How To Book Gigs: A Quick Review

Building a large fanbase and promoting your music involves more than updating songs on SoundCloud. Today’s musicians find that the bulk of their income stems heavily from merch and ticket sales. And what better way to make a name for yourself than through an awesome show. If you aren’t familiar with the live show circuit, here’s a brief how-to guide on booking your next gig:

1. Start With Smaller Cities

The competition in big cities can push you back several steps. Get to know the music scene in your local area first. Venues in smaller cities are more likely to give up and coming bands a chance to play. Plus, building a fanbase where your college friends or other familiar faces know you is much easier than totally starting from scratch.

2. Strengthen Your Promo Package

Having a standard promo package ready is an absolute must. Your package should include a short demo cd, a short band bio, and press clippings (if you have any). Send this through email, or present it in person. Remember – include only your best work, and make sure your bio is UNIQUE. A generic “cool, indie band” description isn’t going to cut it.

3. Work On Your Pitch

First, you gotta get your stuff to the right people. Find out who the booker is and send them your material directly. Try to avoid a middle messenger that’ll leave your stuff untouched. This is your chance to make a strong impression. Being in close contact with the booker will only set you higher on their list of potentials.

Since your promo package is top notch, it’s time to plan out your selling points. How many seats can you guarantee? Do you have experience with other venues? If you haven’t played live try to get on an existing bill with a band that already has a following. Working with other bands as an opening or joint act can be a safer idea for promoters who aren’t familiar with you.

When you’re just getting started, the big checks won’t always be coming from shows. However, getting experience and growing your fan base now will ensure your success on future gigs. Get playing today!

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Michelle Aguilar has a strong passion and love for music – and it’s history. She enjoys reading literary books, dancing, trip-hop/indie venues, working on her blog, and digging up new music. 

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