Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:24 pm Post subject: How do I find a band?
I am on the committee of an annual festival that takes place in November in Eden the far south coast of NSW.
We are looking at doing a main stage this year to go with our new location.
How do we find headliners? A headliner that isn't huge so that they will blow our meager budget but are big enough to draw a crowd? Or a good festival band.
I was thinking if the group was touring in the area we may be able to get them at a better rate if they don't have to travel. Though we are 3 hours from Canberra and halfway between Sydney and Melbourne so not too far.
So where do I start? Send EOI out somewhere? Any suggestions would help please.
First of all, experienced bands are well aware that there are many people & organisations who don't want to pay them what they're worth, so if you approach a band with the intention of negotiating them down you might be starting on a sour note that they're used to and not fond of. That being said, the success of your event will be affected by what band you choose so it could either be a very worthwhile, or a very poor investment.
If the budget really is tight, then your best bet would be to try and find local bands that are keen to play for their community. This will be a cheap option, but also one that will attract a local audience.
If you want to hire a band with a following, then either paid social media advertising to request expressions of interest, or doing some research to find out which bands are touring Vic & NSW at the time of the event is a good idea. This might take some time to find the right band, and you may have to pay more than you want, as any band with a reasonable following is a working band who will need to be paid what they're worth. If you do this you'll still want to have a couple of local support bands, as one band playing a 45 minute set won't be enough time for a festival.
The third option is to go for a cover band. With a cover band you'll get a professional act who play music that people know, and will therefore keep a crowd around. Expect them to charge like tradies, as that's what they are, unless of course you just get an amateur band who may not be that great.
Whatever the case, and however you decide to approach this, for an outdoor festival gig you'll most likely need to hire a stage, PA system, and sound engineer. Putting on a festival is an expensive event, however, music is something that not only attracts people to the event, but gets them to stick around buying food & drinks. Whatever you decide to do with your budget, you'll get what you pay for.
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