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blog category: Musician Tips

FestivalNet, Asheville, NC

Musicians: How To Write the Perfect Cold Booking Email!

by Bob Barrick, posted 10/11/21 16:27:03   category » Musician Tips

Like everything else in the music, booking needs to be approached like a business. The first step is gaining some understanding of who you're trying to contact. If you were a venue owner and your email inbox lit up with 20 booking emails every day, would you respond to everyone? Probably not. You'd only respond to the ones that stand out.

image via Kal Visuals

Do Some Research

Spamming every venue in town with the same pitch isn't going to do you much good. That's where a majority of amateur musicians make their mistake. They don't realize that talent buyers have seen it all and can pick out serious inquiries from punks with a computer.

The key to a serious inquiry is research. Before even considering where you would like to play, make a list of every venue at your disposal and learn as much as you can about them. What's the booking agent's name? What's the capacity? What does their upcoming calendar look like? If it appears that you’re not a good fit, don't waste your time reaching out. You only get one chance at a first impression, after all.

Research doesn't stop there, either. Find similar artists that you know perform in your area. Compare other artists' lists against yours. Odds are, they’ve found a couple spots that weren’t on the front page of Google.

Draft a Strong and Succinct Email

Once you've gathered a list of venues, emails, and talent buyer names, it’s time to go about drafting your cold email. Again, try standing in your recipient’s shoes. Considering the mass inquiries they receive every day, do they have time to sift through your five-paragraph band bio? Probably not.

So, make it easy on them. Give them as much information as you can within the subject line. For example:

[Artist Name] Booking Inquiry for [Venue Name] – [Date]

And don't stop the brevity there. Keep the body of the email just as succinct. Six sentences is perfect.

Greeting: Use the talent buyer’s name.

Sentence 1: Explain yourself. Why are you writing?

Sentence 2: Introduce yourself. Name and kind of performer.

Sentence 3: Describe yourself. Don’t fear making comparisons or using a genre name.

Sentence 4: Link to yourself. Preferably a website.

Sentence 5: Date yourself. (Not like that…) Pick out a specific date you’d like to book.

Sentence 6: Humble yourself. Say thank you.

Sign-Off: Use a professional-looking signature.

Here it is in action:

Subject: The Doors Booking Inquiry for Fillmore East – March 22nd

Dear Bill Graham,

I’m writing to inquire about booking the Fillmore East. My name is Jim Morrison and I perform with the Doors. We are a psych-rock outfit out of San Francisco. You can listen to our recorded work at

If you like what you hear, I would love to discuss booking March 22nd, 1968. Thank you for the consideration.

All the best,

Jim Morrison

(555) 555-5555

Follow Up

According to Marketing Donut, 80% of leads require at least five follow-ups after initial contact. The same goes for booking inquiries. If you've not received a response after your first email, then follow up, and then follow up again, and again, and again until you get a response.

Every follow-up email should contain some independent value. Don't go repeating what you already said in your initial contact. Instead, try sending a link to a recent review. Send over a free download of your most recent single. Do whatever you can to get their attention (without begging).

With a strategy based on good research, a strong introductory email, and appropriate follow-ups, you should have no problem landing that gig at the Fillmore East. Good luck!

From the FN Newsletter Archives Courtesy of Bob Barrick for Bandzoogle

Opportunity for Performers. "Attuned: Communications Beyond Words" on World Mental Health Day

by FestivalNet, posted 10/05/21 09:51:46   category » Musician Tips

We here at FestivalNet received this call to action and wanted to share it with our community!

brings to you "Attuned: Communications Beyond Words" on World Mental Health Day, October 10th 2021.

What: A mental health awareness campaign to decrease stigma while marketing you as a performer and highlighting your support for mental health.

Why? To decrease stigma, create awareness of services, and support TogetherWell. 

When: World Mental Health Day, Oct. 10, 2021. All Day.

Where: Stream music live or on demand on your social media pages.


  • For you: By participating in our event, TogetherWell will give you a shout out on their social media pages on World Mental Health Day and include you in a note in an upcoming article as a musician who supports mental health.

  • For your community: Break the stigma, offer music to support emotional wellbeing


  1. Pledge to join:
  2. Post our social media posts and suggested captions leading up to Oct. 10, 2021.
  3. Play at least one song the day of Oct. 10, 2021
  4. Start a conversation on mental health and tag @togetherwellorg on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.
  5. Share our donation link with your followers. Every dollar that you can help us with helps us provide mental health educational workshops to the community.

