I’ve compiled a free ebook on booking a show for your band in cities within a four hour drive of Houston. It lists venues and their contact information as well as some contact templates and basic advice for how to get your band booked.

Many of the ideas inside of here were developed through extensive discussions with bands and individual artists as well as the monthly Bandcampus sessions.  The venue listings were obtained through publicly listed information and a great thanks goes out to Katie Brown for helping to compile it all. All of the information contained within this ebook is something that I feel every band could use so I’m posting it for free.

Free eBook on Booking Your Band in Texas

If you like this ebook and find it helpful, please consider blogging a link back to this post so that peole know where to get the book. If you’d like to share copies with someone else, please point them to this post instead of the file directly so that I can make edits without concern.

Also, if this book makes you happy please leave a comment below this post. I’d love to know what you think about the work.

Thanks!

Booking Your Band in Texas (pdf format).

P.S. If you’d like just the venue listing without the helpful guidance on how to book your band, leave a comment below so I know how many people would like the venue listing in a google document format.

Yesterday’s Bandcampus was a loud celebration of touring and music careers between over 15 bands and a mix of Houston music writers. As this was the first Bandcampus of the year people were understandably excited to share their progress with each other and it didn’t hurt that Marc Brubaker brought a keg of St. Arnold’s.

The following bands were in attendance:

The session began late as printing of the ebooks took longer than expected (85 pages each!!!). Thanks to Jeremy Osborn of Wayside Drive for helping with the cover and the printing transport. Ebook copies went fast, the ones who came late had to share it and wait for it to be made available online (later today). We reviewed the process of booking a live show, beginning with two assumptions, 1) each band had prepared a digital toolbox of press, bio, pictures, media, stage setup to send to bookers or promoters as needed. 2) if the band had contacts or relationships with other bands or booker/promoters in desired cities, that would be the first place to start when booking a live show, aside from the following process. Then, we reviewed the planning steps for booking shows; selecting desired dates and targeting venues based on genre similarities and the size of venue.  Next we talked about the phone follow-up, the importance of writing out a script and remaining to-the-point and professional. For each of these steps we highlighted the specific sections of the ebook for the bands to refer to later.

During the discussion session, before getting down and contacting venues, several points were raised by Golden Cities, I-45 and Glasnost, three bands who have set up everything from their own shows to regional and national tours.

  • Lance and Marcus of Golden Cities say: the most difficult thing is getting venues to reply. You have to understand and get over the fact that not everyone is going to reply to your email ever.
  • Chuck of Glasnost recommends also having a standard contract for your band as part of your digital toolbox. Glasnost compiled theirs from several different examples available online. Here is an article from Music Biz Academy with several example contracts
  • All bands agreed that asking for money can be the most difficult part and that the actual rate is completely negotiable and situational. It is not recommended to play for free though.

Additionally we had several members of the media in attendance:

The most rousing portion of the entire session was the discussion that ensued when Houston Press Music Writer Craig Hlavaty stood up and let bands know that they needed to take better advantage of the musical infrastructure that exists to help them:

  • Music writers love to write about local bands, local bands seem to not understand this or take advantage of this opportunity
  • Craig spends a ridiculous amount of time looking at venue and band sites to find out who is playing and when, because venues don’t list it themselves
  • Local Bands need to be sending information about their upcoming shows to the music writers 1.5 weeks in advance of the show (minimum)
  • Bands need to send: The cost of the show, the bands on the bill, the time and venue of the show
  • Bands expressed a lack of knowledge on who their local music writers actually are (I have a two-part post for tomorrow and Wednesday opening this up for musicians)

With the ebook in hand bands were ready to start booking themselves live shows in and around Houston. We will be following up with each and every band to make sure that they actually work towards this and not sink into a hole of apathy. By discussing how these bands are using the ebook and leveraging community-based support every band in the Houston Music Community can begin to practice these career building steps.

More information about the next Bandcampus: SXSW PREP coming this week.

Check out some other press on this round of Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY

This semester in COMP 300: Society in the Information Age we’ve been discussing our changing world and the shifting perceptions brought to us with the addition of technology. In a previous session we examined the Information Age through the lens of Marshall McLuhan’s teachings. McLuhan was a leader in the field of media theory and communications. Though long dead at this point, his methodology for examining any radio ad, television series or new technology has allowed academics and media theorists to discuss the effects upon society as a whole.

