How to become an artist festivals love to book

Photo by Lenka SedlackovaI am just back from a short trip to Germany with Sliotar. We played at two festivals and had fantastic time 🙂 Now I’m back home for two and a half weeks, before we head out to Italy and Czech rep. The festivals are always a great experience, as not only are they good exposure, but you also get to meet other artists, and hear them perform. Sliotar have nearly fifteen years of experience playing festivals around Europe, and I noticed few things once again that seem to separate the pro’s from the unexperienced artists. As we are in the middle of the festival season, it is a good time to point out some of these.

When you arrive at the festival, find the organiser, or who ever the person is who is responsible of the arrangements. And there is a small bit of art here 😉 After introducing your self, ask them how the festival is going, and listen to their answer. If everything is going smoothly, that is great news. If they have concerns, figure out if there is anything your band can do to minimise adding into those concerns. Then find out all of the usual details, what time you perform, what time is your sound check, how long is your set, where do you store your equipment, food, drinks, accommodation… What ever is information you need to find out, get it shorted there and then in detail, so you don’t need to bother the festival organisers after this. It does not mean you can’t spend time with them, but the business should be sorted straight away.

The next find a good moment to introduce yourself to the sound crew (find out their names). Obviously don’t do this while they are busy or under pressure, common sense.

When you are setting up and loading off, be respectful of other bands. Let them clear their stuff off the stage before you start to load yours. And the same goes the other way around, once you are finished, clear your stuff of the stage fast, there is another band on the way after you 😉

And what always gets me is when bands don’t thank organisers and the sound crew. Me and Ray in Sliotar have turned this in to an art. And again I cannot emphasise the power of that small mention at the end of your show. One of the festivals, we were the only band who thanked the stage crew by name, and guess what? They were amazed that we did this, and for sure will remember us in the future.

All of the above, and the fact that we keep our show very engaging, tight both musically and in schedule, has helped Siotar build a reputation of a professional band and easy to work with. And due to this fact we get asked back to the festivals year after year.


The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE