Can I Contact You?

Submitted by Peter Åstedt

It seems like people don’t understand that making a career as an artist is the same as getting a business going. We go back to my favorite subject that I should open a restaurant.

Imagine that you hear about a new restaurant that should be really good and you want to get a reservation to eat there in a couple of days. You go to the restaurant’s homepage and there you have the menu, some pictures of what it looks like, but it’s missing the address where it’s located and there are no contact details or instructions on how you book a table?

There are links to social media everywhere, but it seems kind of strange to send a message on Facebook or Instagram to book a table if it doesn’t clearly say so. And you don’t know really who is behind the social media accounts it could be their PR agency. After looking through you find info at address in one of the corners and you send it to that address.

Of course, this is a disaster for a new restaurant missing vital information like this. But after spending the past four days hunting down artists for booking, this is the reality in the music industry startup. Artists don’t want to have an email address on their homepage since they think they will get too many emails. I think it’s rather the lack of emails that is the problem. My email is out on several pages including magazines, and I really don’t get that many strange emails, so that is not a problem. Another thing has been that the artists feel that the booking or contact should go to an agency, but hey if you are new, you don’t have that, same as a new restaurant probably are not in the food apps from the start.

Let’s say then that you never got an answer from the restaurant email address where you tried to make a reservation. No response arrives so in the end, you choose another restaurant since you never got an answer. Then by accident, you bump into someone that actually works in the restaurant and they tell you that the email you used no one actually checks. It’s better if you send your friend a direct Facebook message and the friend can fix the whole thing.

This is what the music industry looks like right now. Emails that don’t work, no contact information, and in the end, you just send one band member an Instagram message to get an answer. If you had that restaurant, I don’t think you would do a mistake like this but in the music industry, it is so common a mistake that it has become a problem to reach artists that you want for an event. And don’t tell me the problem would be solved with an agency, hell no, they are even worse to answer back even though they have an official email. Just today I contacted two of them straight out on LinkedIn to just get an answer.

Is this a problem? You have so many channels to reach people then that should be good? Not really in the end, you sit with information on ten different channels. To have an overview of all channels takes so much time that in the end you just go with the safe options. This leads to the fact that less new artists are getting a chance to be heard.

Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. As well he recently worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes As well, Peter is Co-Founder and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.