d-i-y booking

Bikers, Booze and Bands

Tips on How to book a show at Henflings Roadhouse Tavern 9450 Highway 9 Ben Lomond, CA 95005 (831) 336-9318


Full text of this blog is available on the Good Times Making Noise blog.


  • Booking contact: Kim McFarland
  • Preferred method of contact: email - henflingsmusic@gmail.com (make sure you include a MySpace or YouTube link so Kim can hear the music). You can also drop off a CD at the bar anytime (attention Kim). If you drop off a CD, make sure there is a sticker on it with your contact information.
  • Timing: Currently booking August/September (about 2 months out)
  • Days: Music or event 6 nights a week. Tuesday is only day no music (pool event). Wednesday is punk/metal. Thursday is more acoustic/blues/country – peppering in blues and rock. Friday harder rock. Saturday blues/rock something you can dance too. Sunday blues band you can dance to.
  • Genres: Primarily blues and rock. No hip-hop, rap, techno, not a lot of reggae or jazz.
  • Capacity: inside about 100 (more if you count outside deck areas).
  • Payment:  Paid on a band by band basis.
  • Equipment: Venue provides sound engineer and whole PA with mics – just bring in instruments.
  • Typical show start time? 9:00 PM unless special events or larger bill / 1 band show 9-1ish but if 2 bands or bigger events, start earlier.
  • What makes a successful show? Bring in people who drink. If the bar has 40-50 people drinking, you will be asked back. If you don't have a local draw but your music is that good, Henflings will help and put you on a bill with a band that does.
  • 99% of all Henflings shows are free (no cover).

Stand out show for Kim = French punk rock

Play My Favorite Song - Tips on How to Book at Show at the Seabright Brewery and the Wharf House

Full text of this blog is found at the Good Times Making Noise site.

Seabright Brewery 519 Seabright Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062 831-426-BREW (2739) http://www.seabrightbrewery.com/

Wharf House Restaurant 1400 Wharf Road at the end of the Capitola Wharf Capitola, California 95010 831.476.3534 http://www.wharfhouse.com/

  • Booking contact:  Michelle Rossi

Mailing Address 4165 Portola Dr Santa Cruz CA, 95062 (831) 475-9197

  • Preferred method of contact: Mail or drop off a press kit and CD. The most important thing to include is a set list so Michelle can see what kind of music you will be doing for four hours. You can call to follow-up.
  • Timing: Booking about 2 months in advance.  
  • Days:  Friday nights
  • Genres: R&B is hot right now. Upbeat, danceable. Blues, Classic rock. Cover songs that people recognize. Open to all good music though. Michelle looks for a quark about the band, something special that sets you apart.
  • Capacity: Can fit more people in the summer when the weather is good and people can use the outside area at the Brewery.
  • Payment: Varies and will be negotiated with Michelle in advance.
  • Equipment: Bring your own.
  • Stage area? How many members fit comfortably?
  • Typical show start time? Show starts at 6:30 and goes until about 10:30
  • Booking mostly local or touring bands? All local within a three hour driving distance. Michelle likes to be able to have bands that the crowd loves back again (which is much harder with touring bands that are not often in the area).

Tips for Local Bands on How to Book The Crows Nest

How to book a show at The Crows Nest

The Crows Nest 2218 East Cliff Drive Santa Cruz, CA

All Ages &  21 + depending on show

Booking contact: Blaine Neagley 

Preferred method of contact: Receiving a bio/photo/band history and CD. You can drop the package off at the hostess station anytime, or mail to Blaine at the Crows Nest address.

Timing: The Crows Nest is booking about 3 months in advance.

Days: Live music booked Wednesday – Saturday (Sunday is reserved for Comedy)

Genres: rock n’ roll, oldies, soul, reggae. Weekday nights the venue is open to edgier bands that draw a younger crowd.

Capacity: 180 + two outdoor decks (so 200+ total)

Payment: Weeknights bands get 100% of the door ($5 cover) up to $300. Weekends and beach party bands received a negotiated guarantee.

Equipment: The Crows Nest has a complete PA system, mics and stands. They do not provide a sound engineer and bands should bring their own backline.

Booking Guidelines:

The Crows Nests likes to stick with local bands; you won’t see many touring acts competing for slots.

New bands usually start out on Thursday nights to test their draw. If the band does well on a few weeknights, they will be moved up to a weekend slot. If the band continues to impress, they will be considered for a summer beach party night.

Sunday is designated for comedy. If you are not a comedy act, don’t try to book on a Sunday.

Full text to my Crow’s Nest blog lives on The Good Times Making Noise blog.

