For The Artists | Booking Gigs

I’ve been at this for a while now and decided to take a break from performing live to give my full attention to my EP that’s due out Fall 2012.  One thing some artists really want to know is how to book gigs.  There are a few things you need to do in order to start booking gigs, especially when you are just starting out, so here are a few tips:

Choose Your Material:

You can not perform if you have nothing to perform – its that simple!  Decide what your goals are.  Do you want to be the greatest cover band in the world?  Do you want to take over rock, country, pop, or r&b? You need to choose or create music that fits whatever your goals are.


Have Your Stuff Available:

Once you have your material together you need to make sure you have it available somewhere for promoters and venues to hear.   If you start applying to gigs without your material available to be heard, you are headed down a long road of no’s.

Try sites like reverbnation, bandcamp or soundcloud to play your music.  If you feel like diving off the deep end, then go for a website.  It doesn’t have to be expensive either.  You can use ning or you can get inexpensive hosting from iPage and use one of there website design options.


Go Find Them:

When you are first starting out, unless you are the child of Michael Jackson or something no one is going to be seeking you out for gigs.  You need to start looking as soon as you decide to start gigging.  Now this doesn’t mean you should just start harassing people without being prepared.  This just means you should be looking for venues and shows that cater to your market, your niche.  If you are a pop artist, your best bet is probably not going to be at a country music venue/show.

When you do figure out where is best for you and your music to be performed, you will then be able to figure out what requirements that venue/show has so you can prepare.  If you signed up to have your music on reverbnation, you will see that they also have a section with venue contact information.  Check out these pages to see what other artists have played there and what they might be looking for.

Start Small:

Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center should not be the first place you want to perform!  Find some local places to get your feet wet and work out the kinks of your performance.  Open mics are great places for this!  Plus, open mics are a great place to find out about other events and shows that you can get involved in.

Here’s the first open mic I did on the fly a few years back:


Rip Your Show:

When you final get the show, do not think your work is over.  Make sure your material, your music is well prepared.  If you have a band, make sure members are not just playing on the fly – there is a reason musicians rehearse.  Don’t embarrass yourselves!  Make sure your supporters know to come out and well, support!  Give your best possible performance and you will be in good standing with that venue/show.

The last thing you want is to do all of this hard work and fall flat on your face during your first couple of shows and have venues and promoters remember you in a bad way!  Rip your show! Have a blast and make sure your audience has a blast with you.  It will be a great memory for you, your supporters and the venue and show promoters.

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