Booking practices in the cultural field have arisen as a research object during the last 15 years, being investigated for and through their peculiar situation at the intersection between economic and artistic fields. Bookers have to manage their way between a variety of tasks, partnerships and responsibilities conferring them a key role in the musical landscape: they do evolve where art meets commerce, but also where artists meet audiences, and where access meets outreach.

The European network Live DMA represents over 2280 music venues and clubs in Europe, scattered over 16 countries. For this new study, Live DMA sought inspiration within on-going academic works tackling booking practices, but also within a Working Group they hosted in early 2021, when the whole sector was still shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic. The multiple gigs and tours cancellations, the rebooking patterns, and the jam they provoked when live music started to resume, put the bookers in the spotlight, along with their responsibilities.

These working groups gathered 15 bookers from different European countries, during which the wish for fairer practices within the booking community was acknowledged. The final objective of this research is then to be an incentive towards a European Fair Practice Code, which drafting implies more transparency but also a better understanding of this role. As such, this study aims to give an overview of who the bookers from Live DMA are, to investigate their daily tasks, to highlight the main challenges of live music programming, to identify the main partners bookers work with, to allow for more transparency within these operators, and eventually to pave the way for more social and artistic diversity.

This Live DMA research first explores the individual journeys behind the profession, tackling the musical, educational and professional paths of the bookers now on the job, before investigating their daily tasks: how do they operate their booking choices? Where do they get inspiration from? What kind of tools do they mobilize? What are the ups and downs of their current position?

Based on the preliminary insights provided by this research process, Live DMA now aims to initiate fruitful exchanges regarding the futures endeavours of this study. Contact our Research Officer Léna Lozano to set up a workshop or a presentation on the subject! Email her at

We would now like to build the future endeavours of this research with you! This place is for you to share your feedback, insights, hopes, wishes, needs, ideas, plans… with us, regarding booking practices. What did you think of the study? What would be an interesting follow-up? What would be useful to you?

Feedback - Study on Booking Practices in Europe
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