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Matt Rafal: The Life of a Booking Agent, Communication & Reputation

This week, we’re excited to welcome booking agent Matt Rafal to the show. In his seven year tenure at Supreme Entertainment Artists, Matt has specialized in booking tours for singer-songwriters, including the “Kate Voegele / Tyler Hilton” package tour (which spanned through the UK, Canada, Europe and the US), the 2013 “Trio Tour” featuring Tyler Hilton, Teddy Geiger and Ryan Cabrera, as well as national tours for Howie Day, American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, YouTube star Tyler Ward, Ron Pope and The Click Five. Originally a touring musician and songwriter, Matt has written music for a variety of television projects, including NBC, CBS, Disney and the CW.

In this episode, Matt shares some great insight into the life of a booking agent and what goes on behind the scenes, how important communication is, and offers some advice for artists interested in getting on the college show circuit.


  • We hear about the average day in a booking agent’s life
  • Matt tells us about what a booking agent’s role is – and there’s a lot involved!
  • Marcio shares how handling booking a tour is one of his least favourite parts of the DIY artist career
  • Matt tells us how having a booking agent as a buffer can be really useful for an artist
  • Booking a successful show is all about good communication – and that goes both ways
  • If someone isn’t replying to you in a timely fashion, they’re probably not doing the work they need to do
  • Bad communication is the death of so many things in the music industry
  • Matt Rafal = the nicest guy in the music business
  • We talk about the importance of building up a good reputation in the music business
  • Matt shares how he’s been on the artist side of the booking equation and this has helped build compassion for the artists he works with
  • We hear about the challenges in booking tours or shows for developmental artists
  • We talk about the favours that booking agents sometimes need to call in when booking shows
  • Matt tells us about NACA and why artists who want to tour should get involved with it
  • Matt shares some details about Michael Bolton that we didn’t know…and we love it


  • Follow your gut instinct. If something feels wrong, don’t do it.
  • Find other artists you can trade shows with in other cities
  • Look at calendars and contact artists who are touring who may not have support acts in place
  • Make it easy for promoters to find out what you’re all about – don’t send too many links!
  • Keep your emails short and sweet, so they’re easier to read and reply to!

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