With the fall of the record industry, touring has steadily become one of the most important, if not THE most important, source of income for many up-and-coming and established bands. Today there is an influx of artists trying to book their own tours and get the best slots in pubs, nightclubs and concert halls all over the country. In some of the past “Tour De Force” posts bands spoke about the hardships of cold calling and the last minute scramble to fill out their tour schedule. Some have even been clever enough to make their own venue, playing in parks and squares of various cities. It’s a tough market out there and often times the only way to get ahead depends on your connections, who you know and what strings you can pull.
There are some sites on the web dedicated to helping bands book their own shows, like Book Your Own F*ckin’ Life. When we spoke with The Winter Sounds, a band from Georgia who has been consistently touring since around 2006 and booking most of their own shows, they said that this site is a great resource for bands who need to fill out their touring schedule. Book Your Own F*ckin’ Life has also expanded to a new site EarnItYourself.com that is dedicated to helping bands connect with venues.
Although there are a lot of sites focused on helping DIY bands, getting shows in a small local market can be tough. This is where booking agents come in. Shred of Team Shred Productions is responsible for a large part of the talent buying, booking and promoting in venues around Boston. As a veteran in the industry, he’s a good guy to know. This former WBCN radio DJ has placed bands in venues all over Boston including The Middle East, O’Brien’s, Great Scott and Oliver’s/Cask ‘n’ Flagon. There is rarely a band in Boston that flies under his radar, and he’s famous for championing a raucous night of 6 shows at 5 venues across Boston aptly called Team Shred: Knight Out.
Touring bands should listen up! Shred took the time to give some really great advice about how to book your own shows and some of the most effective ways to get your band booked. Check out the Q&A after the jump!
MD: How did you begin your career as a force in the Boston music scene?
Shred: A force? Well…