When you’re working to book gigs, you’ll most likely be asked for an EPK by promoters, managers, and talent scouts. An Electronic Press Kit is basically a resume for musicians, or a way for the people interested in booking you to quickly tell if you or your band may be a good fit for their event or venue. Booking managers see tons of EPKs, so you’ll want to be sure that yours is optimized to accurately represent your band very quickly.
Here’s how to create an EPK that will get your band noticed.
What should you include in an EPK?
Your band’s biography doesn’t need to be a complete history of each member’s life, but it should be longer than the bio on your website. Your website bio is meant to create interest and provide an emotional connection for fans. Your EPK bio should interest booking agents and members of the media. Try to give the reader a feel for the personality of your band and the kind of music you play. This gives a potential booker a good idea as to whether or not you’d be a fit, while giving a journalist a little more information if they are writing an article on you. Be sure to rework this on a frequent basis to include things like album releases and tour announcements.
It’s not likely that a venue booker will travel across town to see you play before he decides to book you, but it’s nice to give him the opportunity. Booking managers also like to see where you play. The fact that other venues are booking you is a great credibility builder, so it’s a good idea to include a link to a list of past gigs too.
High quality photos
Promotional photos are a great way to separate your band from others. They show a commitment to professionalism and provide a humanistic quality that gives the viewer an idea of who you are as a band. Bonus points if you have additional galleries of live photos.
Videos and recordings
Live recordings go a long way in the eyes (and ears) of a booker. Studio quality music can be deceptive, while high quality video or sound recordings of live performances give a great example of your energy and sound. Live recordings are ideal, but it’s better to have some kind of demo than streaming nothing at all.
Reviews or testimonials
If you’ve gotten any sort of press, you’ll want to pull out the best quotes and make sure to include them in your EPK. If you don’t have quotes or reviews from the media, you can still include testimonials from venue owners or event sponsors. Just be sure to choose reviews or testimonials that actually give details on your music and performance style. Stay away from the generic stuff like “These guys are great!”
This one should be obvious, but you’ll want to be certain that person you’re trying to get a gig with is able to easily find your contact information. Make things as easy as possible for them by placing your contact info directly into your EPK. Don’t expect them to dig through old call logs or emails to pursue you.
- Concert venues
- Special/corporate events
- Dealing with journalists or the press
- Potential PR managers or promoters you may be interested in working with
How to host and distribute your EPK
Now that you know what elements your EPK should contain, how do you actually get it in the hands of the people you want to see it?
Put it on your website
Many artists are opting out of even distributing an EPK since they feel that a professional website can serve the same purpose. While a website is a great promotional tool and can help earn you new gigs, a well thought out EPK is probably still necessary. I recommend having an actual EPK link on your website where you can direct promoters, bookers, and talent scouts.
Your goal is to make it easy to learn about your band, so a digital EPK or One Sheet is great for busy people to download and read on their own time. Digital files that can be passed through email or accessed where there is no internet service (like on an airplane) allow for a greater amount of flexibility.
Use a service
Don’t have a website for your band yet? You can use a service like Sonicbids or ReverbNation to create a generic press kit. Booking managers probably see dozens of these kits each day, which can mean that they’re familiar with how they function, or that they are easily forgettable. Regardless, having even a generic press kit is better than no EPK at all.
Host it in the cloud
If you don’t have a website for your band yet, but don’t want to use a generic service like Sonicbids or ReverbNation, you can host your EPK in the cloud. It’s easy to create PDF versions of your biography and press clippings, and store them along with some great photos, videos, and recordings in the cloud. Dropbox and Google Drive are both reliable services with free accounts that provide more than enough space for you to host an EPK. Sending a link to this file in an email is a great way to get your info in the hands of important people.
The ideal setup
Having an EPK is great. Having a website is great. Having an EPK hosted on a website is ideal. You’ll find that some booking managers like to visit your website on a frequent basis to see how active you are in the area, while others will download your EPK once and simply keep it on file. The idea is to make it easy for someone to decide how they want to learn about your band.
Remember that your website is built to help you communicate with and grow your fanbase. Your EPK should be created to help you communicate with the media and promote yourself professionally among venue owners.
The next time you’re booking a gig and are asked for an EPK, you should be able to respond with “how would you like that delivered?”
Let us know your thoughts
Are you often asked for an EPK? How is yours set up? Let us know in the comments
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