Master your craft: How to manage your bookings, Part I: The booking form

By Andile Nkosi
So your single is finally being played by the national radio station, your music video is on Channel O’s crispy fresh, and the LIKES to your Facebook fan page have grown from a few hundreds to thousands overnight. Suddenly you receive a call, “We want you perform in our gig next week at Club So & So”. You are excited, it’s your first paying gig but what response do you give to the caller? How much do you charge? What do you need to accept the offer? How do you keep the person on the line interested in you as a performer and still gain financially from the relationship. The answer lies in preparation.  

Zakes Bantwini performing in Nelspruit. (Picture: Lucky Nxumalo)


As a performing artist you need to have 5 documents at your immediate disposal.  These are:
1.     Your booking form
2.     Your performance contract
3.     Your rate card

4.     Your technical raider
5.     Your quotation/invoice template

This article refers to number one in the list, the booking form.  A booking form is a standard document that helps you gather the information you require in order to quote the promoter correctly. It also serves as proof of how in demand you are as a performer. You can easily set up a template on a spreadsheet and send it to whoever is interested in booking you (client).

The client should complete the date of the event; the client details (name, name of company, contact details, physical and billing address, email address, tax number etc.); type of function (Gala event, picnic, church service, club, etc.); whether its indoors or outdoors; other performers in that event; total number of guests expected; entrance fee to event; time of performance; duration of performance; and sound check time. Some performers also prefer knowing beforehand which company will provide the sound hire and lighting. It is also a good idea to give room for the promoter to offer you an amount to negotiate over.

Based on how far the event is from you, you can start making decisions around how much you will spend on travelling & accommodation. Based on the cover fee and the number of people expected you gain sight of how much you can charge as well. Remember not to over-price yourself bearing in mind its better to have many gigs at a lower rate than no gigs at all. And respond to the promoter as quickly as you can before they get someone else.

Remember, your form should be no longer than a page in length, should be legible and should look professional. The promoter should see your professionalism as a performer in your form. 

Make yours today, start using it and remember to feedback and tell me how it worked for you.  

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