What do Booking Agents do?A Booking Agent is responsible for booking live performances including concerts, gigs, tours and radio and TV performances for artists, bands, DJs, choirs, orchestras and other musical ensembles. They are responsible for developing the musicians' or artist's career with regard to their live performance. A Booking Agent, or Artist Booker, will work closely with the artists' management, promoter and record company. Sometimes, especially with new and emerging artists the manager will combine their role with that of Booking Agent. They will usually work on a whole tour rather than just one gig. They will often require an exclusive contract on touring activity, especially if the artist is signed.
The Agent will be responsible for negotiating and issuing contracts, collecting deposits and sending out promotional material. They may work freelance, or be part of the band, or work for a music company or agency. They may be responsible for one artist, band or musical ensemble, or for several. They will often work on a commission basis and usually get around 10 - 15% commission of the artist's fee.
Some Booking Agents will provide all styles of artists and musicians ranging from classical to dance music and cover a range of events including pubs, clubs, local, corporate and trade events. Others provide entertainment for cruise ships, theatres, hotels and international venues. Some Booking Agents will specialise in musicians and producers working in particular genres, such as rock, pop, dance, urban or acoustic.
Many Booking Agents will offer a portfolio of services for their clients, including artist management services, or marketing, distribution and publicity campaigns for a variety of media.
Excellent knowledge of the music industry and keeping in touch with current music trends is essential, as is building up an excellent network of contacts in the music business. There are no specific professional qualifications required. Building up experience in the music industry is important. This can be done by working in different capacities — any work that brings you music business contacts and keeps you in touch with the industry will help. Many Booking Agents are musicians and have built up their expertise on the job working for themselves, their own ensembles or bands or for friends who are musicians.
Booking Agent jobs which have appeared on the Music Match jobsboard: