8 Ways to Write the Perfect Music Festival Application
Applying for festivals as an unsigned band is a lot like applying for the perfect job- you gotta tailor your resume, make sure it’s up to date, and basically tell the recruiter, they’d be crazy to hire anyone else! While it’s too late to apply for SXSW, NXNE applications are open until January 31.
How to be successful:
- Give yourself time to write it! Promoters can tell when it’s rushed
- Don’t just copy and paste your band bio from your last album
- Recent band photos (if someone is no longer in the band, get new ones ASAP)
Include your most recent press
- Be it pull-quotes or entire articles, make sure you can list all the outlets that have covered your band and good things they’ve said about you
- No brooding band photos (looking down with hair covering your face is so ’03)- make sure the photo reflects YOUR band’s originality
- Avoid extreme metaphors, “We’re the best band since Pink Floyd!” Calling yourself the best without press quotes or figures to back it is just a waste of time and good promoters/industry can see right through it by looking at your most recent tour dates
- Be genuine but concise
- Talk about how this festival or showcase appearance fits into your plan for 2014. This could mean you’re already working with X booking agent or promoter for a 5+ tour date in promotion of X album/video/charitable cause. There’s got to be some momentum behind you! If you’re just applying to sound cool and list that showcase on your “resume,” it’s not got the same appeal. Just like a resume show the steps you’re taking for your career growth.
Up your social media presence game
- Keep your website up to date (I’m looking at all you bands that think that FB alone is good enough)
- Don’t just tweet about yourselves- talk to your fans
- Post photos of your rehearsals for consistent web content creation
- Make a quick Vine or Instagram video of a sneak peek song and ask their POV
Choose your strongest songs
- This could be the single that was on the radio last year or demo but instinctively from live shows you should know what is the strongest (the one that is most purchased on Itunes/Bandcamp is also a great indicator
- If you’re writing a new album and have some demo’s you’re really happy with, include them but make notes on how they fit into the bigger structure
If you have a ton of friends and followers, include that number in the application
If it’s impressive, include the highest viewed Youtube link and/or number
All of this advice could be easily transferable to grant writing for your own band. Now what are you waiting for?