Playing Gigs in Luxembourg
When you set out to play in a new territory, you certainly ask yourselves where to start. Here a few tips on what locations you might want to choose first and which partners to team up with:
Contact Luxembourg acts which you like and which might attract a fanbase similar to yours. Co-organize and co-promote your shows on their and your territory respectively. You can find non-exhaustive lists, created by local music aficionados, of bands and artists from Luxembourg online. Check out pages such as FUZE Luxembourg and Rateyourmusic.
These are often like-minded artists working together to promote the music they like (promotion, label-like services, booking). It's great to try and team up with these collectives to get started in a territory or a certain scene, as they know their way around. Check out our lists of music associations & collecitves in our National Directory of Popular Music.
There are still a number of small venues/concert bars that attract a specific audience, mostly in and around Luxembourg City. You will find a list in our National Directory of Popular Music. Try to get in contact with the owner to find out who's in charge of the booking (the bar itself or one of the local collectives).
As a foreign act, you might want to consider playing festivals first. In Luxembourg, a certain number of them are partly publicly funded and some showcase emerging talent on a regular basis. Moreover, festivals are quite interesting due to an extensive promotion of their line-up and the larger audience they generally attract. Identify showcase, niche and small to medium-sized festivals as they might be more inclined to book unknown artists if their sound matches the taste of the festival audience. Make sure to be ready, though, as playing a big festival stage might be an awe-inspiring experience the first time! Check out the list of festivals in our National Directory of Popular Music.
Contacting big venues might be out of reach, when you are still an emerging act. Nevertheless, there are still a number of support slots you might be able to play in one of Luxembourg's major venues (Rockhal, Den Atelier, Rotondes, Kulturfabrik...). Contact the venues with precise requests for specific acts in your genre. Once you are booked for a support slot help promoting the show as much as possible! Check out the list of venues in our National Directory of Popular Music.
Luxembourg, the filler date:
It goes without saying that Luxembourg is too small to organize a real tour inside the country. Try to combine it to a French or German tour and promote it as part of it. Avoid playing too often in Luxembourg as the audience won’t follow. Focus on playing at strategic festivals or venues in your genre and make something special about it!
Once you have identified a number of music professionals (bookers, agents) you intend to get in touch with, make sure to pay attention to these essential elements:
> make sure to present a decent concert curriculum (at least) in your country of origin
> locate the people with helpful resources & contacts:
Within the Greater Region, the members of the Multipistes network (in Luxembourg: Rocklab are committed to deal with inquiries from their neighbours. You also might want to seek information at your export office about available support devices.
> identify and get to know the bookers and the local audience for your music
> always customize your correspondence:
- show your interest with the targeted venue with no particular flattery
- select and point out formally your significant live background
- be accurate and concise
- embed relevant links (audio, video, electronic press kit) & avoid (large) attachements
- record, track and follow your correspondence with care
> make the most of networking opportunities (music conferences such as Sonic Visions for example):
Avoid wandering around with a pile of CDs (be creative & pragmatic regarding your promotional material) and schedule some meetings with targeted professionals.
> be polite, be on time, be responsive & be yourself
For those who are used to the French market where musicians are hired in the context of a working contract: Luxembourg’s bookers usually do not work that way. Usually artists are paid according to their value on the market and depending on the type of venues or festivals (purely private or publicly funded).
Most bookers will go for a written agreement (mail or proper contract) and settle payment upon signature of a receipt by the artist or reception of an invoice.
Non-resident artists generally have to pay a withholding tax of 11,11 % on the net artist fee for non-resident artists which does not apply to production costs.
The artist as an independent contractor or as an employee?
Both is possible. The first case (as an independent) is more usual in Luxembourg.
As an independent, the artist’s income can be subject to VAT if he or she is providing services (performances) or selling goods (records for instance).
In general, every person established in Luxembourg who starts an activity that can be subject to VAT (like an independent artist) and who presumes that she or he will earn more than 25000 EUR has to declare the income to the Luxembourg VAT authorities.
This also applies to a person having an activity subject to VAT (goods, services against money in the country) and who is living abroad.
VAT for services, such as performances (musicians, singers & artists) is 17 %.
In Luxembourg most of the artists are amateurs which is the reason why these things tend to be less regulated than in France for instance.
Entertainment worker « Intermittent du spectacle » & independent professional artist
There are two legal regimens that currently exist in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg enabling locals artists to benefit from financial aid of a social nature in case of insufficient financial income or in times of involuntary inactivity, namely that of the independent professional artists and that of the intermittent entertainment workers. You can get more info about here.
Civil liability is mandatory for Luxembourg residents. It is however always useful to have an insurance for your gear (instruments...).
Next to settling the contract, it is recommended to check if the concert organizer pays the Luxembourg collecting society SACEM (author & composer rights).
As you are leaving your homebase for a new territory, make sure your gigs are properly promoted, or else no one will notice you are around!
> work with the right promoters, which are into your style and have the credibility to sell your show
> have a decent EPK (electronic press kit), including contact information, short & extensive biographies, links to 2-3 representative tracks, link to a live video, high resolution photographs in different formats
> at a certain point of your career, you might want to consider hiring a professional PR agent for a specific territory you are touring in. As Luxembourg is very small a PR agent is however not essential to find and target the right media.
> be clever: if you have a promotion deal for a certain territory already, with your label for ex., don't spend your money on extra PR/promo work. See what your label can do. Again, as Luxembourg is a small country you can easily find the right promotion partners yourself.
There are a few radio stations in Luxembourg who regularly play rock, pop, electro & hip hop music. Although there's no station dedicated to music only, you will find a number of programs which are more specialized into certain genres. Check out our National Directory of Popular Music for a list.
There is hardly any specialized music press in Luxembourg, either. Nevertheless, you will find a great deal of daily or weekly newspapers which might be inclined to dedicate you a few lines in their culture column. Check out the various newspapers and try to find out who's in charge of (music) culture. You will find a contact list of all the professional journalists in Luxembourg on press.lu.
Try to identify music, lifestyle and cultural blogs, check their contents and reputation. Check out our list in the National Directory of Popular Music
These practical info sheets have been edited by Rocklab in collaboration with our partners from the Multipistes network. The information contained in these sheets is based on the various presentations held during the "Oberkorn, it’s a small town - Touring in the Greater Region" workshop during the Sonic Visions Music Conference in 2014 and is updated on a regular basis.