Getting into your festival of choice is not an easy task. There is so
much competition vying for just so many performance slots. So how
can you make yourself look more attractive to the artistic director?
First spend some time on the festival site and get familiar with
what the festival is about. Get a real understanding of the scope
of the festival and what the director is trying to accomplish with
their programming. Look over last year's schedule and read all the
workshop titles and who performed in those workshops. See anything
familiar or performers that you know? Can you do something like
what is being promoted here?
Take a look at all the stages if it is a multi-stage festival. Those
smaller stages are probably the right place for you to enter the
festival if you are a first timer. As you view the main stage time slots
and acts, can you see potential time slots that might be good for you
to get your foot in the door that are not the prime time evening slots
if the festival runs night stages?
Now when you make your call or send your email or letter, you might
suggest that it would be appropriate for you to play one of the side
stages or a time slot earlier in the day so you can introduce yourself
to their festival audience THIS YEAR. Then, since you anticipate
things going well, you would like to put a hold on a slightly better
time slot next year. This way all the effort put into building your
relationship with their audience this year will benefit the festival next
year with your return visit.
And if they are interested in setting this up now, contingent on you
doing as well as you think you'll do, you are willing to set your fee
now at a lower amount than what you might be getting paid next
Everyone wins here, you get two gigs, the festival gets an audience
building situation as do you and they get a good act at a great
price for next year if you do well this year. This can work well if you
develop a relationship with the artistic director, have been nurturing a slot at this festival and are willing to really understand what the
festival is about and trying to accomplish with their programming.
Give it a try.
Next Month: Festival Bookings: Part 3
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