I’ve had the good fortune to help organize a few amazing music festivals recently and after seeing the artist applications come in, I thought I’d write this list to make a musicians life easier. So below you will find a list of the 5 things musicians should know before applying to music festivals.
1. It’s the MUSIC first.
There are a lot of good bands. There are far fewer great bands. You need to belong to the latter group. Your music needs to move people, connect with people, do what music did to you. If it doesn’t do this then the likelihood of playing a music festival is low. There are a limited number of spaces and promoters need the bands with the biggest fan base. So make sure you send the promoter only the best stuff.
2. It’s the FIT of you to the fest.
You may have just made Dark Side of The Moon but if you’re submitting it to a reggae fest then you’re probably not going to get in. Make sure you are the right fit for the festival. Check the line up from the last few years, do yo fit in? If not, it’s probably not worth your time.
3. It’s the BUDGET.
Festivals run on tight budgets, meaning most bands take a slight paycut to be part of big festival. If you can move on your standard rate then do it. Obviously don’t get shafted but understand the economics of these festivals. They’re powerful entities in the music world and pull in a lot of people who can grow your fanbase immensely which is worth a lot.
4. It’s the PERSONAL CONNECTIONS.
Although there are official ways of applying to most festivals, the other way to get noticed is to put in your time and become acquainted with the promoter. Do they promote other shows? Can you help them out somehow? Become friends with these people outside the festival and they will always think of you when they’re looking for a band to fill out their bill.
5. It’s NOT OVER TILL IT’S OVER.
A lot of bands will see the artist application deadline as the be all end all. If you didn’t get your application in on time you’re out of luck. This is not entirely true. There are a lot of things that happen between the end of the deadline and the start of the festival. Bands break up, drop out, can’t make the gig for whatever reason. If you’re late for the deadline, or didn’t get picked up, make sure you communicate to the organizer that you’re ready on short notice, or able to fill in spots if they come open. Once again, become valuable to the promoter.
If you follow these 5 rules then you will have higher success of getting on the bill of your favourite festival.