We encourage you to share this far and wide and participate in this awesome call to action!
#mentalhealthawareness #worldmentalhealthday

Playing Live: What To Do With The Little Voices In Your Head

by Tom Hess, posted 07/15/21 13:53:19   category » Musician Tips
Playing Live: What To Do With The Little Voices In Your Head

Whether you play for tens of thousands of people every night as part of a world tour, or 20 people at a backyard barbeque, most of the mental anxieties musicians experience while playing live are the same. In almost every case the negative little voice in your head is centered around fear (fear of rejection, self doubt, etc.). We all have experienced some level of fear or nervousness when playing live at some time or another. You may have felt a fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of what the audience will think of you, your music or your band. Have you ever asked yourself questions like:


  • "What if I make mistakes?"
  • "Am I even good enough to be playing on a stage?"
  • "What if the crowd doesn't like the band, the music, or me?"
  • "Is this show going to be a disaster?"

Here are some things to think about before your next gig (they definitely work if you use them, especially if you put them all together in your thoughts).

Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself to perform at a very high level. The time to experience pressure is while practicing at home or in rehearsals with your band. The gig is not the time to be putting additional stress/pressure on yourself. Yes you need to concentrate on what you are doing, but have fun. If you won't allow yourself to have fun during a live concert, when will you allow yourself to ever actually enjoy music?

As a professional musician, the pressure to consistently perform on a world class level is higher on me now than ever before. I perform better by focusing on having fun and living my dream than worrying about making a mistake. I look at it this way, if I play 30,000 notes a night and I play 3 notes imperfectly, that means I have played 99.99% of all notes correctly. It would be pointless for me to concern myself about the 0.01% of mistakes while on the stage. If I need to practice something later to make sure I don't make the same errors in the next concert, then I will deal with that tomorrow while practicing, not on stage.

You probably play at least a few thousand notes a gig too (maybe a lot more). Of course most of us strive for perfection, but don't beat yourself up over a few mistakes. Be happy and give yourself the credit you deserve for playing 97%, 98%, 99%, or 99.999999% of the notes correctly. Don't let your desire to be perfect cripple you when the reality is that none of us can ever be perfect all of the time. If you were taking an exam at a major university and you answered 99% of the questions correctly you would feel pretty good about yourself right?! Congratulations, you just earned the grade of an "A"! Be happy with that while you are on the stage. You can go back home and practice the other 1% later.

Remember this, when you are on stage performing (for 20 people or 20,000) everyone in the audience envies you. Almost everyone there wishes they could be the one up on the stage with all of the talent that you have. Even if they don't like your music, they at least envy your position up there on the stage. So the next time you are on stage and feel nervous, remind yourself that the people in the crowd are "in the crowd", only you (and your fellow musicians) are the ones "on the stage"... living the dream at that moment. Think back to when you began playing guitar. Remember thinking how cool it must be to be up on a stage playing in front of people who have come to see and hear you? Remember how much you desired that when you began. When you walk out on the stage, remind yourself how far you have come as a player. You are now able to do something you always wanted to be doing. The size of the concerts you play are not important really. What IS important is what you have already achieved. You are performing with a band on stage, most people only dream about that, but now you will have actually done it! Feel good about that, don't ruin the excitement and pleasure of that experience by fear of making a mistake or two.

In the end, it's all about the music. It's not about you or me really. As musicians we are the real instruments from which music flows. The instruments we play are merely extensions of our beings. When you play for others, you are a "giver". When was the last time you ever felt nervous or afraid of doing something nice for someone else? If you hold the door open for a little old lady do you feel nervous or afraid? When you donate money to a charity, do you experience fear or self doubt about that? When you give your time to someone who needs help, do you feel nervous about that? Playing music should be no different. Don't think of yourself as an Olympic competitor that must perform perfectly to win a gold medal. Don't think you have disappointed the entire human race if you make a mistake or if the crowd doesn't like your concert. If you think of your performance as "giving to others".. you won't feel nervous or afraid, stage fright will melt away. When you perform, you add value to people's experience when they hear you. Some may like it and some may not, it's their choice or preference and even if you play perfectly, not everyone will love what you are doing. That comes with the territory. But you will have given of yourself either way. You came to share what you do with the audience. Feel good about that because when you feel good, the chances of making mistakes in a performance diminish.

If you don't get anything else out of this article, at least remember this: The best antidote for stage fright is to change the mindset from "impressing others" to "giving to others."

Article from FN Archives:   Tom Hess
Image Courtesy:   @alinnnaaaa

9 Things You Should Know About Publicity

by Ariel Hyatt, posted 05/20/21 11:03:43   category » Musician Tips
9 Things You Should Know About Publicity
You have your vision and you're eager to make that first move in the world of PR. But before I jump into what you're here for, the nine critical things you should now about PR, we need to be sure that your ready to begin such a relationship with the media. It's not a matter of feeling ready, it's a matter of being ready.


