You are a musician, just starting out, and you think that it would be great to have an agent to get you some gigs. An agent knows the business, after all. An agent has more contacts.
An agent will solve all your problems…
OK, so it’s an agent’s job to find fee-paying performances for an artist, negotiate the terms, send the contract and send the posters, flyers and promo as supplied by the artist. In return for which the agent receives a percentage (commonly 15% in the folk world) of the negotiated fee paid by the artist.
That’s the theory anyway. But please understand that even the best agent in the world does not guarantee to get gigs. An agent does not have a bucket full of gigs hidden under the desk ready to dish out for the asking. An agent has to go out and find those gigs – different gigs for different artists. There is no guarantee. All an agent can do is try.
Unless the artist creates a demand by a) being bloody talented and b) letting his audience and his potential audience know that he is bloody talented, even the best agent will not be able to create gigs.
It’s up to the artist to create a demand for their music. An agent does not make an artist famous. An agent does not, cannot work miracles.
Sheesh – if an artist can’t get gigs for him/herself, how do they expect an agent to? Let’s be realistic.
And even if an agent does manage to get a few gigs for [unknown artist] if the audience doesn’t turn out to support the gig that’s it, no repeat booking, ever. That venue is closed to that artist and it will also make the venue more wary about booking another artist from that same agency. I don’t want to hear: “Oh, sure these guys will get a good audience, you said that about the other ones and I had an audience of three.”