The reason that McLuhan’s work has lasted was his blanket approach to addressing technology’s impact on society. Instead of discussing the sales of a particular product as a result of a popular advertisement, instead he examined how that ad touched upon our desires, wants and cultural norms. He separated each example from time and space, looking it as an archaeologist would, giving each medium the designation of cultural artifact. That approach remains viable to this day and would allow you to measure current technological advances such as the success of a viral video as a function of what emotions or societal effects it addressed.

McLuhan’s most useful device is the tetrad, a pedagogical tool designed to understand the transformative effects of a particular cultural artifact by  looking at how it increased or decreased specific cultural patterns or brought back things that were lost in our society as a result of new technology.

Specifically, McLuhan’s tetrad asks:

  1. What does the medium enhance or amplify in our culture?
  2. What does the medium obsolesce?
  3. What does the medium retrieve from earlier civilization or society that was previously lost?
  4. What does the medium reverse or flip into when pushed to extremes? (this answer almost always carries a negative connotation)

In class we wrote out the tetrad for the cases of radio, television, the internet. For example, radio retrieved the use of our sense of hearing for information delivery, something that characterized pre-literate times. Another example: the internet enhances our abilities to redefine our geographical boundaries based on interests and identies in the same way that nationality arose with the coming of print culture.

This brings us to the application of the tetrad to another disruptive technology: Twitter. No one can argue that Twitter has completely shifted the way that we use the internet but also what makes up the internet. It seems that very few people have applied McLuhan’s theories though in an effort to explain the ways in which we as a society are now different as a result of Twitter. There are a couple examples of people who have applied the tetrad to Twitter (here, and here) and while I agree with some of their observations I mostly disagree with the specific application of the tetrad without considering the broad applications of the technology for society as a whole.

To truly examine Twitter’s effect on our lives we have to take a step back and view it as its own cultural artifact. It’s not enough to say that Twitter enhances our ability to connect with people all the time. Saying that Twitter makes CNN’s Breaking News Alerts obselete also understates the importance of Twitter. Instead we have to pull from what makes society the way it is, take our origins and our predictions for where we’re going. Questions like “what does this say about our society as a whole” or “what  comment does Twitter make on societyas a people?” are more salient questions than the specifics of how Twitter is being used. As one of Neil Postman’s laws of technological change (#4 to be exact), technology does not make a additive difference, it makes an ecological one. So applying the tetrad to television does not yield answers based on how people use television but how society is different because of television. This is what McLuhan meant when he said his most famous quote “the mediums is the message,” that it is not important what people are watching or how they are watching but the mere fact that they are watching television that changes the society.

To stave off further verbose explanation, here’s the Twitter Tetrad. Again, it is important to note that while there are many answers to these questions, the answers are not “Twitter helps everyone connect with everyone immediately” or “Twitter helps you learn what your friends are doing” . This tetrad is designed to help us understand how Twitter actually has changed society.

1. What does Twitter enhance or amplify in our culture?

Twitter enhances our ability to cement the boundaries that we’ve begun to redraw on the internet. It does this by allowing us to live in communities of our own borders, different than nationality (which arose because of print technology), surrounded by like minds and interests. We come closer to “living” in this new community by understanding how those with shared interests and beliefs really live rather than just joining each other on websites and forums to discuss our similarities.

2. What does Twitter obsolesce?

Twitter obsolesces editorial content completely by painting a picture of what is actually happening right now. Twitter also removes traditional media as the authority and source of facts and up to date information.

3. What does Twitter retrieve from earlier civilization or society that was previously lost?

Twitter retrieves the ability to be an authority based on “power of voice” rather than traditional pedigree, something that was present in oral tradition. Twitter also retrieves our ability to memorize short passages to repeat orally as a transmission method for information and then knowledge.

4. What does Twitter reverse or flip into when pushed to extremes?

Twitter’s all-information, all-the-time, from everywhere on the globe, helps us stay connected everywhere but reverses into a collective hive mind of our buzzing thoughts. Disconnectedness and isolation is the product of the oversaturation of the channel: high fidelity but information dilution brought to you by sheer numbers of faceless thoughts passing through the medium.

Please let me know what you think about Twitter’s effect on society as a whole.

Welcome to the final day of pre-release of the ebook ‘Booking Your Band in Texas’. The compiled ebook will be available for free download on Monday, February 1st, 2010. This guide is designed to help you contact and book yourself a live show at venues around Texas. Today’s venue list covers areas near Victoria and Corpus Christi, close to the gulf and within an approximate 4 hour drive of Houston.

