Although Europe has a strong scene for electronic music and the same with South America and elsewhere, we can’t ignore the fact that the techno and house scenes in the U.S. have been growing exponentially. Places like North Carolina, Georgia, New Orleans, and even Tennessee now have Techno parties. Many might even be surprised that Dustin Zahn is from Minnesota. Maceo Plex from Dallas and that Dubfire is from Washington DC.
There are 350 million people in the United States alone and with many of them not from the U.S. originally, this is undoubtedly an international country. Cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Detroit are visited by countless tens of thousands each year for music tourism.
If you are an artist looking to play in the States, you should start planning at least 6 months in advance. This is especially so if you plan to play venues such as Output in Brooklyn or Halcyon in San Francisco or Spybar in Chicago which have lineups booked months in advance.
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to try to book your tour or your gig in the States:
Unless you are coming to the US to play for fun or play for free, you’ll need a work visa to DJ in the United States. This is not a cheap or easy process and you’ll need at least 3 months in advance of your first gig from the time of filing. For this reason alone, you will want to allow enough time to gather all the necessary documents and work with promoters and your agent and manager to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Flightshares are when multiple promoters share the costs of your flight. Instead of trying to find one or two promoters to pay your normal fees and cover the cost of your flight, it might be best to look for an additional promoter who is willing to cover the costs of the flight or split the cost with another promoter. This way you won’t have to pay for your flight from Europe to the US or wherever you are traveling from.
You can demand higher fees from cities like New York or Chicago and fly into a cheaper airport such as Boston or Cincinnati and play for lesser fees in nearby cities while having your flight to the US paid for by those promoters.
This should be obvious but booking flights in advance tends to be cheaper than booking last minute. This also gives you more time to change flights or cancel flights if necessary.
You can also have more time to figure out when the best time to book your flight is and find better deals, cutting down on your overall costs.
If you are flying all the way over from Europe, South America or Australia then you won’t want to just fly for one or two gigs. You will want to schedule a full tour and not just play cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago but also San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Detroit, Washington DC, Miami, Denver, and Austin, Dallas, and Houston. And don’t forget Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Charlotte are options too!
The United States is a huge country and there is an underground scene in all of the above-mentioned cities. It isn’t just about EDM but you’ll also find a healthy scene for house and techno and everything in between in many smaller cities all over the United States. Many you may not have thought about looking at and you might find that Resident Advisor really is worldwide. Try looking up New Orleans and Oregon and you might not find many parties listed but there are still parties listed.
The more time you have to plan your tour in the U.S., the more gigs you’ll have, the better chances you have of your visa getting approved and the better planned your visit will be, which includes higher artist fees and better marketing for your gigs.
For more info on how the visa process works and to find out if you’ll qualify visit: www.6amgroup.com/artist-visa