Hope you’re enjoying the spring so far and gearing up for some great summer shows! This week, I’m answering your questions about submitting to festivals and working with a publicist.
Question one: Having worked on a festival, I know how many applications you get and a little about what to send out to such places (and radio stations et al) from the ones I chose to listen to with what time I had. But what advice would you give to make sure YOURS is the demo that gets listened to?
Great question. First, and most importantly, consider the timing. Give yourself enough time to plan in advance and really make your submission count.
Next, consider your audience. Are you a really good fit for the festival? Is your genre usually well represented at this event? If so, I’d say relationships are key. Get to know the right people (those that book the festival) well in advance. Ask them what they look for when choosing the music. Each festival is looking for something a little different, so any insight you can get from the source will give you a great advantage.
When formally submitting to the festival, use the knowledge you obtained to tailor your submission package to their needs. Make sure that the materials you send in align with the look and feel of the festival. Remember your unique selling points. What makes you stand out? What makes you interesting and unique? Remember your elevator pitch. Convey all of these things to the organizers in your pitch materials.
Ultimately, the people responsible for choosing artists at a festival should be able to pick your submission out of a pile because your materials sound, look and feel like you should already be playing there. Make yourself a good fit.
Question two: I just hired a publicist to help me with my album release. What do I need to do, as a client, to make sure our campaign runs smoothly?
The best thing you can do for yourself is communicate with your publicist, and do so in a timely manner. I highly recommend setting up a weekly “check-in” call with your publicist so he or she can update you on their progress and so you can update them on any news you have.
Remember to tell your publicist what you’re up to, even if you don’t think it’s interesting. Often, artists downplay their work when it’s actually something really cool and newsworthy. It seems obvious, but don’t forget to tell your publicist the big things, too, like new show dates, your release date, single release date, etc. And keep them in the loop when things change.
It’s also incredibly important to understand that working with a publicist doesn’t mean that your job is done. You need to continue to be your own best advocate and help spread the word just as much as you did before. It’s highly likely (and good) that you and your publicist have completely different networks. So continue to reach out yours. And whatever you do, you must respond to any question that your publicist has in a relatively fast manner.
What do you think? Have you been accepted to a festival? Have you worked with a publicist? I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions for future posts!
Up next: How to cross promote with other bands & musicians.