Unless expressly indicated, Plain Parade hosts "21 and over" shows. You need to be at least 21 years of age to gain admittance. You need to present a government issued photo I.D. to our door staff to gain admittance. Unfortunately we have no room for leniency in this regard.
Plain Parade can only accomodate approximately 10-15 acts per month. To make our job manageable, we have the following requirements:
It's been hard to get a show with Plain Parade. What should I do?
The volume of emails in our booking account is ridiculous. Sometimes we get as many as 60 emails a day. If you've already written us, don't leave another. We encourage you to be persistent, but there are a million reasons why you may not have heard back from us yes, including being scatter-brained at times. But we are not malicious, we're just swamped. You will hear from us if we believe there's a show for you.
It's an impractical system, but we're working to the fullest of our capacity. Please remember that we have day jobs! (and its not booking shows.) Eventually through some small miracle we will hook up so please don't lose hope.
Can I call you and try to get on a show?
Absolutely not. We do not handle our booking over the telephone. We only book over events by email.
How do I go about getting a show with Plain Parade?
You should feel ready to play a Plain Parade event essentially this means you'd feel very confident that 20 - 40 people would come to see your band. If you don't feel that's the case, that's okay. It doesn't mean you suck. It just means that you should wait a bit before playing with us. You shouldn't be in a big hurry to play to nobody and that's what happens if you play before you're ready. If you want to play to absolutely no one, you can do that at your practice space with less hassle.
When we put together a show for your first time, we're trying to get a good vibe going in the club: a party atmosphere. The most important thing is to create the conditions that are most likely to bring out your friends and fans and make them feel at home.
This is why we want you to play out a bit before coming to us. You should establish a rapport with other bands and musicians. You should build a wee bit of name recognition first.
How do you do that? Remember, even dwarfs start small (Thanks, Wim Wenders) so play the smaller clubs. Play the open mic nights, the rent parties, the [lord help us] frat parties and start a mailing list. If no-one will book you, book yourself. Throw a warehouse party. Make some noise. Send your demo to local radio stations try to get some press. Target your audience, figure out who is likely to like your stuff and concentrate on those types of events. Are you an artsy band? Then do that art opening. Are you political? Then take your acoustic guitars to that protest march.
When you start getting shows, PLAY THE ROOM. Meaning: don't play at 150 decibels at Tritone. If your artistic integrity demands that you play at that volume, then DON'T PLAY TRITONE. You don't do anyone any favours by blowing their eardrums (and pissing off Tritone's neighbors) while keeping your integrity intact.
Make sure you go see other bands. If you like their work, introduce yourself. Give them a tape of your music. Make that connection. Often times your first fans will be other musicians.
We can only accommodate roughly 15 acts per month (as we book by the season). Since EVERYONE IN THE WORLD has a band that means that roughly 5,999,999,910 bands DON'T play our events. It isn't easy, we know. But that's the very essence of why some things are special if there weren't some effort involved, then it wouldn't mean anything. Try some of these ideas. Do you have other ideas? Send us your feedback. We'll be happy to pass on good advice on these web pages.
Should I take any show that's offered to me?
No!!! Plain Parade has a one month policy for booking bands. Meaning: when you have booked and confirmed a show with us, you are not allowed to play another local establishment for one month (2 weeks before, 2 weeks after). This isn't because we're greedy fucks and want to complicate your lives, its designed to ensure all parties involved (promoter, bands, venue) have a successful event.
Not only do we want an audience watching you play, we want to be able to compensate you for your performance time. When bands book too many shows at once, this situation never happens.
Many is the time we have seen bands announce to an empty room: "Um... this is our last song... come see us at the Khyber this Friday." First off, why announce such a thing when the only people there are Plain Parade and club staff? Secondly and most importantly, could the fact of having another gig in just a few days have something to do with the fact that no one came? Well, just to scotch any debate, as far as we're concerned no one has that kind of draw except maybe the Pope.
Be smart about the shows you take. In the beginning it's not wise to be too choosy, but before too long you should start turning down shows that don't make sense. Realize that more is going on than just a show being played. You are being associated in the minds of the audience with the other bands on the bill and with the venue and with that night.
We will ask if you have other local shows if we book you. Please be honest with us and openly state your conflicts. Talk with us there might be a way to do both shows.
Lying to us will not help matters: eventually we will find out and won't be very happy about it. Plain Parade has been known to remove bands from a bill or cancel shows entirely due to booking conflicts. And that makes unhappier.
What do you expect from my band?
Plain Parade has a few but simple requests when it comes to what we expect out of a band:
What is an advance?
An advance is an email that includes all information pertaining to your event. It generally arrives 2 or more weeks before your show. 99% of the time, we send our advances via email. Do not lose this email! (If you do, we'll be more than happy to re-send the advance to you) It contains the following information:
How do I promote our show?
Plain Parade submits show listings to the Philadelphia Weekly, City Paper, Metro, Inquirer, WPRB, WKDU and Daily News; our personal mailing list of 500+ people, various music-related listservs and message boards. We also do a good amount of street promotion and as well as provide information on our website.
Here are some tips for getting the word out:
Do we have to share equipment?
Yes. Primarily, we require bands to share a drum kit (everyone provides their own snare, cymbals, sticks, etc). Most of the spaces we book are small, so we need to cut down on equipment. This allows for timely, efficient band switches.
What hospitality is available to us?
At all shows we will provide you with drink tickets. We do not offer meal buyouts or cover your parking.
Do we have a guest list?
Yes. Each band is entitled to 3 guests. If anyone wrote up the show, we automatically guest list them (as a way of saying thanks). We do not give you a big guest list because this means there are less people paying for the show. Less door money = less money to cover our show costs and in the end, less money to pay you. (You want to be paid, right?)
But my friends are broke / cheap / etc!
This is why we have "1/2 OFF" cards. They look like this:
These entitle one person to receive half-off admission to any Plain Parade event. They are available at all our shows and local stores. We created these cards to thank our frequent supporters and to entice the community to check out something new without emptying their wallets. In theory, you never have to pay full price for a Plain Parade show.
If you ask us far enough in advance, we might be able to give your band a bunch of these, so that you may pass them out to your friends (a good idea since you dont have many guest list spots).
No, you cannot give us 2 half-off cards and get into a show for free. No, your friends cant reuse them for another show.
How do you pay bands?
After house costs, 90% of the door is divided evenly amongst the bands. We keep 10% of the door to cover our own operating costs. We do even door splits because this is what we believe is fair: everyone contributes to the success of a show and should receive an equal cut of the profit.
What are house costs?
This is a set dollar amount that includes (if applicable): space rental, sound person, hospitality and security. It will vary from venue to venue (0 - 250$) and is the first thing paid out of the door money.
Can I get a guarantee?
We understand why many bands ask for guarantees: insurance against shady promoters, breaking even on tours, etc. However, Plain Parade strongly believes that artists must be compensated realistically for their creative endeavors.
What this means: We will not do a guarantee. EVER. Don't even think of asking.
No one came out! Will we get paid?!
Most likely not. If we failed to meet our house costs (which are paid before anything else), we don't have any money left over to pay you. It hurts us more than it will hurt you, since WE will be responsible for covering the difference.
When do we get paid?
After the headlining band has taken the stage, we close down the door and count the money. You will be paid after the band has finished. We do not pay bands before the show is over. If you leave before getting paid, we will not make arrangements to give you that money after the fact.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS.
Our FALL & WINTER 2006 schedule is CLOSED.
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