Before you even begin thinking about PR, you need to have what I refer to as your social media house in order. This is your foundation. It is vital for your PR success that you have a presence sufficiently fleshed out on the internet from your website to your blog to your Twitter page. You won't get the results you want from your PR campaign if you don't have a strong internet presence.


With the unbelievable number of publicists flooding the inboxes of the media, you can count on the fact that these editors and writers will be checking each submission's social media presence as a means to weed out who not to cover. As always, you want to have the edge. Having a presence doesn't mean having more Facebook likes than everyone else. It means having consistent activity online and engaging with your fans.


Once your social media house is built and stable you can begin thinking about amassing the publicity you're looking for.


Let's get started!


1. What Is Publicity Exactly?


Before we delve into specifics, let's make sure we have the basics covered. Her are some definitions of what publicity is exactly, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


Publicity - "An act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically: information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support. Also: The dissemination of information or promotional material."


I couldn't have said it better myself. Publicity is precisely all of these things.


A publicist is hired as a member of your team to represent you to the media. Media is traditionally defined as editors and writers of newspapers, magazines, and television. More and more publicists are covering Internet PR, like my company. However, not all traditional publicists do this, so make sure to ask before you hire.


A publicist's job is to liaise with the press. In other words, a publicist establishes working relationships between you and those in the media. You should not expect them to get you any type of specific marketing deal. Publicists don't make sales. A savvy and well-connected publicist may be able to hook you up with above-mentioned, but it is not in his or her job description.


2. You Are the Visionary Here


Remember, as the entrepreneur, you are the buyer, and you are shopping for PR. You're in the driver's seat. It's your money and your vision that enables publicists to stay in business. You have to choose someone you like, who jives with your vision and your short-term and long-term goals. You know that everyone on your team has to be on the same page for you to advance. All too many times I've heard that a publicist was hired in spite of the hiring individual's personal opinions. You should like your publicist, and they should be the right fit for you.


3. With Publicity, You Pay for Effort - Never for Results


I've had many disgruntled individuals call me and say, "I hired a publicist and I only got six articles. That cost me $1,000 per article!" Unfortunately, this is not how you quantify a PR campaign. How you quantify a PR campaign is by how much buzz (i.e. Facebook activity) and feedback you are receiving during and post your PR campaign. You pay for the amount of time, effort, and consideration the publicist makes on your behalf. Now, of course, you should get some and even many results. Getting nothing is totally unacceptable. But you never know when your publicist's efforts will show up months, and sometimes even years, after your campaign is complete. Not everyone who is going to see your Youtube video is going to view it the day you post it.


4. A PR Campaign Needs to Be Planned Well in Advance


For long-lead press (meaning, for example, magazines with national distribution like Rolling Stone), the editors put their publications to bed three full months before they are published. So, for example, if you're launching a product in October, you must have it ready to go in July. Of course, not every PR campaign focuses on national press, but no publicist will take you on with zero lead-time, so you definitely need to prepare lead-time for every scenario.


Recommended Publicity Campaign Lead Times:


  • National Campaign - 3-4 months before the release
  • Tour Press Campaign - 4-6 weeks before the shows
  • Local Campaign - 4-6 weeks before placement
  • Online Campaign - 2-3 weeks before placement (minimum)
  • (Placement = blog article, review, podcast/radio interview, etc.)


5. The 4 Components of a Press Kit


In today's digital world, a thorough one page press kit consists of three parts: the bio; the photo; the articles, quotes & reviews; a downloadable or physical sample.


The Bio - Create a one-page bio that is succinct and intriguing. You have an original story; tell it! I strongly advise hiring a bio writer (this should cost between $200-$500). If you are not ready to pony up the cash, consider enlisting an outside source to help you. I find that people who are great storytellers make great bio writers.


The Photo - Arrange a photo shoot; if you take this seriously, you will benefit tremendously. Create a photo that is clear, well-shot, and attention-grabbing. If you have a friend who knows how to use PhotoShop, enlist him or her to help you do some creative and fun editing. Always utilize your resources!


The Articles, Quotes & Reviews - Getting that first article written about you can feel daunting. Two great places to start are your local hometown papers (assuming you don't live in NYC or LA), and any relevant websites or blogs you like.


A downloadable or physical sample - if you have a producer example like an eBook or a PDF send a link so the journalists can download it! Or if you have physical examples pay close attention to the way you pack it and present it through the mail


6. Publicity is a Marathon, Not a Sprint


There is no top 40 publicity chart. With the number of stimuli consistently coming out into the marketplace, it could take months longer than your publicity campaign runs to see results.