Booking Your Band in Texas – pt. 5, Victoria / Corpus Christi

This download includes a list of venues located in and around Victoria/Corpus Christi as well as the below graph which can help you to understand the musical landscape of a particular city. The area surrounding Victoria and Corpus Christi supports standard genres rather than offshoots. Unlike other cities, Country/Cowboy/Western are by far the most popular genre in the area. Rock/Pop are actually second, however, they still manage to make up 25% of the venue landscape. Artists in R &B/Hip Hop and Rap will have a difficult time booking themselves in this area as no venue identifies themselves as catering to this genre. Similarly, there are no venues which claim to support the genres of Dance/Electronic, Experimental, Metal, Ambient/New Age, Eclectic, or any other Latin genre save Tejano. Punk is not mentioned but Rockabilly makes up 5% of the genre representations so any punk band with enough crossover could find themselves a gig.genrefavoritesvictoriacorpussmall

‘Booking Your Band in Texas’ Release Schedule
Every day of this week, a new venue listing will be released for Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi. If you come to Bandcampus:BOOKING PARTY on Sunday, January 31st you’ll receive the full ebook, similarly, if you visit this site next Monday (2/1) you’ll be able to download the document in its entirety. On Monday, February 1st, the complete list of venues will also be posted as a google document so that anyone can access it and edit it.

The Free ebook
On Monday, 2/1/10, the full version of the guide will be available as an ebook for free download. The full document includes the following:

  • Venue Listing for Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi
  • Mad-Libs style email script to assist you in making first contact with a venue to book your band a live show
  • Mad-Libs style phone script to assist you in making first contact with a venue or following up to book your band a live show
  • A recommended schedule to help you plan your bookings
  • A basic explanation of how to go about contacting venues and booking your band a live show

If you like what you read, please consider blogging a link back to this post so that people know where to get the document. And if you’d like to provide some ideas about the document, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.

Acknowledgements
This guide was compiled over 2009 with the assistance of many people: Lauren Oakes laid the early groundwork for this project in early 2009 by compiling the list for Houston. My intern Katie Brown is largely responsible for the project as it exists today, expanding the listings to cities within a four hour drive of Houston, organizing the data, and fact checking the listings. Attendees of Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY in July got a first look at the listings and gave it a review for typos and missing information. Those bands and others that deserve thanks are: Prairie CadetsMontgomery WalkerStateside StereoWestern CivilizationThe Favorites, , The Liquid Kitchen,Female DemandGlasnost,Insert Name HereSpin AlleyJoe MuscaraThe Snake CharmersApril KyleAjit D’SaWayside DriveNed DodingtonGrace Rodriguez, and last but not least the members of Caroline Collective, and Houston’s Creative and Music Community.

Licensing
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This means:
Use this guide as much as you like to book shows for yourself and others. Share it with your friends, reproduce, download, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this guide but the original work must be credited and you may not sell it. All further derivatives are licensed under identical terms.

Creative Commons License
Booking Your Band in Texas Guide by Matthew Wettergreen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Welcome to Day 4 of the release of the ebook ‘Booking Your Band in Texas’. This guide is designed to help you contact and book yourself a live show at venues around Texas. Today’s venue list covers San Antonio, known by the public for their Riverwalk and by bands as having a large number of Metal bands.

Booking Your Band in Texas – pt. 4, San Antonio

This download includes a list of venues located in and around San Antonio as well as the below graph which can help you to understand the musical landscape of a particular city. San Antonio, like all other previously surveyed cities, has a greater percentage of venues focused on rock/pop than any other genre. Also similar to Dallas and Austin, the genres of Country/Cowboy/Western are the second most popular genre for venues to support. Several venues in San Antonio list themselves catering to the genres of “Honky Tonk” and “Southern Rock.” R&B/Rap/Hip Hop is minimized in San Antonio as compared to Houston but Latin Pop and other similar genres are the third most popular genre in San Antonio. Metal represents around 3% of the genres when lumped with Gothic and Industrial, two genres not charting at all in any other surveyed cities in Texas.

genrefavoritessanantonio_small

‘Booking Your Band in Texas’ Release Schedule
Every day of this week, a new venue listing will be released for Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi. If you come to Bandcampus:BOOKING PARTY on Sunday, January 31st you’ll receive the full ebook, similarly, if you visit this site next Monday (2/1) you’ll be able to download the document in its entirety. On Monday, February 1st, the complete list of venues will also be posted as a google document so that anyone can access it and edit it.

