A Guide to Booking Your Own (First) Show

Happy new year everyone! Let’s get right into this one… I have been promoting hip hop shows and booking tours for not only myself but many acts for the past...

Happy new year everyone! Let’s get right into this one… I have been promoting hip hop shows and booking tours for not only myself but many acts for the past 10 years, and each year as new kids come into the scene I am often asked to put them on bills or questioned about how they can get booked. I’m going to give you a quick run-down on the best way to set up your own show, and if this is your first show, also give you the quick guide to actually making some profit.


Guide:

  1. Contact several venues (don’t rely on one getting back to you)… Typically for local underground hip hop shows the venue will want you to do it on a week day night. If you can’t get a Friday or Saturday, try Sunday or Thursday. You also want to contact multiple venues so that you have options. Typically, you don’t want to pay for a sound guy or sound equipment, a lot of venues surprisingly don’t charge, keep looking until you find one. (tip: try contacting venues that wouldn’t usually have a hip hop crowd).

    when contacting the venue via email or phone make sure you let them know the number of people you are expecting (this is very important)

  2. Find 4 or 5 other local acts plus a DJ for the night. You will want opening acts to sell tickets for you and assist in promoting. Make sure you know of them, and can rely on them. There is nothing worse then finding out they didn’t sell any tickets or are not showing up on show night!

  3. Do not charge more than $10 at the door (when you ask artists to sell tickets, tell them they keep 50% of their revenue). $5 to you, $5 to them.

  4. Create a flyer for your show and post it everywhere on the internet (forums, newspapers, facebook, myspace, etc..) You should also print as many out as possible and hand them out in your city / town.

    Make sure your flyer is clean, looks professional and includes the following information:
    Date (day of the week and date), Time (start and finish), Price, Parking Available (if applicable), and Your websites.


Additional tips:

  1. You will want your show to run smoothly so round up a couple of your friends and ask them to help you run the door and sound equipment. Offer them a percentage of the door/ticket sales.

  2. Make sure you have friends there to run a video camera and photos so that you get lots of media for future promotions.


Example of email to venue for booking your first show:

Hi There!

My name is _________, I am looking to book a hip hop show for __Date__. We are expecting between ____ and ___ Tickets sold and ______ total through the door. Would prefer a Friday or Saturday night but if not available, Thursday would work as well.

You can hear some of my music here: (a link to your music on the web)

Our show will include several other acts + a DJ so we will have the entire night covered.

Thanks!
Your Name
Phone Number
Email Address


Written by Lenny Diko (2010) (CEO OF UIYB RECORDS) * http://www.upinyourbasement.com
* http://www.ajldagency.com