Peoples Voice Cafe The Peoples' Voice Cafe

An alternative coffeehouse offering live entertainment in New York City,
from folk music and protest songs to rap and jazz, and poetry, storytelling, and dance.

Map * Volunteer * Photos & Videos * Past Performers * Contribute * Subscribe * About Us/Contact * Links * Home

Booking Critera

Please read the following information carefully before applying to perform at Peoples’ Voice Café.

PVC has three requirements for booking acts to play at the café: performance quality, political content and an audience base in NYC. Please consider whether you believe you meet all three of these criteria before applying to perform.

1. Performance Quality
Many outstanding performers live in NYC and many more visit from all over the world during the course of a year. NYC audiences have come to expect quality, professional performances in their city’s venues. Given the number of interested performers and the expectations of our audiences, booking is on a highly selective basis.

2. Political Content
PVC was founded and has been run over its 35-year history by volunteers who believe there should be an established NYC venue presenting music that relates directly to humanitarian and social justice concerns. While all music may be political in some respects, PVC seeks something more direct. For example: a modern day Woody Guthrie; a folk band offering the indigenous music of an oppressed culture; a gay or lesbian singer; labor singers; an act presenting songs about the protection of our environment; musicians speaking out with their music for racial justice; performers offering songs from the women’s struggle for equality... The list goes on.

3. Audience base in NYC
Unfortunately, this criteria has become necessary for the survival of the café. The out-of-pocket costs to PVC for a single evening are high and the larger share of the money taken in at the gate goes directly to the performers. The amount requested for admission is kept quite modest for political/ethical reasons and people wishing to attend may pay more or less as they choose. This means that for PVC to survive economically, it needs to book either a single act or two separate acts each evening that really can attract an audience either on the strength of their name or through their own grassroots followings.

**If you believe your act meets the first two criteria, but doesn’t have an NYC draw, there are some strategies that may work for you. Some performers have put together a combination show--yourself and someone with a big draw willing to share with you. Perhaps, the other act (with all the NYC fans) has no draw in the town where you are famous and popular, so they do a show there with you as an exchange. Maybe they just like you and believe in you. Another plan is to work with a local group, such as an activist organization or a union, that will support your performance with its members and publicity.

If you're interested in performing and feel you meet our criteria, write to the Booking Committee at and include the following information:

  • Brief description of your material
  • Short bio
  • List of the last several venues where you have performed
  • Link to any website where an MP3 of your music is available. Or you may attach an MP3 to your email.
Please note, we are a volunteer-run organization, so allow us some time to respond.