Pro-Tip: Creating Your Own Music Venue Database
Time spent in preparation can save you a lot of time later in execution. One of the biggest hurdles that most artists struggle with is booking: finding places to play, booking their tour, knowing who to contact, etc. This is a time saving tip that you can apply, starting today.
Do you have a database of your booking contacts? Or, do you search for venues to book every time you’re about to embark on a tour?
It’s important to keep an updated list of appropriate venues for your music. Some places, like Indie Venue Bible and Billboard Music will sell lists of contacts. Others, like Indie on the Move or byofl.org lists promoters and contacts in a searchable format. However you choose to find venues, you’ll want to keep them in a format that can be organized and sorted.
I recommend creating your own database and keeping them in a spreadsheet that can be sorted by zip code or city and state. I usually spend about 10-15 minutes per day looking up new places, adding the database, and making sure that the contacts are still up to date. Spending a little time each day is a good way to prevent problems when you’re in the middle of booking a national tour.
The most important information that you’ll want to include:
Booking Contact Name:
Booking Phone Number:
Genres of Music Booked:
In your spreadsheet, you might also want to keep a column dedicated for any exchanges you have with the promoter so you know when to follow up. This is how I like to organize everything:
Your venue database will save you hours of work later when you’re trying to book a tour. Doing this will also give you an excuse to look at venues’ calendars and see if there are any shows that you’d make a good fit for.
I like using Google Docs or Evernote rather than keeping an Excel file because it allows me to access the information or work on the document from multiple devices, including my cell phone. This comes in handy when you’re on the road and a show falls through: you’ll have a list of people you can call in a pinch.
You can also use a similar spreadsheet for contacting sponsors, record labels, or any other industry that you want to work with.