An Austrian Booking Story... Made In The UK
James Cottriall plays over a 100 gigs in Austria each year
James Cottriall is a singer songwriter from the city in which Shakespeare was born - Stratford, England. Other than the red bearded British playwright, James will not need historic dramas to go down in history. He needs only his guitar, his charismatic way of speaking German and his charming voice. I had the opportunity to interview Jason Mraz (James Cottriall being his nome-de-plume) as he is also based in Vienna, Austria. I was particularly attracted by his success booking gigs, so we sat down and chatted over a piece of Sacher tart and bubbly water from Austria…
Hello James! When I last visited your website, I noticed that you play more than a 100 times in Austria each year. That was stunning because I never thought that there were that many locations in Austria at all. Is it really possible and/or and that's far more interesting - necessary to play that often?
JC: I think it is necessary to keep your fanbase growing. My aim for this year is 180 concerts in Europe. And this, I think, is possible. If I should be lacking in gigs, I'd take my guitar and play in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral for the many tourists in Vienna.
Who is scheduling the gigs for you?
JC: I do it on my own because personal contact with a promoter is very necessary. I want to have the control over my calendar.
Let's say you are comparing being an artist in Austria and booking compared to doing so in the United Kingdom. What is the first thing that comes to mind?
JC: (Hehe...) Well, calling the owner of a music club in Austria and wanting to speak to the booking agent of the club I would ask: "Are you in charge of music for this club?" With more than 50% of cases, the man on the other end would say: "No!" and would hang up. In the United Kingdom, they would connect you to the correct office and person.
So, you think doing booking in Austria is more difficult for an artist than doing this work in the United Kingdom?
JC: It isn't that difficult to get good bookings in London, for example. It seems like London is built by new artists, and possibilities.
And what is your secret to increasing the frequency of booking in Austria?
JC: I don't want someone to think I'm overweening, but it's a matter of quality. No concert is the same. The set list differs from gig to gig, and so it's something special every time. Sure, I'm very flexible in terms of defining the lineup, but I also bring my audience with me. As a promoter, you are able to choose "how much of" James Cottriall you want to get - a band, a solo show, or the whole orchestra (laughing). Mostly, it is a matter of space.
You are about to release your first single, "Unbreakable". What's the release schedule for the entire album, and when will you do a promo tour through Europe? How can booking agents get in touch with you?
JC: The next big hit is my tour through Germany and the Netherlands. We don't have any idea when the album will be released, but keep posted by visiting my website www.jamescottriall.com. Booking agents can also find me there or on Facebook.