How to register for a music festival in the UK

Would you like to play in a UK festival line-up? There are hundreds of festivals in the UK, with prizes up for grabs for unsigned and emerging artists and bands. As you can imagine, when it comes to applying, you will face a lot of competition, so take a look at the following tips on how to find the right festival to match your music and how to make your application stand out amongst all the others.

Start searching

A great place to start looking for festivals with opportunities open to unsigned bands and artists is the Festival of the music industry directory "The Unsigned Guide UK.

You can filter your festival search by expiry month to ensure you never miss another opportunity.

If there are festivals, in particular, that you would like to play at, keep a constant eye on their social pages.

Most of them will publish an advertisement, don't miss the notification and the resulting opportunity.

Stay on topic

Needless to say, if you are a folk artist applying to play in a metal festival, you are wasting your time.

Some festivals are open to all, but most of them target a specific genre.

Discover local opportunities

Many festivals across the UK will try to engage artists within a specific geographical area, not only because this is easier in practice, but also because they want to support local talent.

Being able to certify your previous experience gained at small local music festivals will make a good impression when applying to play at larger ones, such as Leeds-Reading, Isle Of Wight, Glastonbury and so on.

Follow the rules of the form

Do not break the rules written in the application form.

Many festivals are inundated with hundreds of proposals from bands and artists eager to play, so make sure you provide all the information requested in the required format and through the correct communication channel.

If a festival has requested music to be sent by e-mail requesting payment of a fee, do not send a private Facebook message to the organiser.

Application processes can vary, from sending audio tracks by e-mail to submitting online forms and participating in possible selections, but can also be managed through specific online services such as Music Glue and Gigmit.

The section Festivals of The Unsigned Guide directory will explain how each festival organiser prefers to receive your presentation material.

Optimise your web and social presence

Obviously, if you are going to send your website and/or social media links to festival bookers, make sure they are well constructed and up-to-date, in order to have impact potential.

Make sure social media looks busy and active, this is much more important than the number of fans and followers you have, because then you show that you are pro-active when it comes to playing, recording and promoting your music.

To sum up, a combination of great music, a strong identity, hard work and a proactive online presence is what works best.

Use a press kit

An alternative to sending numerous links is to direct festival bookmakers to a page containing everything they need to know.

A dedicated landing page on your website could include your bio, details of your latest releases, links to: music, videos, photos and social media, and finally your contact details.

This will make you look super-professional, giving you a clear advantage.

Read more about creating a press kit for your band here:


Live video of your concerts is perfect to show how you move in your element; make sure that the footage is clear enough and that the audio is well 'readable'.

Professional video clip quality is not required, but if your video is decidedly mediocre, do without and limit yourself to audio files and photos.

Show your best cards

Make sure you emphasise what makes you special.

Draw attention to your CV, and in particular to other good concerts or festivals where you have played in the past.

Do you get a lot of acclaim on airplay radio?

You have a sound particular detail that you feel is perfectly in tune with the atmosphere of the festival?

Also take a look at the festival bookmakers' own recommendations by clicking below: https://www.theunsignedguide.com/blog/742

This article was extracted from the Handbook


Essential Tips for Music Marketing in the Age of Streaming

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