Just how do you go about setting up a tour for a bluegrass group? I have a friend with a European group that wants to give it a try over here, maybe begining next Spring. I have asked him to send me over a few demo CD's and am going to send these out to as many of the festival organizers that I can locate, but what about other gigs? Where do I look for booking agents around the country? Should I just refer them to a professional Talent Manager? How do you guys do this?
this is a question that i've been looking fir answers to also. it seems like a catch-22 thing. in order to play at festivals and other high-exposure gigs, you have to have representation, but in order to get representation, you have to already have the exposure.
my band doesn't fit into an easily-definable catagory, like bluegrass or country, etc., so that makes it all the more difficult. there are resourses, like the musicians yellowpages, that have the names and contact info for clubs around the country. something else that i've been trying is finding bands that are similar to mine on the internet, and checking out the places that they're playing.
booking an unsigned, unknown band is very hard, especially in this day of clear channel radio/ mega record companies, and national acts that carry their own opening acts instead of having regional acts.
it's tough, but i still believe that good music will prevail. good luck! i could probably book them in missoula if they're traveling out this way.
Find somebody who books the type of tour your friend is thinking about and sit down to talk to them. Give them a CD. Ask what they've done, what they can do. Tell them what your friend is trying to do. You might be surprised to learn that a band that hasn't toured/gigged much can still get booked if you have the right help and the right sound on CD.
Looking for booking agents? Look inside some liner notes of most of your CDs. Most bands that record are always looking for gigs and list a booking agent. Most agents that represent other musicians are also usually looking to represent more artists. Just an idea.