As previously mentioned, a roster should develop its own identity. Talent buyers will remember good rosters and the agents that run them. This will make it easier for the agent to develop their network.
Here’s three other things to consider which will help develop your roster
there’s gold in them there hills!
There are quite literally hundreds of festivals in the UK, here’s a list on Wikipedia, but in fact, that doesn’t include hundreds more outdoor events. If you have a deep address book and don’t mind contacting lots of people then there is a big market for small(ish) bands.
They are always party bands of one sort or another, upbeat and enjoyed by drinking crowds. They also tend to be the type of band that get asked to do private functions and weddings; which can be very lucrative. They can still be cool! They can still be original! So choose carefully.
Variety really is the spice of life!
The number of acts you represent won’t be huge and it’s likely they will come from similar genres. These two facts make it all too easy to end up with a roster that is not very diverse. Diversity in small numbers is difficult to achieve, however, be aware of the diversity in your roster and consider it when you are signing new acts.
Hands across the ocean!
Artists from abroad can be great additions to your roster – not only do they add a cosmopolitan aspect – but they will also help you develop a network of people from their host country. This, in turn, can often help you tour your domestic acts abroad. It can be a great excuse for a (working) holiday. However remember, just because they are well known in their home country, doesn’t mean they will be well known in another. Also be mindful that geopolitical, economic, and health changes can have a radical effect on travel and availability. So sign a few foreign acts, but do the research first, there’s no point bringing an artist into the country to empty rooms…
The Ideal Roster…
Remember this is something you are working towards. When you start as an agent, you will have more emerging talent and fewer consistent tourers. It’s a journey that has no end because your roster will continue to evolve over time. However you have to keep working at it – and this, in itself, will get you close to your ideal roster!
So in summary
- You’ll want 2-3 genres maximum and it’s useful if there is some cross-over, this will help give your roster identity.
- Avoid outliers, where you have one artist who is very different from the rest of your roster.
- You’ll want a few emerging artists but not too many and not too early in their careers.
- You will need enough artists so you are working on 4 – 6 at any one time, this will keep you alive.
- It’s a good idea to have a couple of upbeat bands for festival work and private events.
- Keep diversity in mind and work towards a balance where you can.
- Sign a few artists from abroad, they will add depth to your roster and help with foreign relationships too