Hi-Fi Indy is a local venue that hosts local and non-local bands. As Booking Coordinator and Executive Assistant, Dee Annis is responsible for bringing bands to the stage, and she works with owner, Josh Baker, to help coordinate his calendar and fill in any open dates that the venue may have.
Annis said she loves going to shows and that’s how she got started in music production. Co-worker Chelsea Sanderson joked that Annis was Hi-Fi’s best customer because even if she didn’t know the band, Annis was always in the crowd. After a while, Annis had become friends with staff and told Josh she wanted to work there. When a position came open, Josh asked if she wanted it. She, of course, said yes.
“I love working with all the people. It’s always so exciting for me when we get a band that I love to come play here,” Annis said. “It’s because it is such a great venue and has a great reputation around the country. I’m very proud of it, getting to bring the bands that I love here and really showcase everything Indianapolis has to offer…. I hear often it’s the perfect job for me.”
A typical day for her consists of spending ALOT of time in her inbox, emailing booking agents, and band managers, as well as marketing. She works with the box office to make sure they know all of the details of a show. Most of the shows follow the same process, but sometimes there can be a curveball. For instance, most shows are general admission, but once in awhile, they may have seated shows where people have to pick their seats. Annis would be the one to communicate those details to the box office.
A lot of the booking comes from bands emailing Hi-Fi about inquires, but sometimes it’s suggestions from staff and community members.
The biggest thing Annis had to learn was the process of booking concerts. Learning the different softwares that Hi-Fi uses to keep track of the costs of concerts and ticket sales was brand new to her when she first began the job. As booking coordinator and executive assistant, communication is key. Oftentimes, Annis is passing along important information to her coworkers, like minor details and show information. She’s also learned that paying attention to the details is key.
“I’ve definitely messed things up where I put like a wrong door time on the show…,” Annis said. “Luckily nothing’s been crucially messed up, but it’s an annoyance for people who show up an hour earlier than they had to.”
The booking process may look different depending on the band, Annis says. Sometimes the process can be quick and sometimes the process can be slow. Multiple bands may make requests within the same time frame, so Annis has to prioritize based on who asks first, and who will maximize ticket sales. It’s still early spring, but the venue is already booking for fall.
The biggest challenge she faces is the unrelenting, never ending stream of to dos. There’s always more things to be done and always more shows to be booked.
“I also am a bit of a workaholic. I don’t shut off well. We’re working at all hours. I am always checking my phone,” Annis says. “So it’s also kind of just my personal commitment to the job where I want to make sure that I’m covering all the bases and doing a good job. Maybe if I didn’t care as much I would go home at six and be done. But I don’t roll like that.”