making noise

Homebrewed Tunes - Tips on How to book a show at the Parish Publick House

Full text to my Parish Publlick House blog lives on The Good Times Making Noise blog.

How to book a show at  The Parish Publick House

The Parish Publick House

841 Almar Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95067 (831) 421-0507

21 + after 9 PM

Booking contact: Erik Granath

Preferred method of contact: Call Erik to discuss you band at (831) 421-0507. Drop of a CD and press kit in person and he will try to give it a listen. Email is reserved for specs/details after you have connected via phone or in person.

Timing:  Booking about 2 months in advance.

Days:  Live music is usually Thurs/Fri/Sat nights

Genres:  Think strings - country, punk inspired folk, bluegrass, singer/songwriters, blues.

Capacity: 110

Payment: It’s more about getting your music heard but talk to Erik about working it out.

Equipment:  Rudimentary PA System. It is a small space so not much amplification is needed. This isn’t a club, it is a pub that hosts some live music so come prepared.

Typical start time? After dinner and hockey games end – usually about 10 PM - Midnight

Food/Drink:  You will probably get some, especially if you sound good.

Booking mostly local or touring bands? Open to both local and touring bands. A great stop for bands playing San Francico and then driving through as they tour the coast.

Also books the Maiden Publick House in Big Sur, CA.

Success Stories:

 First show they booked was Fire Whiskey, other local favorites include Tater Famine (Monday, April 26). Touring favorites include Larry and his Flask (Monday, April 26),

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.

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 or

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

How to book a show at The Crepe Place

The Crepe Place1134 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz, CA

All Ages

Booking contact: Adam Bergeron • How to Introduce Yourself: Fill out the web form on The Crepe Place website. Do NOT call. Do not drop off a hard copy CD/demo. • Timing: The Crepe Place books about 3 months in advance. • Days: Live music booked almost every day of the week. • Genres: Indie rock, country, folk, funk • Capacity: 100 • Payment: Typically The Crepe Place splits show proceeds 70/30 with the band. The venues 30% is used to cover the door and the sound engineer. • Equipment: The Crepe Place provides standard venue equipment including PA, monitors, mics/stands, DI boxes. The band is responsible for bringing their guitar and bass amps. • Food: As a courtesy The Crepe Place feeds the band and provides drink tickets.

Generally every night includes a 2-3 band package and each band does a 40 minute set. A typical night breaks down something like: Doors @ 8:00 PM Opening Act - 9:00 – 9:40 Middle Act – 10:00 – 10:40 Closing Act – 11:00 – 11:40 (or Midnight if larger headline band)

*Helpful Hint* When your set is over, don’t hop off the stage and hit the bar, make sure you break down and clear the stage for the next band that needs to set up.

Booking Guidelines:

  1. Pick the Right Venue. Visit The Crepe Place before you send a booking inquiry. Notice the type of music being played; notice the type of crowd that is coming out for the show. Recognize that The Crepe Place is a restaurant that also does live music. It is important for The Crepe Place to keep ALL of their customers happy, those coming out to a show in the front of the house, and those having dinner in the back of the house. If you are an ear bleeding death metal band, be realistic about the fact that this is not the right venue for you. Trying to force a square peg into a round hole doesn’t help anyone and can just be a waste of time for all involved. 
  2. Understand the business. The Crepe Place, like all venues, can only operate if they make money. It is very easy for a venue to lose money on a show. Before you send a booking request, you need to be confident that your band can draw at least 50-75 people out to the show on a weeknight night. Playing to an empty room hurts everyone. The venue loses money, you lose respect and it will be nearly impossible to book another show at the venue again.
  3. Give the venue what they want. Adam appreciates when band inquiries are concise but specific. Make sure to always include your band name, the date you want to book and a link to hear your music. Instead of the generic “Booking” or “We Want to Play the Crepe Place” subject line, instead try “Band Name – Date You Want to Play – Descriptive Term”. Think your correspondence through.
  4. Package Yourself. If you know that a typical night at The Crepe Place includes 2-3 bands, pitch your own package. Think about bands you have played with before or that you share friend groups with. A perfect scenario is 2-3 like-minded, but still unique bands on the same bill. Remember some basic band etiquette, if you on the bill with other bands, don’t bail after your set and take all your friends with you, stay and support the other bands.
  5. Promote. Everyone wants a show to succeed and one way to help make that happen is to promote the show locally. When you send a booking inquiry to The Crepe Place let Adam know what you will do to promote the show – be specific.

 If you have done all of this and you don’t hear back from Adam, please don’t take it personally. The reality is that not everyone gets a show. It doesn’t mean your band is not great or that you should stop trying to build your career, but there are only so many days in each month.

The Crepe Place books not only local bands, but touring regional and national acts as well.

This is the first in my series for the Good Times Making Noise blog. If you have a SC Music question you would like me to investigate - email me