Even isolated by coronabastard, I prefer to work as a team. There’s a social aspect for sure, but that’s only one part of it. In a team, you can spread the load, focus on specific things, get really good at your thing and rely on others to get good at their thing. It’s not rocket science – you get more done as a team. They are not without challenges, it takes time to structure a team and keep the communication relevant. It’s too easy to crack on with your thing and lose sight of what else is going on around you. The virus made teamwork hard, furlough made it harder.
The virus has presented many challenges for live music booking agents. Small agencies have ground to a financial halt. Larger agencies that run payroll can’t afford to pay salaries. There is a lot of people out there with the skills and networks who are now turning to other work. They may become lost to the industry – which is not good.
In a team, you can get really good at your thing and rely on others to get good at their thing.
Before the age of coronavirus (was that a song?) I wanted to increase the size of our team faster than the company could afford. I was ready to invest in agents with mature rosters – but they were hard to find in rural Somerset. I had this idea knocking around that we could employ agents on a freelance basis. This could work really well for an agent with a mature roster, but it doesn’t work for new agents with new acts. There’s just not enough money in it.
Times have changed…
The freelance approach to increasing team size has some very real advantages now, which it didn’t have before. As a freelancer, you can have the benefits and support of being part of a team, whilst at the same time book when you want. This makes it possible to organise your time around other work and keep your “oar in” as a booking agent. Sure it’s not easy, but if you’ve lost your job and want to hang on to your roster for the future – it could be a good option.
That’s why I have reintroduced and rebranded the idea. It’s called the Agent Freelancer Platform and you can read more about it here. As a company, I want to help good booking agents now, to help ourselves further down the line.
The next step is how we can provide grants to successful candidates so they can spend more time doing what they do best. We are working on that as well.
Comment below! It would be good to hear your take on this…