7. Online Publicity Is Just as (If Not More) Important as Offline Publicity


I would argue that online PR is more important, because today's newspaper is tomorrow's recycling (and that's if you even get today's newspaper). Most articles you find in printed newspapers and magazines are just as easily accessible online. Online publicity goes up fast, and it can be around for months and sometimes for years. The internet also provides a platform for you to discuss articles in a public arena (i.e. comment sections, Twitter). More people rely on the Internet as their main source for news, so Internet placements are absolutely wonderful and totally legit, and they can help your Google rankings as well.


8. Publicity Does Not Make Sales


If you are hiring a publicist to see a spike in your sales, I have news for you: There is absolutely no correlation between getting great PR and making sales.


PR is designed to raise awareness of you in the press, to help build and share a story, as well as build up critical acclaim. Of course, a great article can lead to sales, but this is not it's direct and immediate purpose.


9. All Publicity is Good Publicity


I know we have all heard the phrase "all publicity is good publicity," but it's beneficial to truly understand this. If one of your goals for PR is to get your name or brand out there (and this should be a goal), the truth is that the average person remembers very little of what they read. People only retain a tiny percentage of what they read. Readers and internet scrollers are not going to remember a lukewarm or mediocre review. I mean when was the last time you remembered the subject of a tepid review?


And never ever take your own PR too seriously. As my favorite artist Andy Warhol once said, "Don't read your press; weigh it."

Article by Ariel Hyatt of

Image by

Performers: Events Are Coming Back

by FestivalNet, posted 03/19/21 16:21:44   category » Musician Tips
Performers:  Events Are Coming Back

The COVID-19 pandemic has made an undeniable impact on the ability for others to gather and perform, making it more difficult for both artists and lovers of the arts to enjoy their passion. The good news? The development of multiple vaccines and their speedy distribution is making it so that many states feel safe gradually opening back up and inviting the public to return to some semblance of a normal day-to-day experience as we attempt to recover over time.


This means that many cities have begun making certain performance events and spaces open again for artists who want to dive back into what they love to do most. Take, for example, Louisiana, which has recently announced that they’ll be easing restrictions to make it possible for fairs and festivals to once again deliver joy to the local population. As we described in our most recent blog post:


“Along with a whole host of eased restrictions, Phase 3 brings back fairs and festivals, although a lot of the big ones like Jazz Fest have already been rescheduled for the fall.


Right now, outdoor fairs and festivals can be held at 50% capacity with no cap on attendance, but everyone there has to be six feet apart.”


Although the conditions of reopening and the various rules and regulations applied to local performance space will differ based on your county or state, you can expect to find more opportunities being made available to you as we continue to navigate this crisis. That being said, many performers may be wondering where they can find such opportunities to help them return to their passion or career.


If you’re looking to stay on top of opportunities and find more ways to perform as more locations open up and capacity limits begin to rise, you’ll want to keep up with FestivalNet! We are an organization that publishes the most extensive and comprehensive database of festivals and fairs in North America. We wrap this data around technologically current tools and resources relevant to the professional exhibiting artist, craftsperson, musician, band, service provider, booking agent, vendor, promoter, and festival-goer.


A leader in the festivals and special events industry since 1996, we generate over 1,300,000+ monthly visitors and publish detailed event data on 12,000+ festivals, art shows, art and craft shows, music festivals, and other events. No matter whether you’re an artist looking to connect with upcoming art shows, food festivals, or musical festivals, our extensive collection of scheduled events makes it possible for you to seamlessly find the right opportunities for your skills and schedule.


If you’re excited to get back to doing what you do best as the world reopens to the arts and the community, make sure to check back regularly to see what events are scheduled for future dates and calls for artists so that you can start booking gigs that fill your pockets and your soul. Your next event is right at your fingertips!

How to Reach More People as an Up-and-Coming Musician in North America

by FestivalNet, posted 02/09/21 09:24:40   category » Musician Tips
How to Reach More People as an Up-and-Coming Musician in North America

Making it big as a musician can be difficult, regardless of how talented you are. There’s a sea of competition, but by playing your cards right, you can reach the stars like others before you. Whether you’re looking for your first big break or looking to continue a hot streak, we’ve got just the advice for you.

Using Social Media Wisely

The biggest problem with social media is also its most tempting fact; almost everyone’s on it. This means that like you, there are countless other hopeful musicians jamming their hearts out to make it big. With talent and luck, several artists like Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes have harnessed the power of social media and skyrocketed to fame.

