Several musicians playing in sold out arenas and selling platinum records today, started out locally. It is extremely important to establish a local presence and grow a local fan base to progress your career.
Struggling to land gigs?
Follow these four ways to get more local gigs for your band:
1. Perform at places where locals usually hang out
So what if there aren’t any cool clubs in your area? Look for other places that your potential fans are hanging out after hours. It could be a popular local cafe, bookstore, diner or a restaurant. Approach the owners of these places and submit your demos. You could even offer a free live performance as a test-run. It will be a win-win situation for both parties if the locals love the idea of live music.
2. Perform house concerts
House concerts are a fantastic way to make new fans and meet people. Basically, you play at someone’s apartment, house, lawn or backyard for a small door fee. The audience capacity is usually limited to the space available. Ask around if anyone is ready to open up their homes for a live performance. Other than adding to your income, house concerts help you develop an intimate connection with fans. Shannon Curtis is the queen of house concerts. She gave up traditional touring in pursuit of house concerts. Since 2011, she has performed in over 250 homes and built a really large fan base. She made $25K on a two-month house concert tour and has even written a book detailing her experience. Watch Shannon’s video below and get inspired to go on your very own house-concert tour.
3. Pursue weekly residencies at a local venue
Turn up at local gig venues and offer to play for free at least once a week. Why should my band perform for free, you ask? As a band that is just starting out, your goal is to build a fan base first. Frequent gigging is the best way to market your band, establish a brand image and grow your band’s visibility. Start charging a cover as your band becomes more popular among the locals. Once you have established a following, you can approach other venues to secure more gigs. Begin with free residencies and work your way up the gig ladder.
4. Approach famous bands to be their supporting act
Contact popular bands within your genre, and request them to hook you up as a supporting act. Identify bands that fit well with the kind of music you produce. Offer to be a supporting act when they come to perform at local venues. Send your demos and videos of live performances to grab their attention. Further, focus on building a genuine relationship before you throw the supporting act card. Associating yourself with a popular band will enhance your credibility and visibility among the audience. Therefore, develop a strategy and reach out to other bands to get more gigs.
The local music scene is quite oversaturated. Follow the above strategies to cut through the noise and boost your band’s local presence.
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Manasa Boggaram is a writer and has a strong passion for music, positive news and constructive journalism. When she is not researching story ideas or writing blog posts, she spends her time reading books, discovering new music and eating lots of street food.