Music Festivals UK | How to Get Festival Slots

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How to get booked by music festivals organisers

As you become a more established act, naturally you’ll want to start playing to bigger crowds, that’s where festivals come in. Here are a few tips that will help you get recognised when applying for music festivals UK slots.

Music Festivals UK


Before you start sending e-mails to everyone you’ve ever heard of in the music festival UK industry, do your research! Don’t waste your time trying to contact people who may actually have no relevance to what you want, for example, a festival for heavy metal or folk when that isn’t your music. Instead, take your time to compile a list of useful contacts that could help you get your foot in the door. Find out when to apply, as a seasonal event festival organisers often start booking months and months before. For example, Wireless and Latitude plan 12 months before and Reading & Leeds 16 months before.

Start locally

It’s unlikely that any of the well-known festivals are going to book you if you have little or no experience playing at other festivals. The most realistic move for you is to look at local festivals. They’ll be more likely to book local talent, so you’re in a better position. You may have to do quite a few local festivals before any big ones take you seriously. Most local festivals have an application form on their website, where you can apply; these are only open for a short period of time, so it’s wise to check them on a regular basis. If you can’t find an application form, the best way to contact music festivals UK is to find an e-mail address for them.

Keep it personal

Remember that festival organisers receive hundreds of e-mails asking for slots at their festival, so make sure you’ve looked into the festival you’re applying for. Do research into each stage and find which one suits you best. That way they’ll be aware you’ve done your research and they’re likely to give your music a listen. As always keep the email concise and to the point, two short paragraphs should ensure that it’s not quickly looked over, you don’t want to be one that a busy promoter will look at that later but never does. Also, don’t send attachments especially ones that are big files as you could potentially aggravate the music festivals UK promoter before they’ve even listened or looked; a simple hyperlink to a YouTube video can do the job just as effectively.

Send live examples

What’s the point in sending your latest studio recording? You’re applying to play live at their festival, so send them your live videos. Show them exactly what they can expect if they decide to book you for their festival. Again keep the email approach easy on the receiver’s eye, hyper-linking the sentence with your video link helps to keep it tidy. If you haven’t got any live stuff, maybe approach local universities or colleges and ask for their media students to record you at a gig or post on listing on local websites such as Gumtree. They’ll always be someone keen to update their portfolio and record you. Getting festival slots can be difficult with music festivals UK can keep on going, you’ll get there!