“A good agent is like an artist’s mother: available 24/7, there to cheer them up when it rains and mostly to push them to the next level…” Patci Weil of Wilde Agency explains what it takes to become a top booking agent.
Patci. Patricia Weil.
Place of work?
Wilde Agency, Berlin
How long have you had the job?
What does a typical day involve?
Answering emails and phone calls, doing meetings with my team and the artists to work constantly on a better and more efficient workflow.
A booking agent basically pulls all the strings behind the scenes for an artist, which means managing their diary, handling the communications for deals and all the admin. Most artists don’t really want to negotiate directly with the promoter about fees, and promoters don’t really like to discuss money matters with an artist.
Once an artist is playing two or three gigs per weekend, it almost becomes a full time job for an agent. Our focus is to generate bookings around the world, which entails a lot of promotional work via our website, newsletter mailings, social media work and direct personal contact via email, telephone or face-to-face meetings. Once a booking gets confirmed, we send out the contract and invoice which needs to be paid within a certain time. Most of the time reminders need to be send before payment is received.
After that we send out the artist’s press kit so the club and promoter can start the marketing for the event. At the same time we start checking for flights, transit and accommodation with the promoter and travel agencies. That needs to be well planned since most of the time an artist is playing more than one gig in a week. Finally when everything is done we send the artist’s info sheet to the promoter, containing all the specific information for that night to guarantee everything goes smoothly.
Alongside the daily booking we’re having meetings on a continual basis to advise, plan and discuss the artist’s career in terms of new releases, remixes and live mixes, as well as upcoming bookings and administrative matters. To sum it all up, an artist needs to be focused on what he does best: producing and playing music! We’ll take good care of everything else.
Highs of the job?
Being with a team of like-minded people. Starting to work on up-and-coming acts and seeing their development. For me a good agent is like an artist’s mother: available 24/7, there to cheer them up when it rains and mostly to push them to the next level.
Lows of the job?
Unanswered emails and unpaid invoices.
An artist needs to be focused on producing and playing music! We'll take care of everything else.
Who are the people who’ve had the biggest influence on your career and why?
It was in 1988 when I fell in love with electronic music at a club called Tor 3 in Düsseldorf, my home town, and I listened to ‘We Call It Acid’ and ‘Pump Up The Volume’ for the first time. It continued at the club Ratinger Hof with Westbam’s ‘Monkey Say, Monkey Do’ and ‘The Roof Is On Fire’, which set me on fire on the dancefloor. From that moment on I was addicted to dancing to electronic music.
At the beginning of the 90s I was travelling around the world with Sven Väth, my boyfriend at the time, and got to know all the leading clubs and promoters of the electronic movement. We started to work on the first Cocoon events in 1996 where I learned a lot about the dos and don’ts of organising events. Beside my work as an actress I worked part time in a promotion agency for music videos.
How did you get the job?
In 2002 I met Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer from M.A.N.D.Y., who asked me to manage their bookings. As I knew lots of people in the industry it was quite easy for me to get into it. Everything developed really quickly, so it was clear that I had to give my work a professional presentation and it was my nickname, ‘Patrisha Wilde’, that gave the perfect name for Wilde Agency.
What makes a good agent?
In my opinion a good booking agent takes full responsibility for the artist’s business matters. That means the agent has a friendly and professional way of communication, always negotiating gigs with a positive attitude, is always quick responding to booking requests, is constantly promoting the artist and building up strong relationships with clubs, promoters and press.
An agent always needs to have the full overview of the tour plan and the whole back office meaning contract handling, invoicing, travel visas, territory specifications, tax laws and flight schedules. Only then is the agent able to respond at short notice – like for example if a gig gets cancelled at the last minute, the artist gets sick or misses a flight – and to come up with a proper solution.
The agent needs to know all the clubs and festivals around the globe in terms of location, crowd and music taste to then match that with the artist’s profile. Furthermore a good booker should be in constant contact with other agents for matters like blacklisted clubs or promoters, new festivals, new clubs and generals trends around the electronic music industry.
How can we get your job?
There’s no official way to become an agent. The agents I’m working with at Wilde started as back office managers and got into it step by step. I guess that’s the best way of doing it.
The Wilde Liebe compilation is out now, featuring new music from Djuma Soundsystem, Sierra Sam, The Jaydes and Tiefschwarz.
Rather than asking the cliche newbie question “how do I get a booking agent?” I would rather ask this…
What are the differences between a bad agent and a good agent? I.e. what should I look for in a prospective agency/agent?
Foxhill, they asked what makes a good one in the interview! I’m guessing a bad one is just one who doesn’t have experience and contacts.
I wish that all agent’s will find flights options, choose the hotel and doing visa support. In 90% cases promoter doing all agent’s “work” free of charge
this poor woman , i cant believe someone tried to set her on fire whillst out clubbing 🙁
the right question is how do I get a manager like you? How much you will cost me? And how much you will let me to earn?
i’m A&R / Promoter of few labels , i’m start thinking about work as an agent , as i have passion about music i start to see it as music business not only industry !