Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians

How to Make Your EPK Appeal to Festival Bookers: Advice From The Marquee

Success Story - The MarqueePhoto courtesy of the artist

If you've ever submitted to a gig, licensing opportunity, or songwriting contest, then you know the importance of a strong EPK that accurately represents your accomplishments and fanbase. The promoters and judges on the other end want to see your social media presence, Spotify play count, YouTube views, press quotes, performance history, and more. NYC-based rock band The Marquee knows just how far you're able to go when you consistently update your EPK, hone in on what makes you unique, and you're as professional as can be. Through this independent band's hard work, they've found themselves playing major festivals like CMJ and CBGB, and are now gearing up for a Northeast tour.

However, it didn't happen right away – they were submitting to performance opportunities for a while with a press kit they created on their own, but they weren't getting responses. Once they created a professional EPK on Sonicbids, they told us, they noticed that promoters started taking them more seriously, and they started getting booked for more and more shows. So what is it about the content of The Marquee's new EPK that's been getting them selected for more opportunities? Here's what we found out.

Through Sonicbids, your music has made its way to big stages like CBGB and CMJ. Congratulations on such huge accomplishments! What was the application process like for those festivals, and what do you think it was about your submissions that stood out enough to get selected?

When we applied, the process was pretty simple. Both CBGB and CMJ were looking for bands from all over to play, but who had a good work ethic – artists and bands that would work with them to make the festival big! And seeing that both festivals were in our hometown, I think they took that into consideration. I think that our application was well updated. Also, our EP had just been released and was being well-received, so it helped us stand out enough to be asked to play.

What's your EPK like now? How often do you tweak and update it?

Our EPK is as updated as can be. When we do play shows and tour, we try and update it with the latest performance videos from shows we play along the way. When we're not touring, we usually tend to just keep our social media presence strong, seeing that all our accounts are linked to the EPK.

In your experience, what are the key elements of a great EPK? How do you keep it organized and professional?

A good EPK is always updated with the latest music, pictures, and videos you have, along with all of your social media accounts and websites you have out there, connected all in one place. If you're missing your Facebook link or Spotify link, or your most current music or videos, it can be a make or break an opportunity.

[5 Ways to Make Your Sonicbids EPK Stand Out From the Crowd]

Is there anything you wish you knew about booking when you were first starting out?

You can have the best EPK in the world, but at the end of the day it's still the promoter's decision. You just have to hope that they like you enough to call back.

If you could give one piece of advice to an independent band looking to get their music on bigger stages, what would it be?

Be consistent. Even if you're not playing shows, be proactive in all other parts of the band. Promoting, talking to fans, making videos, writing and recording music. There is always something to get out there. You don't have to flood your Facebook with pictures every day, but make sure to check in every other day with something worth sharing.

Who has viewed your EPK?