santa cruz bands

SCUM Fest - Saturday, May 8 - 2 PM - 10 PM

Santa Cruz Underground Music presents SCUMfest!  Performances will be at SubRosa and the Bike Church

A FREE, all-day concert which showcases the local music of Santa Cruz, with performances by:


While this is a free event, all donations made at the door will benefit the SubRosa Infoshop and The Bike Church. There will also be opportunities to donate to La Fabrica and The Santa Cruz Needle Exchange.

Please respect the spaces which are hosting, and remember that this is a drug-free/booze-free event. You can be a good guest and still have a good time.

Accroding to the SCUM Facebook page, the list above represents the bands currently confirmed to play, and may be subject to change. However, they are no longer accepting applications.

SCUM (Santa Cruz Underground Music) is a loosely organized group of folks interested in booking and promoting DIY shows, networking and gathering resources, supporting each other in musical and artistic endeavors, and building a culturally rich community. SCUM meetings are the first Saturday of the month at 3pm at 107 Blackburn and the third Sunday of the month at 3pm at 215 Storey. Bring snacks and ideas if you have them!

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),

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 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 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

Acoustic Panels all in


After much delay we finally received our full shipment of acoustic panels. Life is good.