I will say, I’ve taken quite a satirical approach to the music business in my previous posts. Contract riders, punk bands, and social media for annoying your friends: they were, and were meant to be, very casual and fun reads meant purely for reader enjoyment along with an informative touch. Today, however, I’ll bring up something nifty but more towards the realm of serious.
Today, getting those gigs isn’t any easier than it was a few years ago. With Livenation and AEG dominating the touring world, the common DIY punk band will scratch their head and go, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to start using the phone and calling up some venues.” There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s the way I’ve done it and it’s the way it’s gotta be done to get your foot in the door and your name out. After all, if every no name up and coming band could score the big gig that Lady Gaga could score, everyone would be musicians. To quote an incredibly cheesy and overly abused rock and roll quote, it’s (always) “a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.”
However, with everything getting so digital these days, why can’t the booking process be digital? That’s where My Tour Manager kicks in. This is a touring site based in France, so it’s not quite released out to the English (or other) language speaking worlds. Basically, the way this site works is that you get to choose your shoes as the tour manager/booking agent, or as the artist looking for gigs. You register onto the site, and then, if you choose the shoes of an artist, locate concert venues and promoters to get a booking. If you are the agent, it’s the opposite: you get to look through the selection of registered artists on the site and it’s smooth sailing from there. This is virtually the Craigslist without the creepy sections and black and white format. It’s a neat flashy way to get it across. If you’ve found other sites dedicated to booking artists, you’ll find that they are not usually organized or do not give you the option of presenting yourself in a flashy and interesting way.
While this site is great, it is not truly optimal. Again, it’s France based. It is, on the other hand, a step in the right direction. From here on out, it’s all digital, and we have to face that; so why not take advantage of that fact, face it, and use it to get solutions in the future? If this is one site, why not create more flashy online booking sites? Has no one thought of integrating social media for bands into an online entity? This is the future of the DIY artist. Yes, digital has wrecked the old music business model, but it has opened many doors for recognition from the bands that we’d always whine “deserved more credit.”
Sites like this are just the beginning. The more we progress into the future, the more the independent, DIY artist is able to expand his reach just a little more. Does this mean that majors are truly outdated? Not exactly. To be honest, the worldwide promotion you get from major companies could also be combined with this digital age. It’s really up to the band in the end. Regardless, no band starts out signed to a major record label with global reach in this age: so online booking sites are critical. I’m eager to an age where you can contact everyone that you need to book for a tour from your bedroom. Could it ever be that simple?