How to get booked on a "SONGS & WHISPERS" - INVITE TOUR

 First: Introducing ourselves

Please note that our "S&W" - INVITE scheme is an "invite" only programme and available for selected artists in combination with booking our additional services such as PR etc. only. This scheme was formerly named as "S&W" - CIRCUIT scheme. The scheme was modified and renamed in 06/2018 to the new "S&W" - INVITE scheme. To choose our "S&W" - INVITE artists we are going through a high qualitative selection process. We are getting a total of 3000+ submissions per year currently. 

Who we are…
"SONGS & WHISPERS" is a live - music and artist development network. It is presenting live music in venues across Europe. Besides being a presenter of music, "SONGS & WHISPERS" is also a small independent label, booking agent, publicist and PR agent, publisher, production company and runs a recording studio. For further information please visit "SONGS & WHISPERS" (www.songsandwhispers.com).

„SONGS & WHISPERS" is a brand of [ps] media, promotion and logistics (www.pspromotion-bremen.de) [ps] promotion is specialized in various kind of promotion and marketing such like print, radio and TV promotion. We are spreading flyers, posters and product information all over Germany and managing an ambient media network too.

What is it all about!....
The idea of "SONGS & WHISPERS" has a lot to do with music we listen to and friends we do have in cities like Bristol, Oxford, Amsterdam and some other places on this planet. We missed some sort of music and genres over here in ....Bremen.... and decided to run a few shows in 2008 for some befriended bands. We continued with four shows the month early 2009 and ended with at least 23 per month since January 2010. We are covering the genres Singer/Songwriter, Alternative-Folk / Nu-Folk, Alternative-Country / ....Americana.... / Roots and of course other music too. The selection is simply based on our taste and what we think could work nicely in "our" venues.

Places and Venues:
"SONGS & WHISPERS" shows are taking take place in Germany and other European countries, Since you are based in an artist flat in Bremen, shows are in driving distance from Bremen often but not ncessarily. We are putting on shows in regular venues but unusual places like schools, hotels, a repertory cinema and an independent theatre too, living rooms, bars, restaurants, churches, galleries, regular music venues, clubs, festivals and more for example. Please understand "SONGS & WHISPERS" as a kind of market entry opportunity and promotional tour circuit to start from. Our venues range from 25 to 150 capacities.

Some artists who already toured with us have compiled footage of the tour which might give you a better idea. Please find the video of Molly Conrad (www.mollyconradmusic.com/) (USA) below, follow Pi Jacobs tour diary here or look up the very detailled tour diary of Fast Heart Mart, with daily updates running from 30.05.2016 - 15.07.2016 under http://songsandwhisperstourdiary.blogspot.de or a synopsis here.

A tour aftermovie by Molly Conrad (USA)

Touring in Germany on the Songs & Whispers circuit has, due to the large variation of venues and audience, helped us to develop a method for solving musical problems. This has made us grow tremendously as musicians, individually and as an entity. We recommend this experience to all artists who take their music seriously. And of course also for all the wonderful people you will meet! - Bonefish (SE) (http://bonefishswe.com) / http://songsandwhispers.blogspot.com/2018/01/songs-whispers-circuit-042018-05042018.html

Please note that our "S&W" - INVITE scheme is an "invite" only programme and available for selected artists in combination with booking our additional services such as PR etc. only. To choose our "S&W" - INVITE artists we are going through a high qualitative selection process. Please note that we are getting a total of 2500+ submissions per year currently. 
We are inviting artists to perform during each of our monthly "SONGS & WHISPERS" - INVITE series through the northwest of Europe over 23 days. Each concert is usually free of charge in order to attract more people, with artist earnings coming from tips, merchandise sales and royalties if the songs are registered. During this tour, both artists share the stage quite often, with average setlenghts of 40-50 minutes each. But there are also "solo shows" when the artists perform in different cities on the same nights. Then each artist usually does both sets. How many solo and combined shows are in each tour differes a little. Please plan with a ratio of about 50/50. If you wnat to get to know the artist's perspective, please look up the S&W - TOURDIARY,  written by many artists on the road or a very detailled insight of a "S&W" - CIRCUIT written by Fast Heart Mart here. Also please feel free to get in touch with artists who toured with us. Some of them toured with us a few times or also became pat of our label and publsihing roster.
"SONGS & WHISPERS" will handle the booking, professional publicity, "word of mouth", print, online, TV and radio promotion to create a growing buzz for you. If you do have a network or supporters in Europe already, we like to encourage you to utilize your network to book and promote shows too of course. Feel free to book additional shows prior, during or after your "S&W" - INVITE tour. Please talk to us in first place and before you start working on any bookings or contacts. Onyl so we can coordinate details and make sure our efforts will not clash and everybody will be happy in the end.

