Template Letter For Booking Festivals

Just realised I had a template letter or two lying around on my laptop from when we were on the Great Festival Booking Spree.

Guys in the UK asked me how to get on the European festivals. Do you get a booking agent and pay them a percentage, or book yourself? Getting a booking agent isn’t straightforward…like labels, they’re still in the service model where they choose who they work for.

I reckon the best approach is to book yourself and use the scattergun approach…there’s a good thirty or forty metal festivals in Europe at least. The idea is to apply to all of them, and also hit them with a follow-up letter. Once you’ve cracked your first few festivals and put them on your band CV it starts getting easier to get on bills.  Be aware that festivals usually book anywhere up to 10 months ahead.

If you know the promoter or festival organiser, tailor a mail straight to them or speak to them. Otherwise use the below templates. Just replace the <tags> with the relevant information:

“Hello <bookers name>

<my band> would like to perform at <the festival you’re approaching> this year:

<band> is a <nationality> <genre> band, <name record labels here/who distributes>, with <number> releases. We played <biggest fests or tours you’ve done>, and want to hit more festivals this year. We’d love to play the main stage for <the festival> but would honestly be happy being part of the festival any way we can!

I’ve also attached our PR sheet which has links to the bandsite, facebook page, myspace, and online mp3s, photos and press resources. I have pasted additional links to the bottom of the mail directly for youtube festival footage and our myspace page so you can get an immediate taste of what we’re about.

facebook: <facebook link>
myspace: <myspace>

Footage :

<music videos and best live footage>

Let me know if there’s any other information you require, or questions that you have.

warmest regards,
<name>
<bands and associations>”

That’s the first mail. If you’re lucky, you get a couple of responses. For the rest, don’t worry – you’re just buttering them up:

A big problem festivals have is bands pulling out at the last minute. That causes all sorts of headaches for the organiser. So once you’re a few weeks out from one of the festivals you’ve applied for (you are keeping a spreadsheet with the festivals in date order, yes?) then send a follow up mail. It’s a repeat of the first one, with a change at the end.

“Hello <bookers name>

<my band> would like to perform at <the festival you’re approaching> this year:

<band> is a <nationality> <genre> band, <name record labels here/who distributes>, with <number> releases. We played <biggest fests or tours you’ve done>, and want to hit more festivals this year. We’d love to play the main stage for <the festival> but would honestly be happy being part of the festival any way we can!

I understand that we may have missed the application window for <the festival> but feel free to keep us in mind if you have any bands pull out on you. We’d be more than happy to fill in!

Let me know if there’s any other information you require, or questions that you have.

In the meantime, warmest regards and good luck with this year’s festival!

<your name>
<your bands or organisation>”
That heightens your chances of getting on a line-up, and helps out festivals no-end. You all need to be ready to drop what you’re doing and go, though! No use finally getting that slot and then having to drop it because someone has to walk the dog that day.

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