|Band Booking and Information|
We receive a lot of email traffic, but we still insist on booking strictly through email. Even if we speak to you about dates, or share messages over social media, you must to email us. If you don't hear back immediately, don't be afraid to resend an email. Sometimes emails will get buried, but they're always there in the queue. We don't take offense to repeat emails unless they are extremely frequent and particularly annoying.
NOTE: Your band is NOT confirmed for a gig UNLESS you or your agent receive an email from us at The Kraken stating that you are confirmed... a discussion several months prior, or Facebook or other communications are not a guaranteed confirmation. We have to keep up with hundreds of bands at any given time, and our contractual agreements are archived in the form of email.
Bands that we book: We book mostly local acts of many genres... We book touring acts when we can provide an ideal bill. Our typical acts perform Americana, Bluegrass, Rock, Blues, Metal, Country and various regional Traditional music. We are reaching out to book gigs with Jazz and Funk bands, and occasionally Ska, Punk and Electronic bands. We have a Gypsy band that is solid, and we'd love to find some Zydeco/Cajun bands and likewise Brass bands, but there aren't so many around these here parts. We host "Alternative" music as well, but typically that means local sounds that are well established in the Athen's GA and Carolina scenes. Grunge, for example, doesn't seem to work so well.
We are looking at starting a special Jazz and Heritage Concert Series possibly on Sundays or Thursdays during the warmer months of the year. This is a fairly open category, and will likely not be every week, but on a regular monthly or twice-monthly schedule. Stay tuned here and our on our social media pages (Facebook, eg: https://www.facebook.com/KrakenBarChapelHill/) and feel free to inquire.
Nights that we book: We book great shows on Fridays and Saturday nights. We occasionally book other nights, but for the most part please assume it's only Fridays and Saturdays.
Once again, please note that your band is NOT confirmed for a gig UNLESS you or your agent receive an email from us at The Kraken stating that you are confirmed... a discussion several months prior, or on Facebook, or other communications are not a guaranteed confirmation. We have to keep up with hundreds of bands at any given time, and our contractual agreements are archived in the form of email.
If you are a booking agent: We know that booking agents cast their email nets widely to clubs across any given region, and rarely if ever examine pages like this... If you are a booking agent and have made it this far, please read on. We attempt to work with any informed agents if we cannot accommodate their initial requests - often times this means we may refer you to our friends who run other appropriate venues in the area. Also, please keep in mind that offers of typical large-scale media promotions (print and radio and online ads, etc.) do not typically apply for our venue. Ask us for more nuanced promotion advice beyond what is detailed on this page.
Band pay: The Kraken does not charge a cover fee for entrance except for very special events - we pay bands out from the bar, have a tip bucket (tips are often quite generous), and provide a bar tab for each band. Our Friday and Saturday night shows usually provide a base pay of 40-160 per band, based on number of bands, number of musicians per band, and draw. We don't provide guarantees, but occasionally work with bands with whom we have a strong relationship that have grown to expect a larger payout. All bands know that we will work with them. We are a unique and historical venue that prides itself on drawing musicians and bands with a lot of history, and we do our best to introduce new acts and touring bands to audiences and musicians that will work out for everyone. In general, most bands end up being paid out more at The Kraken than they can expect from any other local small music venues.
Playing time, set length and load-in: This will vary based on the number of bands, and the the bands in particular. Music usually starts at 9pm and ends between Midnight and 1am. We will occasionally start at 8pm, or finish later than 1am. We tend to let the bands on any given night determine set length if they are familiar with each other. Opening acts can generally expect to start playing at 9pm and clear the stage by 10pm. Load-in generally begins a bit before 8pm (earlier for an an early show). The earlier you show up, the easier it is to arrange load-in directly from your transport to the stage - say five to fifteen feet.
Sound and lighting We have LED spotlights, a Yamaha EMX 512C powered mixer, 3 monitors, 2 large Yamaha speakers, and 4/5 mics/stands, cords, guitar racks, etc. It's a fairly simple yet very effective setup. We provide any necessary assistance with setting up your sound. Inquire regarding any special needs. Bands that have 6 or 10 or 16 members will need provide their extra equipment.
Promotion: The Kraken always promotes upcoming events, but we expect bands to engage in their own promotion as well. There is a noticeable difference in audience size when bands contribute on their own behalf. We are engaged in the community IRL and online, but only have so much reach and time to engage in ideal promotion. We'll always work with you, but please take note of our following advice:
At the very least, during the email booking process, we need to receive proper band information/history/bio/write-ups along with any and all online links to their music. The better this content is, the better we can help promote.
Next up, it is also extremely helpful for bands to create a PUBLIC Facebook event (public option must be chosen in upper-left corner of initial event creation pop-up window) for their shows since that is easy to effectively get the word out to our community. If you are part of several bands playing, some communication may be required to come up with a single FB event page. We request to be made a co-host so we can help cross-promote.
Facebook events are extremely helpful since we can easily share them across local music groups and genre groups and more. If you are members of such groups and communities, please share them yourselves, whether on Facebook or any email lists or other media.
The Kraken's promotions can be seen on our website, Facebook, ReverbNation, Twitter and by word of mouth. We also maintain a Marquee that thousands of people see every week.
It's also very helpful to send/drop-off flyers to the bar, if not post them in the local area. We can provide information regarding the local, friendly Poster Guys who can cover the entire Triangle area. Please inquire if you would like any other local print, radio, media contact information.
Other Venue Information: The Kraken is a small Roadhouse with a lot of history. We're located just a few miles west of Downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Since we serve liquor without serving food, we are required by the NC ABC to be a private club. Your fans can sign up immediately with a valid ID, and it costs one dollar. We have a ton of Chapel Hill and Carrboro regulars, and we draw from Durham, Raleigh, Saxapahaw, Burlington, Greensboro and beyond.
Food: Whether your band is touring or local, you no doubt will be interested in the local food options. On the Friday of the month we have the best burgers in town right here at The Kraken: Al's Burger Truck serves on Fridays from 4-11pm, and we're looking forward to another other food trucks joining in on Saturdays!
There are also many great restaurants of all price ranges in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, but we must specifically mention the closest restaurant, The Fiesta Grill. The serve up epic portions of amazing Mexican cuisine for great prices, they've been rated as top of local restaurants for years, and they're just a quarter mile up the road. There is one single pizza, sub and salad joint that will regularly deliver here, and that is Aiden's Pizza. We have menus available for both of these fine establishments and others nearby for quick and easy take-out. If you want other suggestions, please ask us via email before your gig.