Are you an original artist looking to book a gig? The Loose Cobra might be the place for you. It also might not be. Please consider the following before reaching out.

1. We are a rural bar, located in Tolono, IL. Population not-very-many.

2. Unless you are a well-known act with significant and regional drawing power, we do not charge a cover.

3. So that means we put out a jar that says “Tips for the Bands!”, and, at the end of the night, I augment the contents of said jar with some money out of my drawer for you.

4. The “Loose Cobra Guarantee” is $60 and a case of Blatz. (I’m joking, to some degree. You can have whatever kind of beer you want.) Sometimes bands get more than that. They never get less. Don’t ask for more unless you are going to draw some folks in. (See point number 7.)

5. With a few exceptions, we generally do not have cover bands. On rare occasions, if it’s a good fit, we do. But be warned that this can be a hard sell with me. There are tons of other places for cover bands to play. You’ll be fine.

6. I favor greasy original alt-country stuff and original stoner/metal stuff. And not much else. And I prefer my metal without make-up or clown references. I like Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Waylon Jennings, and Kyuss. And I prefer bands over solo acts. If you are a solo-singer songwriter, please consider joining us for one of our open mic Second Sundays. (Second Sunday of each month, usually from 2:00 – 6:00. It’s grown into quite a thing.)

7. Our dart area becomes our “stage” when bands play. We normally discontinue dart play during the sets. Our capacity is about 60. If you bring 20 people who would not be here otherwise, I will be happy. If you bring 40, I’ll shit my pants and you are getting more than $60 bucks. If you are going to bring 60 people, we are charging a cover and we’ll have real live contracts and guarantees, etc. If you are going to draw fewer than 8 people then that’s a bit of a bummer…although certainly a scene with which I am familiar. I’ve played many shows to fewer than 8 people. I’ve even played to zero. Sigh.

8. Due to the size of our venue, it’s kinda like playing a party. We normally only mic up kick drum, vocals, and the occasional acoustic guitar. That said, the sound is kinda awesome. I am an audio junky. I’ve been thoughtful with acoustic treatments, and what PA I have is silly good. I get lots of nice comments on the sound at the Cobra, for which I am always so appreciative. It’s nice when people notice.

9. Sometimes we do outdoor shows in our parking lot. I have a big stage and a baller PA. We can accommodate crowds up to 500. If your band is cool and you can fill that up then we need to talk. (Booking agents take note: Because my costs are so low I can pay a higher percentage of ticket sales to the actual artists. Keep me in mind when routing your artists through the summer festival scene.)

So…have you carefully read the above information? After reading it, do you still want to play here and do you think you are a good cultural fit? If so, you may now send your inquiry to Matt at the following email address:

A few last words:
* Do not contact me through facebook. I don’t know how that works.
* If you found my bar through a service called “Indie on the Move” then pump the brakes. I’m sorry but I’m not super fond of that site and I do not know how I got on their list. Nor do I know how to get removed from it. I can tell when folks are contacting me through their service because it’s obvious they have no idea who we are or what we are about, and it’s just not the best way to start a conversation.

Thank you!