Lounging Around - How to book a show at the Cypress Lounge


The Cypress Lounge 120 Union Street Santa Cruz, CA

All Ages or  21 + depending on show

Booking contact: Ashton Hodge 

Preferred method of contact: Email cypressloungesc@gmail.com or drop off a press kit and CD in person daily after 4 PM.

Timing: The Cypress Lounge is booking about 3 months in advance for Friday/Saturday night slots. Less advance notice is needed for Tuesday/Wednesday night slots.

Days: Live music booked almost every day of the week.

Genres: Reggae, funk, blues, light rock, lounge, DJ

Capacity: 200

Payment: For up and coming bands, The Cypress Lounge will give bands 10% of sales for the duration of their show (no door cover charged). Once a band is more established and has a proven draw, a larger percentage can be negotiated.

Equipment: The Cypress Lounge provides speakers and amps.  The band is responsible for bringing a sound board, mics, stands and any other essentials they need. 

Food: As a courtesy The Cypress Lounge provides a $50 drink/meal credit to the band. 

Booking Guidelines:

When you email an inquiry include the following information:

  • Band name
  • Website/MySpace
  • Genre
  • Influences
  • Are you looking for a weekday or weekend slot (remember, you have to EARN a weekend slot!).
  • Three references (even if it is just your mom’s birthday party, let them know the last 3 places you played)

Tuesday/Wednesday nights the music permit is only until 10 PM so all shows start early and typically run from about 7-10 PM. Less established bands should target these weeknights. If you can draw 40+ people on a Tues/Wed night, the venue will consider moving you up to a weekend spot the next time around.

Thursday is reggae night. If you are not a reggae act, don’t try to book on a Thursday.

Friday/Saturday are primetime and your band should be able to draw at least 150 out to the show. Music permits go later on the weekend, so your show can start later and doesn’t have to end until 1 AM (space closes at 1:30 AM on the weekend).

The space is also open to group parties, events and showcases. They have hosted everything from Mardi Gras costume party to an upcoming Cirque de Sol style aerial event.

Original Good Times Making Noise Blog Post can be viewed HERE.

Love Letter - How Bands Should Write an Inquiry Letter to Book a Show

This is the second in my series for the Good Times Making Noise blog.  Below is some additional information to my original post on how to write a booking inquiry. Dear (Insert venue booker name here),

ABC band is interested in booking ABC venue on June 4.

Best Practice: Included you band name and the date you want to book right away. You can also give a date range if you are working on routing your tour. For example – We are interested in playing ABC venue during the month of June, June 4 is our ideal date, but we would also be in the area between June 7-20.

We are a four-piece band (guitars, bass, drums, vocals) with a female lead singer.

Best Practice: Give your 30 second “elevator pitch”. Pretend you are in an elevator with someone you just met, they ask you about your band and you need to explain it in 30 seconds.

We have been described as power pop and trash-rock revivalists. Our music could be compared to early Kinks or the Strokes.

Best Practice: Categorizing your band and/or sound is a necessary evil. You need to give people some sort of frame of reference to help them assess you as a potential act. Even if your band goes on to win a Grammy, it will still be in a category, so best to pick one now.

You can listen to song samples at www.MySpace.com/ABCband or www.ABCband.com.

Best Practice: All bands should have a MySpace page. Many bookers will go straight to MySpace to check out your song samples. Giving them a direct link will just speed up the process. Also provide links to any other meaningful press or reviews.

Our last show was on Monday, January 12, and we drew 50 people to the ABC Bar. If we play a weekend night, we are confident we will draw more than 100 people.

Best Practice: Give concrete examples. Even if you do not have previous shows to mention, reference the last house party you played or how much money you made the last time you played a street corner – something to let the booker know that you have an audience.

We have a local Santa Cruz mailing list of 100 contacts as well as a MySpace page with 500 fans, a Facebook page with 200 fans and 50 followers on Twitter.

We will have a flier produced within two weeks of our show confirmation. We will print 100 copies and distribute them to local record stores, coffee shops and UC Santa Cruz.

Best Practice: Let the booker know exactly what you will do for them to help promote the show. The more invested you are in the success of the show; the better it will work for everyone. Also include any creative marketing ideas or examples you might have.

We have a relationship with A SECOND band and A THIRD band and feel that we would make a powerful package that will sell out your venue.

Best Practice: If you have relationships with like-minded bands let the venue know. If you can help them build a package for the entire night, you just made their job a lot easier.

We appreciate your consideration and would be happy to bring by our current CD and press kit if you are interested.

Thanks, ABC Band Contact Info Band Website

If you have a SC Music question you would like me to investigate – email me jenn@santacruzrehearsalstudios.com