The Right Tool for the Job - Musician Referral Services, Talent Buyers, and How Best to Utilize Them
Here at GigRoster we see many signups for our online talent booking service for everything from bands to DJ’s to Santa Claus and everything in between. Alongside these great additions, we also see a number of individual musicians listing themselves as available for work, not necessarily as solo performances but rather seeking others to perform with or be hired by an existing band. Unfortunately this is simply not a function that GigRoster provides. We are one of the top talent booking agencies for local entertainers in the US and Canada, but not a referral service. Don’t despair though! A great number of such services exist online in a multitude of fashions readily accessible to anyone needing such services.
For decades, these have gone by the name of “Musician Referral Services,” and exist with the intention of providing networks to bring two sides together. Bands can find replacement or on-call players, players can find bands who need their specific talents, and such similar situations that generally assist musicians seeking other musicians for performances. Some of the earliest of these services include: Musicians Contact, basically a musician classified service which offers referral; Local 802, known as the Musicians Union of New York, also provides a referral service for members. In fact many American Federation Of Musicians locals provide similar services, depending on the city. Both of these have existed for over 50 years and have tried and true reputations to show for it.
Many others smaller services are available as well, such as Tinkertunes, Musicmates, Bandmix, and Musicians Connection, along with a number of others of varying sizes and functions. Some of these services also present options for potential clients seeking talent, but in general the primary goal of the platforms is to act as a hub for musicians to contact others when the need arises. Such things may seem unnecessary in the era of Facebook, with many localities having their own musicians’ groups for this very reason. Remember though, that many of these services have existed long before Facebook and thus can have a much wider girth of performers listed and functions which are very much designed with the specific goal of referral in mind. Additionally, since most of these websites have some sort of nominal fee there is likely to be a more professional population of players and bands seeking a higher standard, as opposed to local hobbyist groups looking for an individual to join in on the fun. This is meant in no negative way, but for those pursuing a working career in music performance being surrounded by a like-minded circle of musicians can help greatly in furthering one’s career intentions. All the talent in the world won’t do the hard work of network building, and such referral services can work wonders in assisting with this critical part of your musical career.
What then does that leave for us here at GigRoster to do? Quite a lot actually! Though we cannot offer as much support in this manner of connecting musicians to each other to form functioning groups, once those groups are assembled and playing we present a multitude of tools and services to help put that resource into action. In difference to a musician referral service, GigRoster functions much more closely with what would be called a “Talent Buyer.” In most common form, we as a company are approached by individuals or companies with a specific performance need. We then utilize our nation-wide roster to find the performer or group best suited to the client’s needs and within their budget, and work out details between the parties until a final deal is reached that all parties can feel satisfied with. This service includes such additions as contracting, email management, organization, and sometimes even finer detail work like satisfying insurance requirements and other similar needs. For this reason, we could only truly offer some sort of service to solo performers if they had a variety of solo act (for example Randy Litch or Bill Reidy’s Neil Diamond Tribute) rather than connecting that individual to a larger group or performance entity. Bandleaders could easily peruse our roster for musicians working in the same style and area, but that would qualify more as an extraneous and creatively found function of the GigRoster system than what it was designed for. We offer registration for this service at no charge to any professional entertainment act, from solo to big band, who would like to be available for booking through the GigRoster system. In other words, when your act is ready to work, there is no reason why you would NOT want to list one or more of your acts for free! For individuals seeking to find others to work with it would prove much more fruitful to utilize one of the previously mentioned referral services to help create or join a functioning group and then… a listing with GigRoster would be the obvious next step to seeking and locking in paying gigs!
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