For artists who want to prospect for opportunities at festivals and conferences, there’s a lot of choices out there. When deciding whether or not to apply or attend, costs are often the deciding factor.
So let’s start with the costs of applying and attending.
- Application Fee
- Showcase Fee
- Hotel/Camping Costs
- Food Costs
- Booth, Program, Printing/Marketing Costs
- Travel Costs
Artists often pay $2000 or more to perform at festivals and conferences, going into debt for a chance at getting gigs to recoup over the following years.
Other factors and criteria
A lot of preparation often goes into these trips, and much of that centers around making your act stand out among dozens, hundreds, or maybe thousands of artists. Aside from getting invited, and getting there, you have to put extreme effort to get people to notice you and/or attend your showcase performances.
Results vary greatly. Most artists have to justify the trip with the intangible benefits of a fun and exciting weekend, because the resulting gigs are too few and too small to recoup their investment.
Is there another way?
I’ve been frustrated by this model for a long time, and six years ago I created something very different. Our Listening Room Festival was designed to create a profitable tour in addition to a showcase opportunity, in front of the largest gathering of house concert presenters in the world.
Here’s how It works.
- One fee – the application.
- Bonus for all applicants – Most judges are active house concert presenters – showcase or not, you get seen by people who can book you.
Listening Room Festival Acts get:
- Bookings – at 2-4 house concerts and a powerful showcase.
- Lodging – covered by volunteer hosts, some meals included.
- Extra – free membership to ConcertsInYourHome.com * ($245 value)
- Travel – not covered, but many acts use CIYH network to book house concerts to and from the festival.
Most importantly, most of the shows require very little promotion, and this may be the only festival or conference where there are more gigs/venues than artists.
We tweak this model every year, but we’re delighted with the results and the amazing talent we’ve attracted and served. Most of them plant enough seeds in one weekend to make Florida one of their favorite states to tour every year.
*6 month membership awarded to artists who are not members of CIYH. Acts who are already members of CIYH are awarded 3 extra months to their membership.