Do I Need a Music Agent?
By: Jerry A. Greene
Question: I have a band that I am putting together and we are thinking of trying to tour around our local area. Do we need to have a music/booking agent to get the jobs, or can we call the club and bar owners ourselves to get the gigs?
Answer: In most circumstances, you don't need a music/booking agent to get gigs, at least when you are first starting out. You can perform in so many different places and getting these gigs are a matter of contacting people in a professional way. more than anything else.
Music Booking Contracts
If you are interested in getting your band heard by performing in different clubs, bars, fairs or other special events, you are going to need to know something about contracts. You should hire an entertainment attorney to look over all of your most important (high-paying) contracts. If you have an idea of the basics, you may be able to get away with not having an entertainment attorney, but it's better off to play it safe. Most bands don't have each and every contract given to them by a club owner looked over by a lawyer, but I a lot of them wish they did! Whatever you do, don't play without a contract.
When to Get a Music, or Booking Agent
I generally only suggest hiring a music/booking agent (or agency that has many people working for you) once you have some momentum (more work than you can handle). When you start getting a lot of gigs and become very popular, and are interested in expanding your touring schedule to cities farther away, that's the time you may want to start thinking about hiring a booking agent.
Why do I need a Booking Agent?
The main reason you want to do so, is that you want to have someone that knows what they're doing, and does a great job of it, looking after your touring schedule. You need to focus on what you do best and hopefully that is performing and writing songs. If all of your time is spent on the phone getting gigs, then you obviously can't spend that time practicing. It frees your mind from things that don't need your attention.