Industry InterviewsInterviews

Marie-Laure Saidani (Igloofest)

Wanna be the one who does DJ bookings for events? Let Igloofest‘s Marie-Laure Saidani give the scoop on her awesome job.

So you handle all the bookings for the festival.
Yes, this is my ninth Igloofest. I do the bookings for Igloofest and Piknic Electronik.

That’s really cool you can work with both events. In a nutshell, what’s your selection process like?
At Igloofest, you dance or you die. First you need to find DJs who can play Igloofest, then I start talking to the agents. We try to not bring back the same DJs twice in a row to keep things fresh.

How far in advance do you book someone? About a year out for either festival?
I probably start in February or March for the next [Igloofest]’s bigger acts, up through mid-October. I’m always thinking about the next year; every night I’m like, “Next year I should do that, and not that.”

Do you notice some agents are much easier to deal with? What are some challenges when it comes to booking?
Yes, for sure. A challenge is to negotiate and get a good price. Also, availability. A lot of people are on holiday in January/February and don’t want to come to Montreal in the winter.

How did you get into a position like this? Did it require going to school for PR or something music industry-related?
I started volunteering at little events in France, then I attended cultural management school, and then I started with Piknic. I love big events like sports, big parties, and big entertainment… to see people having fun.

How would you advise someone who wants to get into a booking-related position?
Be patient, get experience, and attend events.

Who is one artist you’re most proud to have booked?
Maceo Plex! He played Piknic maybe four or five years ago, but he just played two live shows in North America so I really wanted him to play Igloofest for sure, and he made it.