Pitching for a show

Record ShopIf the artist is already well known and selling several hundred tickets a night. Then you probably won’t need pitch at all, you will likely have a network of specific promoters across the country and you can get straight on with organising where the show will take place and the deal.

However, for most artists, you’ll need to pitch them to someone. You will need to grab their attention so that they become interested and then respond. There are many ways to pitch an act, but one thing is definitely true; when you are working with talent in the 50 – 200 capacity range, you will need to approach a lot of potential promoters… you will need to use email. You will not have time to phone them all. The phone can come later…

There is no “One size fits all” approach to pitching, however, we do have a house style and we have learnt that certain things work well.

I’ll pull these apart a bit here:

The Subject line:

Lots of email goes unopened, if you get past the spambots, then your Subject is what gets read first – So it’s a good idea to get some key info into the subject.

  • Emoji – to draw attention
  • Artist in block capitals
  • Type of performance
  • When you want it to happen
  • Personalise it with the company name of promoter or venue

For Example

🌻MAD DOG MCREA ~ UK Autumn Tour 2022 ~ Salisbury Arts Centre

⭐️AMY MONTGOMERY ~ Festival Pitch, Summer 2022 ~ Latitude

The Body:

The Greeting:

Just say “Hi John” or “Dear John” Keep it simple, don’t say Alright Chap! or Hey Dude. Psychologically people want a reason not to read an email, if they don’t like the greeting they may not read it, and if it is addressed to no one, they probably won’t read it. Then say something nice like, “Hope you are well

The Draw:

People are busy and they can’t be bothered to read reams of closely spaced text. You may have heard of the abbreviation TLDR or “Too long didn’t read”, it’s very real, your email needs to be brief, but sell the artist and cover key points, at the same time.

So write a very short paragraph that draws attention. Include a link to a video in that first line. Don’t be afraid to give it some flair

For Example: “I am writing to pitch BBC Folk Award Winner, Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman for the duo’s next UK tour. Click HERE to see the duo in action at THE ALBERT HALL.”

Another tip is to ask a question, this can compel people to reply. For example: “I am super excited about the artist and would like to get your thoughts as well, what do you think about this video?”

The Parameters:

Bullet points are good for the next bit, which adds parameters about what you are after, you don’t need to use all these, perhaps you want the promoter to be able to make up their own mind for some parts and that in itself is part of the attraction.

  • Tour window – March – April 2022
  • Ticket Price – At least £17.50
  • Venue size – 100 – 250 cap seated
  • Promoter books local support
The Call To Action:

At this point I would put in a “Call to action” something like this:

To be part of this tour, contact me now with your avails and proposals!

Then I would direct them to further notes below.

“To find out more about Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman I have copied and pasted info and links below the signature.”

This makes it look more like an addendum and has the effect of making the email appear shorter than it really is.

The Signature:

If possible use a signature with your face in it.

The EPK:

Then below the Signature , I would include the

  • one low-res embedded image
  • Social Links
  • Short bio that contains facts, stats and achievements, but doesn’t waffle. The recipient won’t care about your opinion
  • Video links including the best one, which you also used above. Soundcloud or streaming links will be ignored by most purchasers, so try and stick to video – but don’t send crap video just for the sake of it, that’s a big no-no
  • Press quotes

Once you have sent the email, use it as a template to send multiple versions to promoters or venues you think are appropriate. For this example, you only need to change the recipient’s name & their company in the subject. But don’t forget to do that! Do NOT spam, each mail must be sent separately and you need to have a reason for sending each one to each recipient.

What you do next will depend on your relationship with the recipient.

If you don’t know the recipient: After you have sent many emails you should start to get some responses. If there are key people you haven’t heard back from, remind them by replying to your original email with a reminder such as “Were you considering a date with “Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman?”. Or perhaps now is the time to call the programmer and impress them with your sales patter.

If you know the recipient: I would ring them sooner, maybe the next day, or straight away – with the email acting as a record for them to reply to after you have spoken to them.

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