Booking Talent for Concerts and Festivals: It’s a Tough, Tough Gig

I spent some difficult years of years dealing with an annual nightmare of booking bands for Edgefest and the CASBY Awards. It’s not as simple as calling up a bunch of acts and asking them to appear at a specific time in a specific place during a time when everyone is on tour. Creating a lineup that can sell tickets is complex, frustrating and very, very expensive.

MusicExpress has this article on what it’s like to book talent.

At a time when major festivals like Pemberton are going bankrupt, the weak Canadian dollar is preventing an influx of U.S artists and the number of events set to be staged in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday is seriously diluting the domestic talent pool, The Peterborough Music Fest continues to roll out its free twice weekly concert series which this year runs from July 1st to August 26th.

Ever since local rancher, Fred Anderson initiated the first free festival in 1986, Peterborough has maintained its legacy, operating free shows on Wednesday and Saturday during the summer at scenic Del Crary Park.

“This will be the 31st year of continuing Fred Anderson’s legacy,” noted General Manager Tracey Randall, who heads up a team which not only books the talent but cultivates the corporate sponsors who fund the 17-date schedule. “Over the years we have built up a consistent audience and our on-going battle is to keep everyone happy. We do know that we don’t usually attract that 28-38 year demographic but if we started catering to a young audience then we’d lose the regulars.”

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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