IBMA Gig Fair

This morning IBMA sponsored their Gig Fair, where bands had an opportunity for brief, one-on-one meetings with representatives from more than 30 major festivals and concert series. Though bands had been able to pre-set appointments in advance, anyone who attended could meet with the promoters on a round robin, catch-as-catch-can format that resembled nothing so much as “speed dating.”

Meetings were limited to 7 minutes, at the end of which all the band reps would hop up, scramble on to another appointment, or grab the chance to meet with whichever promoter had a seat open at their table. Such a short time allowed each band to pass along promotional materials and make their best pitch, but not much time for serious discussion or follow up questions. Some bands simply handed over a typical press kit, while others brought video or multimedia presentations on laptop computers.

From what we could see, the event was well attended with a mix of new and journeyman acts, including a number of well known and somewhat established bands. All the promoters seemed to take these meetings seriously, listening to the pitches from the bands and examining their press materials carefully.

We had the chance to meet with a few of the acts that attended the Gig Fair, and while none reported booking any dates at their meetings, they all felt that it had been a worthwhile exercise, if for no other reason than to put a face with a voice on the phone, and make a direct, personal contact with promoters.

We took a number of photos during this morning’s Gig Fair, in a gallery below.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.