The Free ebook
On Monday, 2/1/10, the full version of the guide will be available as an ebook for free download. The full document includes the following:

  • Venue Listing for Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi
  • Mad-Libs style email script to assist you in making first contact with a venue to book your band a live show
  • Mad-Libs style phone script to assist you in making first contact with a venue or following up to book your band a live show
  • A recommended schedule to help you plan your bookings
  • A basic explanation of how to go about contacting venues and booking your band a live show

If you like what you read, please consider blogging a link back to this post so that people know where to get the document. And if you’d like to provide some ideas about the document, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.

Acknowledgements
This guide was compiled over 2009 with the assistance of many people: Lauren Oakes laid the early groundwork for this project in early 2009 by compiling the list for Houston. My intern Katie Brown is largely responsible for the project as it exists today, expanding the listings to cities within a four hour drive of Houston, organizing the data, and fact checking the listings. Attendees of Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY in July got a first look at the listings and gave it a review for typos and missing information. Those bands and others that deserve thanks are: Prairie Cadets, Montgomery Walker, Stateside Stereo, Western Civilization, The Favorites, , The Liquid Kitchen, Female Demand, Glasnost,Insert Name Here, Spin Alley, Joe Muscara, The Snake Charmers, April Kyle, Ajit D’Sa, Wayside Drive, Ned Dodington, Grace Rodriguez, and last but not least the members of Caroline Collective, and Houston’s Creative and Music Community.

Licensing
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This means:
Use this guide as much as you like to book shows for yourself and others. Share it with your friends, reproduce, download, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this guide but the original work must be credited and you may not sell it. All further derivatives are licensed under identical terms.

Creative Commons License
Booking Your Band in Texas Guide by Matthew Wettergreen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Welcome to Day 3 of the release of the ebook ‘Booking Your Band in Texas’. This guide is designed to help you contact and book yourself a live show at venues around Texas. Today’s venue list covers Houston, the fourth largest city in the nation but a city not known for it’s music community.

Booking Your Band in Texas – pt. 3, Houston

This download includes a list of venues located in and around Houston as well as the below graph which can help you to understand the musical landscape of a particular city. Houston, similar to Dallas and Austin is largely represented by the genres of rock/p0p and all other derivatives. Unlike any of the other cities surveyed up to this point though, Rap/Hip Hop and R&B plays a greater role in the musical economy, second after rock/pop. As we have seen with Dallas and Austin the genres of country, jazz, blues and acoustic/folk/singer/songwriter fill in the remaining top slots. One interesting note about Houston though is that there is no clear minority as the lesser represented genres all seem to be nearly equally represented in the listed venues, even including Metal and Top 40.

genrefavoriteshoustonsmall

‘Booking Your Band in Texas’ Release Schedule
Every day of this week, a new venue listing will be released for Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi. If you come to Bandcampus:BOOKING PARTY on Sunday, January 31st you’ll receive the full ebook, similarly, if you visit this site next Monday (2/1) you’ll be able to download the document in its entirety. On Monday, February 1st, the complete list of venues will also be posted as a google document so that anyone can access it and edit it.

The Free ebook
On Monday, 2/1/10, the full version of the guide will be available as an ebook for free download. The full document includes the following:

  • Venue Listing for Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi
  • Mad-Libs style email script to assist you in making first contact with a venue to book your band a live show
  • Mad-Libs style phone script to assist you in making first contact with a venue or following up to book your band a live show
  • A recommended schedule to help you plan your bookings
  • A basic explanation of how to go about contacting venues and booking your band a live show

If you like what you read, please consider blogging a link back to this post so that people know where to get the document. And if you’d like to provide some ideas about the document, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.

Acknowledgements
This guide was compiled over 2009 with the assistance of many people: Lauren Oakes laid the early groundwork for this project in early 2009 by compiling the list for Houston. My intern Katie Brown is largely responsible for the project as it exists today, expanding the listings to cities within a four hour drive of Houston, organizing the data, and fact checking the listings. Attendees of Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY in July got a first look at the listings and gave it a review for typos and missing information. Those bands and others that deserve thanks are: Prairie Cadets, Montgomery Walker, Stateside Stereo, Western Civilization, The Favorites, , The Liquid Kitchen, Female Demand, Glasnost,Insert Name Here, Spin Alley, Joe Muscara, The Snake Charmers, April Kyle, Ajit D’Sa, Wayside Drive, Ned Dodington, Grace Rodriguez, and last but not least the members of Caroline Collective, and Houston’s Creative and Music Community.