Posting covers of big hits, adding your unique touch to them as well as pushing your original music over platforms like YouTube and Instagram will do you good to gain some cred. Using advertisement over stories and pre-roll ads can also help you expand your reach.

Play Gigs with Established Names

If people don’t know you, they’re unlikely to show up at your gig. But if you perform with someone more renowned, even if within your area, you’re more likely to gain some traction. Look around for other artists nearby, preferably with fanbases that overlap and try to set up a gig with them.

The more exposure you can get and more folks noticing you, the better. It’ll be a grind to convince others, but it’ll pay off.

Perform at Festivals Near You

Music festivals and their promoters share call for artists, which invites performers to perform at their music events. Signing up on promotion sites and receiving emails about their music event listings is a great way to find out about events taking place near you throughout the year. Your goal should be to perform at a big event listing and garner some traction from it, keeping the dice rolling by following up with a few more performances across the concert calendar.

FestivalNet allows promoters to reach out to a wide audience from all sorts of demographics and age brackets. They promote a wide range of events and listings, including farmers markets, craft shows (many who might also need entertainment), food festivals and holiday events

Watch this recent video made by a FestivalNet Pro Member about using FestivalNet to Get Booked!

How to Make Money With Your Music From Home

by FestivalNet, posted 01/28/21 11:56:47   category » Musician Tips
How to Make Money With Your Music From Home

It’s every musician’s dream come true: having the opportunity to make money doing what he or she loves.

A day of strumming your guitar or singing? That beats going to the office any day.

But nowadays, when live concerts are starting to feel strangely like the ancient past and the distant future at the same time, making money from your music is more challenging than ever.

But... not impossible.

Here are some creative ways to make money with your music from home.

Sell Band Merchandise

These days, it’s easy to use a print screen service to outsource T-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, even face masks with your band name and logo on it. Then all you need is a Shopify online store to sell them, and you’re good to go with an easy but fairly profitable source of income. You can also have an online shop on

Give Music Lessons

You’d be amazed at how many people are just sitting around their house wishing they could learn to play the guitar or the piano, or maybe become a better singer. And it’s so easy to teach an online lesson on platforms like Zoom.

Sell Beats

If you know how to create professional-quality beats or samples, there are performers willing to pay for them. Mix and match your beats so they’re unique and then find music websites or social media pages where you can sell them. A word of caution: make sure you know what you’re doing, as this line of work isn’t for everyone.

Get on Upwork or Fiverr

These platforms are well-known as places where freelancers offer all kinds of services, music included. Market your services writing advertising jingles, recording background music for movies, or making music videos. And don’t forget, you have other skills you’ve developed in the music business: the ability to create fliers, podcasts, and promotional materials of all kinds.

Create Content for Music Blogs

You’ve probably learned a lot in the years that you’ve been in the music biz. This is knowledge you can share with others. Try your hand at writing a few blog posts about your experiences. A good music blog will often pay $25-$100 for a quality article.

You can post articles to your FestivalNet Blog to exposure in our Community!

Start a YouTube Channel

A YouTube channel is a great platform to connect with audiences both by playing your own music and providing lessons and tutorials. Lessons can easily be monetized, providing a good source of income for you.

Be sure to upload your videos to your FN profile.  Learn about all the profile perks here in this membership chart.

Get Your Music Onto Streaming Services

Popular streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are where most people are listening to music these days, and as a musician, you really can’t afford to ignore them. To do this, work with a distribution company like Landr or TuneCore, which charge a small fee to give you access to the major streaming services.

Find Subscribers

Paid subscriptions are a great way to generate some steady income. All you need is a solid base of loyal fans who are willing to pay a set amount per month to receive fun freebies, like T-shirts or occasional downloads of your newest song.

Remember, if you want to make money as a musician, it’s never a good idea to rely on just one source of income. Try a few of these strategies to get you started, and you’ll soon be earning money doing what you love.

Find more resources for musicians on FestivalNet!

Using FestivalNet to Get Booked!

by Tim Charron, posted 01/22/21 12:09:14   category » Musician Tips
Our long-time Pro Member Tim Charron is back with a helpful video to bands and musicians on using FestivalNet to find festivals.  He gets specific with how he searches our database and also, how to stay ORGANIZED using our Level 2 "my notes" feature. 

Be sure to subscribe to his channel & check out his FREE mini guide on How to Book Gigs.

Enjoy this video tutorial!

Tim also made us this video on LIVE STREAMING last year when we we all in lock down. Be to check that one out too!

If you are not doing events, be sure to check out these resources too!

How to Reach More People as an Up-and-Coming Musician

How to Make Money With your Music from Home

Leveraging Your Skills When you Can't Play Live

Complete Guide to Live Streaming

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