Philly Music 101: How to book a show at a Philly venue

Photo by John Vettese
The Bul Bey rocking the house in West Philly | Photo by John Vettese

Philly Music 101 is our regular series guiding you through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving participants, from artists to venues to studios and more.

Life as an independent artist in Philadelphia can be rough, especially when it comes to booking shows. When you approach a venue, what exactly are they looking for? Will your music appeal to them or turn them off? Where does social media presence lie on the spectrum? What will get your band a coveted spot on their calendar? Where is the damn instruction manual for booking a show?

We hear it from Philly artists all the time – they want to play out more often, but they haven’t had any luck getting promoters’ attention. Well, The Key is here for you! In an effort to provide some transparency in the live music world, we decided to hit up talent buyers for a handful of venues throughout Philadelphia to get an idea of what they expect, why they expect it, what will wow them and some general pointers on how to book a show. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gene Ween does Billy Joel at Underground Arts, Port Arthur at Bourbon and Branch, Fine Motor at Boot and Saddle and more


This spring, Aaron Freeman resurrected his Gene Ween moniker for a series of tribute shows to piano man Billy Joel. He kicked it off in Woodstock, played Brooklyn Bowl last night and brings the show to Underground Arts tonight. According to a report on Jambase, the setlist reads like a Billy Joel greatest hits box set, and the Gener’s approach seems to on point and sincere – even on the softer, sensitive moments like “She’s Always A Woman,” that would be easy to skewer with irony. Nope, he’s clearly a devotee, meaning tonight’s show has great potential for a massive singalong love fest. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Out of this world characters, Roots, and tango…plus more!

It’s the last weekend to see “…talking Day-Glo crawling anemones, headgear with silver Christmas-ball tentacles, and 2-foot-tall obelisks…” interact in Pig Iron Theater’s latest production I Promised Myself To Live Faster at FringeArts.The innovative company calls the show an absurdist sci-fi epic and wild allegory about gayness in 2015. Continue reading →

Catch The Bailey Hounds at the Laurel Hill Cemetery on June 6th

The Bailey Hounds in Laurel Hill Cemetery | Photo by Abi Reimold

Philly-based band The Bailey Hounds are set to play at the Laurel Hill Cemetery on June 6th, and what better setting for their sound sound than a cemetery? Deemed Gothic Americana based on their affinity for melancholy blues and folk, the Philly released the well-recieved Along the Gallows in 2011. Their latest, the All the Blood in the World EP, was released in 2013, and saw singer-songwriter Ryan Petrillo delving into the storytelling depths he’d only hinted at before. For more on the show, visit the Laurel Hill Cemetery website. Continue reading →