If you play in a band and your band plays in independent venues, you probably know the rigamarole of what it takes to get booked in those venues.
Does this sound familiar?
You contact venues by email or social media, wait for a response, follow up with another email with links to your music and photos of how great your band is, followed by more waiting for the venue to get back to you, if they do.
It’s a lot of work, and time away from creating, practicing and performing the music work you love.
If you are a part time musician, or play in a band for fun, you probably have a day job too, which makes investing the time to get bookings even more challenging.
A booking agency can help make connections and save you time, but a booking agency’s reach will be limited to their sphere of contacts and influence, which in turn, limits your options. And a booking agent wants to maximize their cut of the booking, so their top interest lies in what is in their best interest, which may or may not always be fair to you as the band and get you the exposure you want.
The good news is, you don’t have to do the legwork yourself or use a booking agency to secure bookings.
In a blog post from January of this year, I wrote about why music booking is ready for technological disruption. In that blog, I drew comparisons between the disruptive ride hailing industry (Uber, Lyft) and the music booking industry, where the incumbent taxi industry was upended by Uber and Lyft and how music booking is about to undergo the same transformation.
What technological disruption am I referring to?
A booking platform and online marketplace that I founded called Zipgig (zipgig.io). Zipgig is designed and built for independent venues and musicians to book gigs with each other quickly and easily.
Zipgig can supplement or replace how you make bookings happen today. The advantages of using a well designed booking platform are numerous, but I’ve selected 10 reasons and listed them here to share with you and get you as excited about Zipgig as I am!
Top 10 reasons to use Zipgig to book gigs
#10 Saves you time
Many musicians playing in independent venues also have day jobs, or they play in several different bands, or if they are full-time musicians, also spend their time recording and promoting. Thus, as a musician, there are always limitations on your time.
Without enough time to invest in securing bookings (emails, phone calls, networking) your playing calendar is not as full as it could be. With Zipgig, you'll get more gigs in less time.
When designed and implemented well, technology systems are an amazing thing. Zipgig, as a technology system, will make booking easier by incorporating elements of your booking workflow together in one system. It also automates repetitive manual work and enables you to focus on the important things, like making great music and building your following.
#8 Band profile
With Zipgig, you set up your profile once with details about your unique sound, photos, and links to your social media, and it will get viewed and booked by as many venues are on the system - hundreds, thousands.
#7 Simplifies communication
Email is a great form of communication for one-off cases, but with ongoing booking, each email thread to each venue is a silo in itself that requires regular follow up. One email equates to one venue communicating with one band at a time. In other words, there isn’t much reusability of your marketing and promotional info.
With Zipgig, you don’t have silo-ed communication. All your communication is done within the platform and your profile and your venue reviews are your main marketing tools that auto-promote your band.
#6 Less need to rely on a booker
Venues that embrace a booking platform as a trusted source of bands to book (based on the band’s good reviews and their profile), will book directly, reducing a band’s need to rely on the services of a booker.
#5 Enables a targeted search of venues
What’s your process today for planning your upcoming playing calendar? Do you start in front of your computer with Google search, your email, and Facebook, and start sending emails and FB messages? Or make a bunch of phone calls? What if you only want to play breweries in Austin? Or wineries in Sonoma? Or small festivals?
Sure, a targeted Google search enables that, but filtering on those requirements within Zipgig makes a targeted search a lot easier.
#4 Makes booking a tour easier
This is related to #5 regarding targeted searches. What is a tour after all? It is a schedule of play dates that occur in cities other than your home city. With easy searching and filtering by city, state, or venue type, booking a tour is easy on Zipgig.
#3 Transparency of process
This is my favorite reason, and why I am so proud to launch Zipgig, because Zipgig enables transparency in the booking process. Why is transparency important? It promotes honesty and fairness. When you are working with an outside agency, there may not be full transparency, i.e. which venues they are talking to and how much are they negotiating for you. With Zipgig, venues and bands communicate and negotiate directly with each other. Afterwards, you can review your experience with the venue, and they can review you. This keeps the process fair and honest for both parties.
#2 Works the way you do
A thoughtfully designed booking platform like Zipgig works the way you do, with search and booking flow, and all the communication that goes with it, in one place, either from your laptop, tablet or phone. You can download your bookings to your calendar for convenient management of all your bookings.
#1 It’s easy to use!
One marketplace — venues and bands– in one location. No social media noise or other distractions.
How do you conduct your booking search today? Do you open multiple tabs on your desktop browser, or multiple pages on your phone, reach out to many venues at once or open your email to send them messages…and then have to remember who you emailed and when? Follow them on Instagram and Facebook and check for new postings every day?
With Zipgig, use your laptop, phone, or tablet, and then search, browse, request, confirm, and book — it’s easy.
Andrea Harding founded Zipgig with a simple principle in mind: remove the walls and obstacles erected by traditional legacy technology in communicating and booking gigs, and create an easy-to-use modern marketplace where independent venues and performers have transparency and can book gigs instantly.