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Booking agents or artist bookers are responsible for arranging live gigs, events and performances for their artists. Similar to the role of a manager, but different in the sense that booking agents work solely on booking performances and coordinating tours, whilst artist managers work on all aspects of the artist’s career.
Booking agents work with solo artists, bands, DJs, choirs, orchestras and other musical ensembles, developing the musicians' or artist's career by focusing on their live performances. Booking agents will travel with the artists to each gig or event, helping them to get the most out of the performance and often accompanying the artists on the complete tour.
Booking agents can work with many types of musician of many genres, including:
Either freelance or working for a specific agency or artist, booking agents will research different venues and events, sending out promotional material and arranging contracts and collecting deposits for the artists. Often booking agents can work for a number of different acts, but must ensure that they are able to accompany each artist on their tour. Time management is very important as well as good contacts within the industry.
Many Booking Agents will offer a portfolio of different services for their artists, including management services, marketing and publicity campaigns in a variety of music media. An in-depth knowledge of the music industry, of all genres, is required for this role. Some booking agents may specialise in a certain genre such as pop music or classical, but others may offer a selection.