I get asked this question quite a bit and it's a difficult question to answer. Here we are in the beginning of 2018 and I already have half a dozen shows on my calendar for 2019. Yes, sometimes I get booked a year or more in advance, but that's usually not the case.
A lot of it depends on the type of event. In March, April & May I perform at high school Post-Prom parties. I usually start getting calls to book these in mid September, about 6 or 7 months ahead of the show. Summer fairs and festivals usually start calling in January or February. Companies generally start calling for Holiday Party dates in September or October. That being said, I HAVE had clients who tell me to reserve a date for the following year right after I'm done with my show.
My recommendation is to give me a call or send me an e-mail as soon as you know your event date. This way I can check my calendar to see if I'm available. A good rule of thumb is that if you contact me 2-4 months in advance, you have a pretty good chance of getting the date you want...but there are no guarantees.
You have a much better chance of booking me if your event is on an "off date." If your company Christmas Party is on a Thursday instead of a Friday or Saturday, not only do you stand a better chance of finding me open, but you'll probably get a reduced rate, too. On the other side of the coin, there are dates that are always popular and tend to fill up quickly. The weekend before Christmas is always popular and the third weekend in January is another one. I've had to turn down 5 companies for January 20th because I'm already booked.
My busiest months are January, April through August, October and December. If your event falls in any of those months, I urge you to contact me as soon as possible.