Some of your shows will be recorded and photographed, and all content will be provided to you as well as distributed via the internet or other media, such as community radio, for promotion. Please note that "SONGS & WHISPERS" does not provide cars or drivers, nor cover travel or lodging fees. We strongly recommend doing the tour by car as some of the places are on the countryside and impossible to reach. How to get involved:

Please send us detailed artist information and use our online form (http://songsandwhispers.blogspot.com/2012/07/loading.html) only. Please provide us with full contact details, your travelparty and mention the month you are interested in. Please fill in all fields requested so we have all the information we need. We will get back to you if we are interested in booking you on a "S&W" - INVITE tour Wait for our feedback please.
FAQ and Terms & Conditions
How do bands make their money on S&W tours?
1.      From a hat that’s passed round at gigs.
This may sounds odd, old-school, embarrassing or unreliable, but Germany has a tradition of passing a hat round at shows, and money being given to the bands.
We have arranged this system with venues, and over the course of the years we’ve been running circuits, it’s worked well…
Artists split the hat each night evenly between them (whenever they play together). On some nights it will be terribly disappointing. On better nights, it will run to a couple of hundred Euros.
Why we don't charge at the door? Because I don't know many people who would pay an entrance fee if they didn't know the artist, even if it's just 3 €. Means, we have a bigger audience as if there was a door and most people are quite generous if you explain the tip system to them.
2.      From ‘fixed-fee’ shows.
 These are a minority but there are likely going to be a few of these, often in larger cities.
3.      From selling records and merchandise at shows.
 Germany, unlike the UK, still buys CDs (!) and artists have sold between 50 and 150 discs. Quirky merchandise also goes down well. You’ll be playing 25 or so shows over the course of your tour. You do the maths!
4.      Collecting societies (PRS / GEMA etc.)
There is an additional financial benefit and return resulting of payments of collecting societies like British MCPS / PRS or German GEMA playing abroad. We strongly recommend to report and claim your share of playing shows abroad! According to information we got from artists they received around 40 - 50 GBP per “S&W” show from the British PRS. Please contact your collecting society for details, the agreements between GEMA and the other collecting societies are bilateral, means they vary a lot.

5.      Crowdfunding We learned from US artists, using crowdfuning sites such as www.kickstarter.com that they managed covering their flight expenses that way. Please consider this, as part of your planning.
How does S&W make its money?
1.      From being paid by venues to programme shows.
As noted above, we’ve developed a reputation for bringing great acts to Germany. Venues, often ones that don’t traditionally have live music, pay us to programme entertainment for them.
2.      From organising shows in non-traditional venues.
Over the course of your tour, you’ll most likely play cinemas and casinos as well as clubs and pubs. We get paid – sometimes by venues, sometimes by local authorities – to bring bands to places where there aren’t usually music shows.
3.     From taking a share of the payment the artists receives by the venue or audience. We call this SERVICE FEE. We are charging the artist a SERVICE FEE based on the FIXED FEE, the TICKETSALES or the DONATIONS the artists receives from the venue, the audience or thirds partied for performing a show. We are not taking a share form the artists merchanidse sales. Depending on the type of show, our own effort and the deal we got offered by the venue or promoter this SERVICE FEE ranges from of 25 - 50% of the artist revenue
4.     From providing PR, PAs, lights, etc for shows.    
 QUESTION 1: Not that it’s any of my business, but how much does S&W make from this?
The short answer is… not much to pay rent on an office, gear, pay staff and constantly be looking for new and better venues. We get round this by subsidising S&W with profits from other business.

QUESTION 2: So, just to clarify, S&W doesn’t make money from payments made by the artists?
 No. The only payments artists have to make to S&W are
1.      Rent for the Artist Flat.
After running Circuits for a number of months, we realised that everything worked a whole lot better if artists had a ‘base’. Consequently, we rented one for them. Please find pictures here
It doesn’t eat meaningfully into artists profits, and artists have stated a clear preference for having somewhere to come back to at the end of a night / day or two.
It also works out FAR cheaper than booking hotels. The flat does host six people max. The rent is currently € 920,- net +19% VAT / month in total. The rent should be shared evenly between all artists staying. We also need to charge for linnen per person and final cleaning per artist. Numbers mentioned above are net prices for 2017 and are subject of change due to inflation.
Please note the flat is a compulsory payment for touring the "S&W" - INVITE scheme because we rent the flat on a yearly contract, rather than being able to decide on a monthly basis whether we want it or not.
2. Deposit (refundable)
We only confirm bands after receiving a deposit because of a number of bad experiences with bands pulling out of tours at the last minute (meaning we can’t fulfil our promise to have shows at certain venues). The deposit is currently € 920,- net + 19% VAT / month in total. We hang onto the deposit until the end of tour because of experiences we had with bands leaving the flat in a bad state. Whenever this happens, everyone agrees that this is terrible and unprofessional behaviour on their parts, and that most acts aren’t like that. Which is true. But we’ve had enough bad experiences that we’ve no choice but to be careful. Numbers mentioned above are net prices for 2017 and are subject of change due to inflation.

