Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Band With A Plan

Blog_DQTips on how to book a show at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall
Don Quixote’s booker Tom Miller has been booking shows in Santa Cruz for more than 30 years, so when he tells you how to jump, you say how high?

When asked how a local band should go about booking a show at Don Quixote’s, Miller’s advice is amazingly simple: 1. Play good music, and 2. Have a game plan to get people in the door.

For emerging artists who may not have the immediate name recognition yet, Miller emphasizes that bands need to come to him with the equivalent of a business plan outlining how they will sell the show. Think of it this way, you have fans (customers) who buy your tickets/music/merch (products) and in order to be successful Miller wants to make sure you know how to move some product. One of the top 10 reasons new businesses fail is lack of planning. Don’t be that business.


Your plan should include a gig history, any local radio support (KKUP, KUSP, KZSC, KPIG), mailing list numbers, social media stats and anything else you will be doing to help get butts in seats. Like many local venues, Miller also appreciates when bands come to him with a package deal—two or three bands that can carry a night and already work well together.

Living up to their “International Music Hall” status, the Don Quixote’s calendar features fingerpicking to African fusion and everything in between.  Their local representation is no less diverse, playing host to everyone from Who’s Holdin’ (rock) to Sherry Austin (folk) to Funkranomicon (funk).

Running shows most nights of the week, Don Quixote’s is a rare venue where you can still have an old-fashioned dinner and show. This versatility allows a band to plan for a sit-down crowd, or to clear the floor for the audience to get down. On a weeknight, pulling in 80 to 100 people is a good start for a sit down show, and drawing a 125 to 150 people is a good start for a weekend slot.

The venue also recently installed a new art gallery that further adds to the artistic flavor of the eclectic space. Curator Jim Cox is open to submission for upcoming installations.
With music from around the world, and right here in town, Don Quixote’s manages to have something for everyone. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

For more details on how to book a show at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall, go to

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Making a Scene

As it celebrates its 30th year, Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios is one of the most successful in the country—and a make-or-break event for many local artists


A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 2

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Extra Pop

Assembly’s pop-up space goes into regular rotation, Cabrillo wine dinner, and a visit to Mozaic


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist


Downhill Cellars

An easy-drinking Chardonnay from Downhill Cellars


If whales have a message for humans, what might it be?

“Do not come in the water and join us.” Howard Hall, Santa Cruz, Retired