How to Get A Music Festival Gig

If you’re trying to make it as a musician, you’ve probably been a music festival or two and thought to yourself that it would be fun to perform at one. On top of that, it would be a great chance to showcase your act in front of a big audience.

So how can you get a festival gig? If you’re going to try to land one, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

1. Target the right festivals.

You probably have dreams of playing a primetime spot at a high-profile festival, but you’re going to have to work your way up to that level.

Look for festivals near you. Festival bookers will want to bring in a few local acts to help attract a larger audience, so if you’ve built up some kind of excitement in the local scene, you should have a good shot at landing a gig.

If you can’t find many festivals near you, look for niche festivals that match your sound profile. This will show that you’ve done your research and have a strong reason for reaching out.

The festival scene is growing rapidly, so it’s easier than ever to find small festivals trying to fill out their lineups.

2. Hone your live performance skills and capture them on video.

You always want to keep a strong focus on your live performances, but it’s especially important if you want a chance at a festival gig. Festival promoters will be booking you for your ability to put on an entertaining live set, so you’ll need to show them some evidence that you can deliver.

It’s a good idea to capture some high-quality performance footage and put it up on YouTube. If you can afford to, try recording a few sets and picking the ones with the best sound and audience reactions. If you’ve got video of yourself killing a few live shows, you’ll definitely pique a festival artistic director’s interest.

You’ll want to carve out your own unique live sound, but most acts can benefit from an energetic approach. Here’s Anderson .Paak getting the crowd going at Splash! in Las Vegas.

3. Present yourself professionally online.

If you’re good enough to catch the interest of a festival director, you need to make sure it’s easy for him or her to find out more about you and get a stronger sense of who you are as an act.

Your social media should be easy to find and include links to your other profiles. You should ideally have a website with an effective artist biography, a good collection of photos, and a convenient way to listen to your music.

4. Build a following on social media.

Social media is a great way to quickly and easily demonstrate to a festival director that you have a fanbase that you can help attract.

It not only acts as social proof but also provides a quantifiable benefit for the festival in terms of its marketing reach. If you have 10,000 Twitter followers, then the director knows that you can easily tell 10,000 people to come see you at the festival. This is especially intriguing for smaller festivals that are trying to get the word out and build excitement.

Playing a music festival is a great way to get your act in front of new fans. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to reach out about playing a festival.

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Matt Cummings grew up in the Bay Area and now attends UCLA. He enjoys sports, music and comedy.

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