Which would you prefer?

A: Booking your own tour
B: Getting kicked in the nuts

7 out-of-town shows with 4-5 months to book ‘em seems like a fairly doable task. I mean, how hard could it be to get 7 shows (especially if you physically know people in all 7 of the out-of-town cities you’re attempting to play in)? Answer, nearly impossible (refer to Example E).

It’s not like you’re completely ignored. No, it’s worse. People actually respond to emails and messages with, “yeah, you guys sound great I can help, let me check into some options.” Then a week goes by, and after a “not to be a pest but what’s going on?” email they respond with, “I’m still working on it. Though, my band might not be able to do it after all” (death sentence). Then, after a few more weeks of pestering they finally put the nail in the coffin, “Sorry man. But here’s a list of venues” (that all require 30 years notice and won’t book you without a guaranteed 20,000 person draw, not to mention you already emailed them 4 months ago, and never got a response).

As it stands, 4 months of work has delivered 2 shows. Now, you’re nearly a month out before “hitting the road” and every date at every bar, club, house, field, church, synagogue, temple, and overpass is booked. The only hope is to get thrown on a pre-existing show. Which, though not impossible, is even more difficult than setting up the initial bill.

Not to be a jaded old-timer (HA, I’m only 27) but what ever happened to the DIY mentality of the late 90′s? BYOFL is a shell of it’s former self. No one even takes phone calls any longer, which is fine in my eyes, it makes it a lot easier to stay organized when all communication is through the internets. However, instead of email, the preferred contact is MySpace messages. Most of which sit in the “Sent Items” folder with a permanent status of “read” (without a reply) or worse “sent” (without even a glance).

Does anyone do house shows any longer? Is every venue in every city associated with Live Nation (Clear Channel splinter)? What the hell happened in the past 5-10 years? When did we let corporations and bands with corporate visions take over our network?…

Oh, by the way. If anyone wants to trade a Detroit show for helping my band get the following dates, let me know.

07-14 IL/IN/KY/MI*/OH – TBA
07-16 IL/IN/KY/OH – TBA
07-21 DC/MD/PA/VA – TBA

*outside the Detroit area

Read: The Perils of DIY