Timing is everything. So having some idea of when artistic directors
are most likely to focus on booking next year's festival will certainly
give you an edge.
Since so many artists and agents are attempting to contact the
festival, their booking schedule is not likely one of those items
announced on their website. So here are a few guidelines to follow:
1. One month prior to the festival, they are busy and will be very
unreceptive to booking calls.
2. Never call during the week prior to the festival or during the
3. The week after the festival is usually a bad time since they are
recuperating, regrouping or just plain relaxing.
4. Three weeks after the festival might be a great time to do
some connecting. Explore the festival site for contact info and
see if there is any news on the site about how the festival
turned out, get names of artists that played, get names of
workshops that were presented. You can use this information
during your discussions to let the director know you have been
following the festival's progress. This makes you seem more
interested in the festival than someone who just looked them
up on a list of hundreds of festivals.
5. Now you can make an initial call and even if you get an
assistant, find out if the artistic director attends any specific
booking conferences or showcases and when they might be
starting their booking research for next year's festival.
6. Once you know that they plan on attending a specific
conference and when that conference occurs, you know that
they wait until that conference to finish the festival bookings.
Once you know that information, then sending your material
and contacting them anytime up until that conference gives
you a good chance of having your material reviewed and being
considered. Unless you plan on attending the conference they
are attending, make contact well before the conference.
7. Once a festival director attends their selected conferences,
they shore up their bookings fairly quickly so they may begin
marketing and selling advance tickets.
8. There are some last minute bookings that may occur between
the last conference attended and perhaps a month out from
the festival date, but those are probably rare, so I wouldn't
wait that long if you want to have any chance of making a
9. Since we are now in November, this is a great time to get busy
researching and connecting with your choice festivals.
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