Booking Music Festivals: 4 Key Strategies

In Music Festivals, Planning Your Event by Jordan BirnholtzLeave a Comment

Why do people trek out — year after year after year — to the absolute middle-of-nowhere (Manchester) Tennessee? Furthermore, why would anyone want to spend several days broiling alive in the middle of the desert?

The answer, my friends, is simple: there are some really excellent music festivals out there.

If you build it, they will come.

In the music festival industry, there is a (pithy) saying: “If you book it, they will come.” Throwback references to Field of Dreams aside, there is a lot of truth to the saying. All you really need to do to host a truly fantastic music festival is book the right artists that will bring the people out to your location — however remote it may be.

The Secrets of Booking Great Artists

Booking is not an art but a science. If you want to make sure that you are able to book the best talent for your upcoming music festival, all you need to do is follow these simple tips:

  • Decide your terms early.

You need to decide a few critical things early. Most notably, you will need to determine your festival budget. It is imperative that you figure out how much you are willing to pay the artists and reach out early to negotiate.

  • Get in touch and stay in touch.

Once you are in touch with great artists for your music festival, you are going to want to make sure that you stay in touch with them. Performers and artists are busy and you must find ways to stay at the forefront of their minds.

  • Consider the perks.

If this is your first music festival, you may not have the same budget or clout as other, larger festivals. For that reason, it is important for you to be creative with what you can offer them. Do you work with any sponsors that can offer the artist a special perk? Can you make up for a smaller fee with great lodging?

  • Be creative.

Too many music festival promoters fall into the trap of booking only artists of a certain type. It is important that you be creative with the types of artists that you are willing to book. If you want to guarantee a large and diverse crowd of festival-goers, you must book a diverse group of artists.