Every year we wait for the highly anticipated Coachella festival lineup to be announced across their social platforms. Coachella is arguably the most talked about music festival every year which means when an artist is able to book a spot on the lineup — it is a huge moment for their career. Of course, we all look at the lineup and are familiar with the headliners and other names on the list, but have you ever seen artists you don’t recognize? Have you ever wondered which agencies and labels are behind the booking?
Have you ever looked at a music festival lineup and wondered how the artists booked that festival? Luckily @rostr.cc created a graphic that looks just like the lineup, but the artist names are replaced with the agency that booked them:
Now let’s break it down by agency…
Wasserman is a multi-faceted agencies that helps to amplify brands and clients such as elite NHL players, musicians from multiple genres, technology and entertainment professionals, and lifestyle influencers. Wasserman calls themselves a “family of brands” as they have five different channels displayed on their website to show for everything they do.
Laundry Service: specializing in media buying, creative, and production — Laundry Service is a full-service agency, but more for people with expertise in digital marketing and social media.
Cycle: Helps to give brands, companies, and influencers curated content ensured to reach your target audience.
Wasserman Next Gen: This branch connects with a lot of younger people, usually college-aged, and gets them more involved in analyzing consumer insights, audience strategy, campus media, and mobile tours.
The Collective: This division empowers women on all levels of branding, business, and career development.
Athlete Exchange: Assists athletes with landing talent endorsements and how to create branded content.
Wasserman represents a multitude of clients (click here for the full roster) such as Billie Eilish, Louis Tomlinson, and girl in red.
United Talent Agencies is one of the world’s leading entertainment and talent companies. UTA has various sectors such as music, news and broadcast, theatre, fine arts, motion pictures, comedy, audio, and so much more. They represent a variety of clients across all sectors, but some of the names you may recognize (click here for the full roster) on their list of musicians are Aly & AJ, Bad Bunny, and the Jonas Brothers.
APA Agency proudly represents actors, musicians, directors, authors, etc. They specialize in brand partnerships, public relations, concert touring, and the performing arts. Originating in 1962, they have taken in a variety of music artists to represent ranging anywhere from Fetty Wap to Michelle Branch.
The William Morris Endeavor Agency represents clients in all walks of life varying from culinary, entertainment, and lifestyle. WME Agency has a tab on their site called “social responsibility” where they speak about how important their ecological footprint is and how they give their employees volunteer hours every year to better the community. They also have a wide network of other agencies such as IMG and Dixon Talent, Inc. open for their clients to use. Some artists they represent that you may recognize are Hozier, Hot Chip, and Huddy.
How do musicians book music festivals?
There are so many agencies out there, and once an artist decides to be represented by one, they will be assigned a booking agent. Booking agents are there to help tell the artists’ story, develop a touring strategy and pitches for future projects, and calculate all possible expenses the artist may need to spend in order to get to the end goal to getting to the festival, hotels, transportation, stage setup, tech equipment, stage crew, band, etc. There are so many costs that most people don’t even think of, and that is what a booking agent is there for.
Before an artist goes about signing with a booking agency, they first want to tackle some other things:
As far as music goes, artists need to ensure their music is readily available across all streaming platforms. Artists also need to make sure they have performed in front of a live audience on multiple occasions, even if it’s for a smaller crowd, you can never practice too much. If you are an artist, you also want to be sure you are creating or have already created a personal brand for yourself. This gives your audience something to identify with you, especially if you have one or two colors you use a lot or a particular font you want to use on all of your press releases/tour announcements for at least a few years. Another huge step is having an EPK (electronic press kit) available to send someone at any given time. An EPK is basically a visual pitch of the artist, their brand, their music genre, and helps further your chances for booking shows/gigs in the future. And lastly, you can never network too much! Get on LinkedIn, go to networking events and concerts and speak to the professionals that are already working the shows and make connections!
Here is an article that goes more in depth about the process of signing with a booking agency and what an artist first needs to accomplish before sitting down with any agencies.
Featured image: Bad Bunny via CNN taken by Kevin Winter, BG image via NY Times taken by Rich Fury