One of the best things you can do for yourself as a band is to start touring as early as possible. As Mike King puts it on Artist House Music’s blog, “Tour Early and Tour Often.” He also mentions that in order to do this effectively, “be sure that your live show is awesome.” And again he is correct. But too many bands get caught up on the latter advice without realizing that the former is really what creates that engaging performance. Playing too many times to the same people burns yourself out from gauging the crowds reaction and puts the audience too close to the music to objectively evaluate your live shows.

Give yourself some distance. Play to a new crowd in a new city once a month. It’s that simple.

Constantly searching for new crowds to play to can give you that impartial view of your stage performance that you’re looking for. It can build your fan base and also do what Mike explains which is that touring can help you take your band to the NEXT LEVEL by kicking off your sales and marketing machine. As you play to new people, different people, you’ll gain an appreciation for what works and what doesn’t.

Let’s just face facts though, taking that first step to contacting venues and book a show for yourself can be a scary thing, especially if you’ve never done it before. Here’s an idea that can make it easier on you, schedule a BOOKING PARTY for you and your friend’s bands.  Booking Parties are really easy ways to reduce the friction to getting gigs for your band. All you need is a laptop, a few friends and a list of some venues to contact in neighboring cities. You’re surrounded by your peers who can provide encouragement and an eye to your emails and with the proper venue and contact information you’re prepared to further your career.

On January 31st we’ll be holding a Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY for Houston bands. We’ll provide the tables, chairs and the internet. We’ll also be giving 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 with) a venue to book your band.

We held a similar Booking Party in July and the results were exciting:  One band, Liquid Kitchen, was able to book two shows within 72 hours of Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY. Another band, Insert Name Here, booked one show for themselves that week and continue to use the scripts to book themselves shows.

Come to Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY and make it easier for your band to start finding new audiences to play in front of.

WHEN: January 31, 2010, 2-4pm
WHERE: Caroline Collective, 4820 Caroline, Houston TX 77004
WHY: Book your band to play in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and more

Read the original post about Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY.

Download the mad-libs style email contact form to get your band booked.

Download the mad-libs style phone contact script to get your band booked.

Regular BandCampus sessions are (mostly) held on the First Sunday of every month at Caroline Collective sometime between the hours of 1pm and 5pm. Please mark your calendar accordingly for future events where we’ll all educate specific skills to musical artists such as, online/offline promotion, tour booking, financials, and recording. Please speak about this event to your colleagues, band members and other interested members of the Houston Music Community.

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