BookLive Blog

Wedding Gig Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Feb 19, 2019 5:18:38 PM / by Jared Judge posted in Freelance Music, Live Music, Wedding Music



Congratulations, you got the gig – a couple getting married wants your music to accompany their special day! You and your colleagues get to earn a nice chunk of change (and maybe a catered meal or two) to do what you love doing. Before you load up your gear to head to the venue, you'll want to make sure you avoid these mistakes. If you don't, your reputation, friendships and financial well-being are at stake.

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Press Release: New Social Network, BookLive, Launches Public Beta to Connect Freelance Musicians & Enable Them to Manage Nearly Every Aspect of their Career

Feb 18, 2019 12:02:48 PM / by Jared Judge posted in Press Release, Freelance Music, Live Music, Insider


MILWAUKEE, WI, February 18, 2019 – BookLive, a start-up social network that connects freelance musicians in order to help further their careers in the industry, has today opened its public beta. Musicians who manage their entire booking schedule, finances, payroll, and more can now benefit for this first-of-its-kind service that makes the business-side of the industry more streamlined and easy-to-navigate than ever.

BookLive provides independent musicians both tools and education that make it easier to manage the various complex aspects of a freelance music career, such as sales, marketing, account management, legal issues, personnel and payroll. Each of these tools is available in a clean, easy-to-use interface that provides an all-encompassing snapshot for musicians just starting their careers or veterans looking to simplify the way they do business.

BookLive is the brainchild of UW-Milwaukee graduate, Jared Judge, and Eastman School of Music graduate and current trumpet performer for the national tour of The KING and I, Keaton Viavattine. Each of the co-founders is a seasoned freelance musician, which gave them the first-hand experience of the challenges and constant hurdles that are associated with being an un-signed live performer. It did not take long for them to realize a nearly universal truth for freelance musicians: they are strong in the art of performing, but severely lacking in the art of business. And that’s where BookLive comes in.

“Being performers, ourselves, we realized that the vast majority of freelance musicians lack the training and skills needed to successfully run the business-side of their careers, and ultimately this makes it nearly impossible for music to be a viable, sustainable career path for them,” says Jared Judge, co-founder and CEO of BookLive. “Our platform is designed to help artists manage the not-so-fun parts of the job so they can focus on doing what they love – entertaining people with their music – and make a living doing it too.”

Prior to launching BookLive as a separate platform, Jared and Keaton had created a prototype of the app to grow their wedding string quartet agency, Dream City Music, to over 150 bookings per year in its second year of existence. The success of the app caused them to pivot and focus soley on providing this powerful tool to other musicians in addition to string quartets.

When a performer is paid through the BookLive platform, they pay a small fee to cover the costs of the service. With the time and energy saved through utilizing BookLive, the service is poised to be a valuable resource for freelance musicians across the country.

For more information, please visit, or follow the brand on Facebook. For musicians interested in signing up for the public beta, please visit

Media Contacts
Jared Judge
Co-Founder of BookLive
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I Lost a Bride's Playlist the Week Before Her Wedding (and it Earned us an Article in the Newspaper)

Feb 14, 2019 6:41:22 PM / by Jared Judge posted in Freelance Music, Live Music, Setlists, Planning




In the very same summer that I had a musician not show up to a gig, I made a nearly-fatal error that could have cost my string quartet its reputation. I lost a bride's playlist the week before her wedding.

It was pretty early on in my string quartet's history. We didn't quite have our act together as far as organizing setlists. For us to complete a playlist for a wedding, I would have a series of back-and-forth email conversations with the couple.

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Why I Stopped Bringing Checks and Cash to Performances

Feb 12, 2019 11:50:25 AM / by Jared Judge posted in BookLive Pay, Gig Payment, Freelance Music, Live Music, Insider


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Why I Started Taking Credit Cards for Performances

Feb 9, 2019 3:29:05 PM / by Jared Judge posted in Freelance Music, Gig Payment, BookLive Pay


When I started my group Dream City Music when I was a grad student, I wanted to make enough money on the side to support my studies and afford to go out a few times a month. I also wanted to make my family proud and to prove to myself that I could do it. I very quickly learned that starting a string quartet is not as easy as learning a few tunes and playing gigs.

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Why I Created an App for Freelance Musicians

Feb 7, 2019 6:05:29 PM / by Jared Judge posted in Insider, Live Music, Freelance Music


I’m Jared Judge, founder of BookLive. BookLive is an app that helps freelance musicians manage and organize their performing lives without having a degree in business. I wanted to share the story of why I started BookLive.

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