First of all, let’s get on the same page here. The EARL values artistic expression, freedom and creativity and all of those nice, touchy-feely things. We consider that a given, and the rest of these suggestions must be viewed within that context. However, from there we can move on to the business relationship between our venue and the artists that play our room. It must be understood that bands are hired for the purpose of bringing folks to The EARL that will purchase food and drinks. EARL pays his bills this way, as do those under his gracious employ.

So here are some questions you should consider asking during the course of the booking process:

1. Is my band appropriate for the EARL?
Bands seeking shows at The EARL (or any other club, for that matter) that just aren’t appropriate have wasted countless amounts of dollars and energy.
Here is a partial list of genres that 99% of the time won’t be booked at the EARL:
- Jam Bands
- Party/ Cover Bands
- Nü metal
- Neo- grunge & “alternative”
- Commercial pop/country/rock
- Smooth jazz
- Screamo/ Grindcore/ Etc.

There are plenty of other good venues in Atlanta that cater to these tastes, and you can find a pretty good list right here: atlantamusicguide.com

Now is as good of a time as any to mention that the EARL is very strictly a 21 and over club. I don’t have the time nor energy to get into why this is the case, but so it is. So, if your band is made up of 19 year old dudes, we’re going to assume that most of your fans are 19 year old dudes as well.

atlantashows.org has a comprehensive list of DIY and all ages spaces in town.

2. Do I have music online that I can send online?
Welcome to the digital age, friends. No need to send a press kit through the mail (though you can if you really want - see address below). While something a bit more substantial than the ubiquitous MySpace page is preferred, that will do if it’s all you have. Sonic Bid’s EPKs (www.sonicbids.com) are great. Mostly, EARL wants to be able to hear your music, but also find out a bit more about the band. Mostly, where else you have been playing in town and if you have ventured outside of Atlanta to play meaningful shows. This information reflects on your professionalism both as a performer and as a promoter (more on that later). Pictures and stuff are nice, too, but EARL aims not to be too superficial about these things.

3. My band is on tour with our good buddies, “So and So” also from Wherever, Not in Georgia, USA. What dates do you have for me?
Sorry, but I won’t be able to help out with that one. Getting an out of town band that no one in Atlanta knows about a show at the EARL is already tough enough. Don’t make it worse by touring with your friends. Its just more mouths to feed (gas money, drink tickets, etc) and reduces the likelihood that anyone will come to the show. We don’t like to have more than three bands on a bill unless we absolutely have to. If two of those bands are from out of town, then we only have room for one local. If there is only one local, less people come to the show; the show doesn’t cover productions costs; there isn’t any money for the traveling bands; the bartenders don’t sell any drinks nor earn any tips; and its an all around miserable experience for everyone.

4. So what does my out of town band need to do to get on a show at the EARL?
An awfully constructive question. First of all, try to contact some local bands directly. If a good local band has signed up to headline your show, then we can start talking about a date. There are many resources on the web that can help you find an Atlanta act that may be willing to share the stage with you. Of course, MySpace is one place to start. The EARL’s ticketing page also includes web links to most bands that are playing the club. The aforementioned www.atlantamusicguide.com also has a good list of Atlanta bands with links and other info.

5. If I can’t get booked at the EARL, where else is there to play in Atlanta?
Lenny's Bar
The Drunken Unicorn
Eyedrum
Star Bar
10 High Club
529
Picafloor Studios
WonderRoot
Smith's Olde Bar
Red Light Café
Five Spot
Club 29
Andrew's Upstairs
Vinyl
The Loft
The Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge

And, lastly, a list of things never to do during the booking process:
1. Demand, or limit yourself, to shows only on weekend nights.

2. Ask to open up for hot-ass band “X” and then fail to come to see your alleged “favorite band” should you happen not to get the opening slot.

3. Cancel a show because your “van broke down.” (this applies only to local acts.)

At last count, there were approximately 7,435,772 bands in the 404 area code alone.
Our job is not to book your band, but rather to hire musically appropriate acts that will work to bring folks to our club.