Licensing
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This means:
Use this guide as much as you like to book shows for yourself and others. Share it with your friends, reproduce, download, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this guide but the original work must be credited and you may not sell it. All further derivatives are licensed under identical terms.

Creative Commons License
Booking Your Band in Texas Guide by Matthew Wettergreen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Welcome to Day 2 of the release of the ebook ‘Booking Your Band in Texas’. This guide is designed to help you contact and book yourself a live show at venues around Texas. Today’s venue list covers Dallas, the cosmopolitan center of Texas and also, a hotbed for rodeo.

Booking Your Band in Texas – pt. 2, Dallas

This download includes a list of venues located in and around Dallas as well as the below graph which can help you to understand the musical landscape of a particular city. Unlike Austin, Dallas’ venues are focused less on the singer/songwriter genre and more on the country/cowboy/western focused genres. Jazz is more popular in Dallas than Austin, but then again, so is punk and rockabilly. A grouping of genres not prevalent in Austin that plays a role in the musical landscape of Dallas are the venues which cater to Big Band/Swing/Dixieland/Oldies and Cabaret. Two additional genres making a blip on the percentage of venue focus are Metal and venues which cater to Cover Bands.

genrefavoritesdallas

‘Booking Your Band in Texas’ Release Schedule
Every day of this week, a new venue listing will be released for Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi. If you come to Bandcampus:BOOKING PARTY on Sunday, January 31st you’ll receive the full ebook, similarly, if you visit this site next Monday (2/1) you’ll be able to download the document in its entirety. On Monday, February 1st, the complete list of venues will also be posted as a google document so that anyone can access it and edit it.

The Free ebook
On Monday, 2/1/10, the full version of the guide will be available as an ebook for free download. The full document includes the following:

  • Venue Listing for Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi
  • Mad-Libs style email script to assist you in making first contact with a venue to book your band a live show
  • Mad-Libs style phone script to assist you in making first contact with a venue or following up to book  your band a live show
  • A recommended schedule to help you plan your bookings
  • A basic explanation of how to go about contacting venues and booking your band a live show

If you like what you read, please consider blogging a link back to this post so that people  know where to get the document. And if you’d like to provide some ideas about the document, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.

Acknowledgements
This guide was compiled over 2009 with the assistance of many people: Lauren Oakes laid the early groundwork for this project in early 2009 by compiling the list for Houston. My intern Katie Brown is largely responsible for the project as it exists today, expanding the listings to cities within a four hour drive of Houston, organizing the data, and fact checking the listings. Attendees of Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY in July got a first look at the listings and gave it a review for typos and missing information. Those bands and others that deserve thanks are: Prairie CadetsMontgomery WalkerStateside StereoWestern CivilizationThe Favorites, , The Liquid KitchenFemale DemandGlasnost,Insert Name HereSpin AlleyJoe MuscaraThe Snake CharmersApril KyleAjit D’SaWayside DriveNed DodingtonGrace Rodriguez, and last but not least the members of Caroline Collective, and Houston’s Creative and Music Community.

Licensing
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This means:
Use this guide as much as you like to book shows for yourself and others. Share it with your friends, reproduce, download, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this guide but the original work must be credited and you may not sell it. All further derivatives are licensed under identical terms.

Creative Commons License
Booking Your Band in Texas Guide by Matthew Wettergreen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Welcome to Day 1 of the release of the ebook ‘Booking Your Band in Texas’. This guide is designed to help you contact and book yourself a live show at venues around Texas. Today’s venue list covers Austin, “The Music Capital of the World.”

Booking Your Band in Texas – pt. 1, Austin

This download includes a list of venues located in and around Austin as well as the below graph which can help you to understand the musical landscape of a particular city. Unsurprisingly, Austin’s venues are heavily represented by rock, country and singer/songwriter genres. Less represented are the Jazz, Reggae, Rap and Electronic genres. As a musician in one of these lesser represented genres it would only be expected that there would be less clubs for you to contact in this particular city and that competition may be higher for a show.

genrefavoritesaustin2

‘Booking Your Band in Texas’ Release Schedule
Every day of this week, a new venue listing will be released for Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi. If you come to Bandcampus:BOOKING PARTY on Sunday, January 31st you’ll receive the full ebook, similarly, if you visit this site next Monday (2/1) you’ll be able to download the document in its entirety. On Monday, February 1st, the complete list of venues will also be posted as a google document so that anyone can access it and edit it.

