If you read my last posting (cashboxcanada.ca/features-music/showcase-festivals-dummies/4854) it was about the difference between a Festival and a Showcase Festival, check back and read that if you don’t know the difference. Don’t be shy that you don’t know I just explained the concept to one of the biggest bosses in one of the biggest booking agencies in the world last week. Here is my next part into my Showcase Festivals For Dummies.
You can think of a Showcase Festival as a fair. You know the trade shows where they gather under one theme. Like a trade show based around boats. You have exhibitors showing off their latest boats, engines, lights, life vests. A Showcase Festival and its conference is the same just that you show off music and artists for the global music industry.
Do you think that the people organizing a trade show are paying the vendors to be there? That they are actually paying the boat company to come by to show off their lastest boat to an audience that can buy their product? Of course not, they pay a fee to be able to show their product to new consumers or business people to develop their ideas.
It’s the same at a Showcase Festival (hence the word Showcase) They don’t organize the showcase to pay poor artists a fee. If they would do that, they would rather start a festival and just take some artists that are selling tickets and it would be a win-win situation. The problem is that a Showcase Festival is a tool to get to the next level and that festival that pays the fee. The Showcase Festival contains the people that could be on your team to get that recognition to a real audience so a festival would feel comfortable to pay you a fee.
I know some Showcase Festivals pay some fees. To be honest it’s such small money you can leave without it. It’s better that some provide cheap or free accommodations for the new bands. But don’t expect them to do that. What you have to give up though is to treat a Showcase Festival as a normal festival where you should get your usual fee and rider and accommodation.
Sorry, the Showcase Festival is not a place where you gather new fans. The showcase festival gives you an opportunity to develop your career. Meeting the people that can take you to the next level. The Showcase Festival offers you their hard-worked network.
Doing that and on top paying unknown artists, a fee is just not possible. It’s like when you work in the PR sidein the music business and unknown bands think they give me the offer to interview them? Or me calling up a newspaper telling them that they should pay to interview me.
Yes, you can do that when you have a bigger value. Showcase Festivals are after artists that are under construction, they don’t have a value yet. If an artist that actually is that big comes around on a Showcase Festival it’s for a purpose like they want to showcase to get contacts in a new market they don’t have. Still, they play for the same amount of money as the new ones, nothing at all. Most of the time the Showcase Festivals say no to already established artists. Most because the artists don’t understand the difference between a showcase festival and a festival. Actually, it’s usually not artists. In most cases some inexperienced booking agent that jumps on everything that has the word festival in its name for an artist that has gone out of fashion a decade ago. Or trying to get fees for an artist that really has no value, in reality, to look good in front of the artist or don’t have their shit together economically.
If you have the value to play a normal festival with a fee you really don’t need the Showcase Festival. If you don’t want to play for free because it’s one of your decisions. Great, you don’t need to play at a Showcase Festival. You can so by doing gigs in your local area expanding out to be big. The Showcase Festival can be the highway out on the international market and an international professional team. See that as the bullet train to an international career. The slow train also takes you out on the international market, it’s cheaper and takes a longer time. This is a choice, tough but both ways are ok.
Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. As well he recently worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes scheduled for September 16-18, 2021.