If you’re thinking about using Craigslist to find your next live entertainer, you might want to read this first. The infamous “Craigslist” is actually usually overlooked and laughed away at a place full of scammers, creeps and unprofessionals. Well, yes, these people for some reason do gravitate towards this platform for whatever strange reason, BUT if you know how to use it, this site is actually a little treasure trove of good opportunities for many, including people trying to book live music.
How to use Craigslist the WRONG way:
Click on “musicians” and scroll through the endless listings that include posts like this:
“death core band searching for hype man to disembowel themselves on stage”
“serious singer looking for drummer for live shows: sorry, no pay ever”
“legendary guitar player no know has ever heard of available for your next private show in your basement”
You will immediately realize you now know the world is five times weirder than you thought and still don’t have a live performer.
How to use Craigslist the RIGHT way:
Click on “Create Post”. Follow the instructions that Craigslist instructs you to: include the date, time, which kind of genre/band you are looking for:
You can request your performer by genre:
Example of a good post:
"I am looking for a performer who can play top 40’s songs on the acoustic guitar"
Or you can request your performer by what artists they are similar to:
Steve Miller Band
"I am looking for a performer who plays music similar to: Sublime, Jack Johnson, John Mayer"
If you have any professional pictures of your establishment, an event flyer or any digital media, post it when you are prompted to the “upload pictures” section.
After you have all the into submitted, your post will be up for 30 days. It costs $10 to post your ad, which is extremely low if you consider that most entertainment sites and agencies are going to charge anywhere from 10% to 50% of your fee for booking an artist, so keep that in mind. Now with Craigslist, you will get a mix of completely unprofessional responses and very professional responses, so make sure when you are scrolling through your email, you go to each artists website and watch their videos and read their client testimonials. If they don’t have a great looking website, client testimonials and videos of them playing DO. NOT. BOOK. THEM. These are absolutely 100% essential indicators that the person you are booking is a professional. With a little time and patience, you should have a few very good options to choose from.
Congratulations, you have now earned your yellow belt in navigating Craigslist. May the force be with you.
(and also with you). Just make sure you don’t go to the personal ads after 9PM, it’s a scary place.
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