Getting Booked for a Festival

Hi guys! Hope you’re all doing well.

Big question here I know, but looking for tips and tricks (or even links) on getting booked for festivals in 2021 and the further future.

I’m a 19-year-old student with 3 EPs out, a few singles, plus a mixtape coming and am building a good fanbase, so I wouldn’t say I’m a complete unknown, but I’m also not expecting this advice to be about big festivals (think Leeds, Glasto, the main ones).

I have gone through a few festival websites that have an “apply to play” feature but don’t have many links to festival organisers or high ups in the industry. This is where I hope that some of the top people at Pirate and in these forums can give me some advice!

I’ve performed my songs live before at places such as Fiddlers Elbow in Camden and the Ritzy in Brixton, and would love to perform live more at places that aren’t just open mic nights once events resume in 2021.

If any of you could offer advice that would be amazing!

Thanks in advance,


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b for this.
I’ve not got much experience in this but i’d probably suggest getting an Electronic Press Kit

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Great question @RHD - we’ve actually got a piece going live around live gigs next year which I think will be super useful for you. Uploading it tomorrow so keep an eye out!


Hey guys, coincidentally there’s also a getting booked for festivals guide on the Pirate blog!

Whilst I’d imagine gigs in 2021 is going to be a pretty different situation to previous years, it’s always worth reading broadly around these topics!


As someone with some experience in this area it’s invariably a not ‘what you know’ but ‘who you know’ situation if you want to bypass the ‘apply to play’ thingys.

So yeah I think you’re right not to expect to much from the big ones, Glasto especially is difficult to get into and the only performances I’ve done there are through friends (or friends of friends) who run small stages. I can tell you from experience that a lot of the smaller glasto stages don’t actually get allocated tickets for musicians, they generally syphon off acts that are performing on other stages. So you kind of have to break that scene first.

But you can use a similar strategy for other, smaller festivals with some degree of success. This is because many of the smaller stages, like those teeny tiny random ones you find at 3am playing awesome music, are often run by charities or independent traders who are generally quite open to having new people play as they’re keen to fill all their performance slots.

So yeah best advice I can give is pick a handful of smaller festivals, make sure the general tone of the festival fits your music style, and do some research on who runs all the stages, particularly the smaller ones, the little bars, the tea rooms, random chill out tents, and email the organisers directly.