Most people are uncomfortable with the prospect of contacting a perfect stranger and asking them to give them something. Bands who have never gone through the booking process tend to think this way. Framing this process from a different standpoint, one of a business transaction, might make it easier for bands to stomach. Furthermore, by discretizing the process into manageable steps bands can have a clear view of what their action items are and what the process looks like from A to Z.

Included in today’s post are a couple example emails bands can use to initiate first contact with a venue. This form is the third step in the booking procedure as discussed at Bandcamp:BOOKING PARTY. The form is designed like a mad libs story, prompting bands to input, names, genres, adjectives, and verbs. To use the form, simply fill out the required information and contact the venue of your choice to ask for a show. Even if you don’t have a band, try it out, it’s fun!Band to Venue Contact Form

As you can see below, I’ve filled it out for my [imaginary] band More Better. I’ve written this up to contact one of the best venues around, The Hideout, which provides a community for Chicago artists just like Caroline Collective provides a community for Houston creatives. I’ve even taken the liberty to tailor the form specifically for my band who sounds like a cross between the Boston Pops Orchestra and Big Black. Seriously, this band is awesome. Probably.

Download the mad libs style email to contact venues and book your band a show here (pdf).

For those of you who plan to use it or are using it, what changes did/would you make?


  1. This is a really helpful website. My boyfriend started a band up recently, and tried to get some support to help his band book a show. They saw adverts in music magazines, to hire a speaker, hire a band etc (we even saw one saying that they were looking to hire a comedian to work with!) Anyway now he is using blogs like this one to help him. And now with the help of blogs like yours, his band got to play on the opening night for a comedy sponsorship event which was fun and they have played at other corporate parties and corporate events!

    Posted July 31, 2009 at 2:13 am | Permalink

  2. matthew

    Thanks Lucy! Glad this was helpful. It would be great if your boyfriend could share his own experiences with using this process so that other people could fine tune the steps to getting your band booked.

    Posted July 31, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink

  3. I just wanted to say that we STILL use this format to book. It works. Takes much of the guess work out of how to send a professional and direct email to venues. Thanks again for all of the knowledge you dropped on us, Matthew and for showing us that there was a part of the Houston music scene that cared about helping each other and growing. (You should bring back bandcamp)

    Posted May 17, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

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  1. [...] you a venue list for Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi as well as a mad-libs style email contact form and a mad-libs style phone contact form and review the process of contacting (and following up [...]

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