Tag Archives: Tips

Band Basics: How to get booked, level 1.

11 Oct
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.
dave-grohl
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?
TL;DR?
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.
generic-band
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Top Oppikoppi Tips nobody bothers to give you, even though they should

2 Aug

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.

Oppi

Eating at Oppikoppi

4 Aug

Oppikoppi by Henno KrugerHave you ever tried to hold some pastrami, pickles, cheese and mustard between two slices of Amstel?
It doesn’t work.
Beer is not really like bread.

Another lie we need to get out of the way sommer right now, is that eating is cheating.

It keeps you going for longer. This is a marathon, not a sprint (and yes, I realise the slight irony of using a fitness analogy in a post dedicated to mostly unhealthy things).

Therefore, eating at Oppikoppi deserves a special mention. It is, after all, important.

Oppikoppi KampvuurAs someone that looks like the perpetual before-picture in a gym testimonial, I see myself as a bit of an expert when it comes to the whole eating thing. I also don’t like effort, especially at an event like Oppikoppi. So herewith, do peruse my list of food-related tips before heading off to that awesome bit of chaotic heaven near Northam:

  • Braai – Especially if you’re going before Wednesday. Freeze your meat, take a small braaier, remember wood, lighters, bread, salt and some form of sauce. (Keep it basic)
  • Bacon – Buy in 500g packs. Freeze. Pan on gas it in the morning.
  • Chips/Crisps – work on 2 bags per person per day. You won’t eat it all, but sharing is caring.
  • Canned stuff – Some like it more than others, but face it, a can of sweetcorn or spaghetti & mince is an easy, quick meal.
  • 1kg Viennas and 24 rolls.  Use sauce from braai-bullet. Might add bowl of pre-grated cheese.
  • Marshmallows – Take two big bags. You’ll end up eating one coz you’ve got the munchies, and the other you can braai Voortrekker-kamp style. Do take sosatie sticks. The branch you break off was a latrine 10 minutes ago.
  • Oppikoppi CampingCoffee – The coffee bags that look like tea are perfect. Also, kettle that can go on fire/gas, and some long-life milk.
  • Rusks.
  • Paper-plates, plastic cutlery and a pocket-knife/multi-tool, braai tongs and some tin mugs for the coffee.
  • Braai-grid, spade and some form of  table might come in handy.
  • Drink WATER (so TAKE water).
  • If you are in a bind, there are some lekker people missioning around the camping area handing out pancakes. Ask around, you’ll find them.

You might notice that the above could potentially cater for pre-Koppi, quick snacks and light eating. That is because you need to get your main sustenance at some of the legendary food stalls near the stages. It is how you do Koppi. Stop trying to think of an argument.

Stalls you MUST visit:

BraaiBoy en Borries

  • BraaiBoy – He will be there in full force with his mate Borries, serving up tons of pulled pork burgers and kilometers of BraaiBoy’s signature boerewors. Grab a boerie, they’re awesome. BraaiBoy has also graciously agreed to play host to our annual #KoppiTweetup, so tweeps will meet there. The bonus of BraaiBoy at Koppi, is that he is not just a food stall, but a party-destination in itself.

Burger Express

  • Burger Express – At least once at Koppi, have a legend burger. 500 grams of bacon stuffed onto a massive burger patty grilled to perfection. Add onions, mayo and some other stuff, and you have the makings of a true legend. And remember, a fest is not a fest without Burger Express.

Kobus se Gat

  • Kobus se Gat – I hope they will be there this year. They should be. Kobus saved my life one night. Stumbling tent-ward and hungry as fuck (I didn’t have someone write a nice post like this before I went to my first Koppi). I had fokkol geld, fokkol energy, fokkol fokkol, and they gave me the last bit of boerewors they had left after closing. Check them out for moerlekker spare ribs and legendary roosterkoeke.

Oppikoppi Camp kuiersIf, between the 3 up here and the plethora other food stalls on the farm, you cannot find something to tickle your taste-buds and sustain you through the awesomeness, you are full of shit and don’t belong at Oppikoppi.

Now, I have to go and stock up for my Koppi experience.
See you in the dust!

 

By the way, if you want a list of bands I feel you should go see, take a look at this post Henno Kruger did on Running Wolf’s Rant.
Ed England also asked me a few Oppikoppi questions for his blog, Why-Ed

 

 

 

 

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