The Free ebook
On Monday, 2/1/10, the full version of the guide will be available as an ebook for free download. The full document includes the following:

  • Venue Listing for Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi
  • Mad-Libs style email script to assist you in making first contact with a venue to book your band a live show
  • Mad-Libs style phone script to assist you in making first contact with a venue or following up to book  your band a live show
  • A recommended schedule to help you plan your bookings
  • A basic explanation of how to go about contacting venues and booking your band a live show

If you like what you read, please consider blogging a link back to this post so that people  know where to get the document. And if you’d like to provide some ideas about the document, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.

Acknowledgements
This guide was compiled over 2009 with the assistance of many people: Lauren Oakes laid the early groundwork for this project in early 2009 by compiling the list for Houston. My intern Katie Brown is largely responsible for the project as it exists today, expanding the listings to cities within a four hour drive of Houston, organizing the data, and fact checking the listings. Attendees of Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY in July got a first look at the listings and gave it a review for typos and missing information. Those bands and others that deserve thanks are: Prairie CadetsMontgomery WalkerStateside StereoWestern CivilizationThe Favorites, , The Liquid KitchenFemale DemandGlasnost,Insert Name HereSpin AlleyJoe MuscaraThe Snake CharmersApril KyleAjit D’SaWayside DriveNed DodingtonGrace Rodriguez, and last but not least the members of Caroline Collective, and Houston’s Creative and Music Community.

Licensing
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This means:
Use this guide as much as you like to book shows for yourself and others. Share it with your friends, reproduce, download, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this guide but the original work must be credited and you may not sell it. All further derivatives are licensed under identical terms.

Creative Commons License
Booking Your Band in Texas Guide by Matthew Wettergreen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Any band looking to step up their game in 2010 can initiate their excitement engines. Over the next 5 days I’ll be releasing a list of venues within a four hour drive of Houston that you can contact to book your band a gig. This list is a lead up to Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY which will be held on January 31st where you can meet with other like-minded bands to book yourself gigs.

Release Schedule
Every day of this week, beginning on Monday, a new guide will be released for Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi. If you come to Bandcampus on Sunday you’ll receive the full document, similarly, if you visit this site next Monday (2/1) you’ll be able to download the document in its entirety. On Monday, February 1st, the complete list of venues will also be posted as a google document so that anyone can access it and edit it for accuracy.

The Free ebook
On Monday, 2/1/10, the compiled version will be available as an ebook for free download. The full document includes the following:

  • Venue Listing for Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Victoria/Corpus Christi
  • Mad-Libs style email script to assist you in making first contact with a venue to book your band a live show
  • Mad-Libs style phone script to assist you in making first contact with a venue or following up to book  your band a live show
  • A recommended schedule to help you plan your bookings
  • A basic explanation of how to go about contacting venues and booking your band a live show

If you like what you read, please consider blogging a link back to this post so that people  know where to get the document. And if you’d like to provide some ideas about the document, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.

Acknowledgements
This guide was compiled over 2009 with the assistance of many people: Lauren Oakes laid the early groundwork for this project in early 2009 by compiling the list for Houston. My intern Katie Brown is largely responsible for the project as it exists today, expanding the listings to cities within a four hour drive of Houston, organizing the data, and fact checking the listings. Attendees of Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY in July got a first look at the listings and gave it a review for typos and missing information. Those bands and others that deserve thanks are: .
Prairie Cadets, Montgomery Walker, Stateside Stereo, Western Civilization, The Favorites, , The Liquid Kitchen, Female Demand, Glasnost, Insert Name Here, Spin Alley, Joe Muscara, The Snake Charmers, April Kyle, Ajit D’Sa, Wayside Drive, Ned Dodington, Grace Rodriguez, and last but not least the members of Caroline Collective, and Houston’s Creative and Music Community.

Licensing
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This means:
Use this guide as much as you like to book shows for yourself and others. Share it with your friends, reproduce, download, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this guide but the original work must be credited and you may not sell it. All further derivatives are licensed under identical terms.

Creative Commons License
Booking Your Band in Texas Guide by Matthew Wettergreen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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.

WHAT: Bandcampus: BOOKING PARTY
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.