In an effort to facilitate the booking of inclusive, diverse bills, Jenni Kaye, who sometimes books shows in Austin and who works with Austin-based label Holodeck, developed a new website to aid bookers and promoters. At http://bookaband.neocities.org you’ll find a simple, streamlined design that serves this utilitarian purpose. The mantra “Make Austin Music Inclusive” tops the site in large letters; below it a list of simple directions for site usage is enumerated. More or less, the website operates as a simple list of bands consisting of members who are not “four cis-white guys,” in the words of Kaye, who enthusiastically insists she still loves bands that may fall into that category. In short, bands can email [email protected] to be added to the site. Bookers (or fans seeking new music) can click on an artist’s name to hear their music and get in touch with them.
I love everything about this site — most of all its mission. But beyond that, its lean design reminds me so much of Showlist Austin, a site that played an instrumental role in my exploration of and access to music throughout the mid-2000s and even now. Via email, Kaye confirmed there isn’t really a business or monetary angle for her. Instead, she describes this labor of love as an attempt “to provide a pretty basic service.” About a year ago, Kaye was booking her first big bill, but when she sought to make the bill more inclusive, she found it was difficult to access bands that might fit that description. Now that her new resource exists, she says she just used her own site to book an upcoming show at Cheer Up Charlies. Kaye was quick to praise several other community promoters, including Trish Connelly, Melissa Seely, Tony Presley, Zac Traeger and Katherine Strandberg, who work diligently to achieve the same goal of diverse bills. Let’s hope other bookers follow their lead.
Bands, if you’d like to be included on the site, reach out to the above email to have your band added.