All payments have to be made in advance. Please understand that a place on a tour is NOT booked until the payment is received. In General, some things to consider if you think about working with us:

What S&W provides as part of "S&W" - INVITE:  1. Roughly one (1) show per day within the tour frame, venues ranging from 10 - 100 capacities 2. PA at those venues who don't have their own. Please consider that you need to operate it yourself, we'll show you how it works of course. 3. PR and publicity. We collect clippings of everything we can find and provide it to you.

What the artists need to provide to qualify: 1. professionalism and a good EPK so we can make good publicity for you 2. mostly original songs (a cover or two can be fun as well), enough to cover a 90 minute show time 3. transport to Germany and from venue to venue. Please note, that you do have to rent you own car, otherwise touring will be no possible, since some of the places are pretty abroad. Please also calculate a little extra space for the PA. 4. Of course some really nice music that we and the audience will love :) We are looking forward to listening to your application!


Summary / Description

1.    A “SONGS & WHISPERS” - INVITE TOUR is a market entry opportunity and promotion tour for emerging artists, with venues located in Germany and surrounding Euroepan countries.

2.      The venue type ranges from living rooms, small bars, restraurants, cinemas, churches over farms to locations which are not necessarily known for live music. “S&W” is specializing in putting on live music in “unusual” places.

3.      The venue capacity ranges from 15 to 200 people maximum

4.      Touring a “SONGS & WHISPERS” - INVITE TOUR should be considered as a marketing instrument. It should be considered as an investment in your career and does include the potential risk of loosing money and not breaking even.

5.      In regards of the “S&W”–  INVITE TOUR   “SONGS & WHISPERS” should be understood as a production company providing additional music PR services.

6.      A “S&W” – INVITE TOUR should be considered as a standard touring scheme with additional PR provided by “SONGS & WHISPERS”.

7.      “SONGS & WHISPERS” is not operating as "individual" booking agent for “The Artists” touring a “S&W” –  INVITE TOUR .

8.      “The Artist” is committing himself to play a specific number of shows. Details are provided through the “S&W” – PLAN and tour rider.

9.      The Artists is either receiving “TIP”, a small (!) FIXED FEE, a share of ticket sales or a small (!) compensation for travelling / petrol in most cases. Payments are made by the venue, the promoter or “S&W” to the artist

10.  The “S&W” – INVITE TOUR does include additional PR opportunities such as performances at schools or local community radio and Tv stations or record stores. No payment is provided for theses shows usually.

11.  “TIP” has to be collected by The Artist.

12.  “The Artist” will keep track of all amounts collected per night in a spreadsheet and does report them to “SONGS & WHISPERS” in detail at the end of the tour.

13.  “SONGS & WHISPERS” is charging a SERVICE FEE for booking, PR and technical services provided.

14.  This SERVICE FEE is charged for all (!) shows during the “S&W” – INVITE TOUR and and also three (3) additional days prior and three (3) days after the “S&W”  - INVITE TOUR . The fee is charged  regardless whether The Artists, “S&W” or third parties did book the show.
15.  The “S&W” – SERVICE FEE is mentioned in the “S&W” – PLAN tour book in detail for every show.
16.  The whole “S&W” - INVITE TOUR will be balanced in cash after the final show of the tour.
17.  “The Artist” is free to sell merchandise without any commission fee paid to “S&W”.
18.  “The Artist” agrees to cooperate with other artist/s touring the and makes sure that his and other performances takes place in the time given by venue or “S&W”.

In case of any interest please enter your contact details here: http://songsandwhispers.blogspot.de/2012/07/loading.html
In addition to our "S&W" - INVITE TOUR market entry scheme we are providing additional opportunities and solutions for emerging artists. They are available for artists which decided joining the label and publishing roster of "SONGS & WHISPERS". Theses artists are granting us worldwide exclusive licensing and publishing rights for at least one full length album in exchange. In case of any interest please look up http://songsandwhispers.blogspot.de/2013/11/after-circus-circuit.html.
For further details reach out to us by email to songsandwhispers@pspromotion-bremen.de please.

“S&W” – CIRCUIT scheme - Ben Lorentzen (US/ NOR) - “S&W” – CIRCUIT 01/2018 - http://songsandwhispers.blogspot.de/2017/12/songs-whispers-circuit-012017-12012018.html - PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO HERE:

…I only wish that we would have similar outreach and similar companies here in the United States, Canada, Australia… Ben Lorentzen (US, NOR) - “S&W” – CIRCUIT client in 01/2018 


“S&W” – RETAINER BOOKING scheme - Paula Cox and Paul Creane (IRL) – http://songsandwhispers.blogspot.de/2018/01/songs-whispers-circuit-032018-01032018.html. Thank you for your help on the tour.  Highs and lows, as with anything but we met amazing people everywhere we went and on a hugely positive note, I must say that we were treated really well by the hosts of the venues. Thank you for your support and your prompt responses when we needed them! :)” Paula Cox + Paul Creane (IRL) – “S&W” – RETAINER BOOKING client in 03/2018 – 23 day customized tour booked!

Label artist DAISY CHAPMAN (UK) describes her experience with "S&W" here: