Tips for local bands on how to book a show at The Crepe Place
As local bands come up the ranks from street corner to coffee shop to house party, they eventually reach the point where they’re ready to hit the big stage. While getting your name in lights (or at least on a flyer) may seem like an impossible mission, I’d like to give you—or the aspiring musos in your life—a fighting chance.
Hitting the stage doesn’t have to be a heartbreaking struggle, and I’m here to do the local music scene homework that all bands should be assigned. To kick off this “How to Book a Show” blog series for local musicians, I’ve spoken to the man behind the concerts of the Crepe Place (1134 Soquel Avenue), booker Adam Bergeron.
First, some background.
Bergeron learned the ropes in the music industry running several venues including San Francisco indie rock institution, 12 Galaxies, for more than five years. Since taking over the Crepe Place, he’s successfully transformed the restaurant’s front room into Santa Cruz’s own indie rock foundation, attracting both local and national talent. The Crepe Place hits capacity at about 100 people for live shows, has no stage, and in Bergeron’s own words is “oddly shaped.” Still, show after show it’s proven that there lies some magic in that room.
If your band would like to get booked at the Crepe Place there are a few simple guidelines that will help your chances. Recognize that the venue is a restaurant that also does live music. If you are an ear bleeding death metal band, be realistic about the fact that that this is not a match made in Heaven. The Crepe Place, like all venues, can only operate if it makes money. It may sound obvious, but many bands don’t realize how easy it is for a venue to lose money on a show. Any band that wants to book needs to be confident that they can draw at least 50-75 people out to the show on a weeknight.
Bergeron appreciates when band inquiries are concise and specific. Don’t leave out the pertinent info—the details that may seem obvious to you likely remain unknown to the rest of the world: Make sure to always include your band name, the date you want to book a gig, and provide a link to hear your music. Sending over an inquiry that only says “I want to play the Crepe Place!” will guarantee your e-mail gets deleted faster than the latest “Male Enhancement Medicine” spam.
If you have done all of this and you don’t hear back from Bergeron, don’t take it personally. The reality is that you are one of many and not everyone gets a show. It doesn’t mean your band isn’t great or that you should stop trying to build your career, it means there are only so many days in each month. Keep in mind that the Crepe Place books not only local bands, but touring regional and national acts as well.
The good news is that success stories abound. Take for example Quinn DeVeaux, a singer-songwriter who was just another name in the booking inbox. Today Quinn is Quinn DeVeaux and The Blue Beat Review; he went from a solo act to a six-piece band that’s now in high demand around the Bay Area. Recently he pulled off a sold out show at, yep, the Crepe Place
For more details on how to book at the Crepe Place, go to http://santacruzrehearsalstudios.wordpress.com/category/how-to/
Coming up next in this series: “Love Letter: How to Write an Inquiry Letter to Book a Show.”