, even though they should

2 Aug OK List

OK WhisperingTake wet wipes. Hydrate. Sunscreen. Pace yourself. Pack warm…
An Oppikoppi Tips List nowadays kinda writes itself. Sadly, it’s becoming a tad redundant. Anyone with Google can find the last few years’ posts, and let’s face it, the list kinda stays the same.

There are however, some pointers nobody seems to talk about. Until now

So here we go, my contribution to the growing number of festival tip lists:

OK phone1. Clean your phone before you leave home.
You’re gonna want take drunk selfies and blurry pics of the bands, in spite of the fact that all those other lists tell you to lock your phone in the car and forget about it. So make sure you have enough space for all the shaky videos and incriminating visual evidence of your friends’ debauchery.
OK marker

2. Make your mark

Take a permanent marker. Mark your stuff. Like a tent, bag, chair, and whatever might be lost that you would prefer to be found again. This even works for friends, but not livers or dignity.


OK bald3. Shave your head, wish you were dead.
For some reason, the Art of Bald is seen as a powerful force (which it might very well be). Group identity, individual freedom of expression or silent solidarity with a chemo-friend… all good ideas. Except when heading to a place where you will spend 40% of your awake time, in scorching sunlight.
You will also lose your hat, even though your permanent marker is on it.
So unless you habitually wax your leathery cranium, don’t impulsively do it pre-Koppi.

OK common sense4. Make Common Sense Great Again
Do you really, really need to be told to pack a tent, toothbrush and water? If you do, please don’t go to Koppi. You will die even before you get there, possibly by sticking your fingers into the Northam KFC’s wall socket simply coz there was no sign telling you not to.
So when you get to Koppi, please use whatever’s left of your enjoyably euthanised cerebellum, and think before you do things. That way, you won’t end up with an ex, tottie-vrot, or an axe in your leg. And yes, all those are things that have happened to stupid people.

OK camping5. Read the lists, ignore the shit
You thought I was dissing all the lists and such? Not at all. They are good guides and will help you enjoy your Oppikoppi experience. It’s just that, well… let’s be honest, nobody packs ALL that crap to go to Koppi. I know maybe 3 people who will get close to doing so, and they are the ones who will feed you rusks in the morning coz you didn’t pack it.
So decide what type of Koppi you want to have.
Camping in the bush, and ‘oh there are bands too’? Go all out camping, you know, like you probably do at least once a month anyway.
Barely spending time at your tent coz you’re EVERYWHERE else having a jol? Fuck it. You can drastically scale your convoy’s cargo carrying requirements down if you take a thicker wallet.

There you go, yet another list.
What do you think should be on this list? And be warned, I will mock you relentlessly if you say something that is on a million other lists.

For a decent list of things to take, here’s 33 things you need for Oppikoppi: A stage manager’s perspective as seen on Running Wolf’s Rant.

If you’re bored, here are my previous Oppikoppi Posts

If you see me in the dust, let’s have a tequila! #RockWithCuervo

Share to care, coz it rhymes.


In Jou (‘n Ou gedig)

21 Jul

Hoe is die vir ‘n #ThrowbackThursday? Oftewel, #DonnerterugDonderdag…
Ek het die gedig ontdek wat ek in Augustus 2009 geskryf het. Ek dink dis een van my persoonlike favourites, en na al die jare bly hy steeds relevant…



In jou lê eenvoud
In jou lê krag
In jou lê so baie
waarna ek smag

In jou is wysheid
In jou is eer
In jou is alles
wat ek nog moet leer

In jou vind ek vrede
In jou, geluk
Tog in jou hede
wil ek verstik

Want jy is die ek
wat ek more kan wees
Tog is more se ek
die een wat ek vrees…

Nou ja, there you have it. Ek verwys jou ook graag na my Standard Disclaimer voor jy weird goed vra of so…

Comments welcome, sharing encouraged, tequila appreciated.


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