How to Book Gigs as a New Band
Booking gigs and concerts can feel like a hard game to master, especially when you’re competing against musicians and bands that already have good relationships with your coveted venues. The fact is that there is a very limited number of performances available, and getting the spot as an unestablished band when venues prefer experienced bands that they know will fill the room is a challenge. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to get on the radar of your local venues.
How to Book the Right Gigs for Your Band
Do Your Research
As with any business, it’s important for artists to know their audience and book their gigs accordingly. Obviously, this requires some research into the venues you want to land – make sure that their target market lines up with yours. In other words, if most of your fans are teens, then a 21-and-over club isn’t the best place for you, and if a venue tends to book country music gigs, their audience may not fully appreciate your hardcore band. Check out the venue’s website and see who’s played there in the past or who’s on the list of upcoming acts. If you can, go to some gigs and get a feel for the venue’s overall vibe.
Think Outside the Box
While traditional venues may seem like the most obvious choice for booking gigs, there are plenty more opportunities if you’re willing to think outside of the box. Especially if your music isn’t widely known yet or your band is unsigned, it may be easier to book charity events, corporate parties or store openings. These markets are generally much less saturated than traditional venues, meaning less competition from more experienced or well-known bands.
Keep Good Records
Take a couple hours to create a spreadsheet of all your local venues, with information such as the size of the venue and where it’s located, its website, contact information, the name of the booking agent, the type of music that is usually played there, audience demographics and whether you’ve played there. Although this may sound like a hassle, you’ll appreciate having this information readily available when you’re looking to book gigs.
Have a Promotion Plan
If you’re playing small local venues, then the odds are that you’re going to be responsible for most of the promotion. Your chosen venue benefits from sold-out gigs, and having a solid promotion plan may provide you with the leverage you need to book it. At the very least, use your social media presence to let your followers know where you’ll be playing, make up some fliers and use augmented reality to give your target audience a taste of your music and send out some emails to promote the gig.
Stay in Touch
Once you get the gig, it may feel like the work is done, but really, it’s only just getting started. Be proactive with keeping in touch with the venue’s booking agent. Be early for all of your gigs, and ensure that your set list features well-rehearsed songs and that all of your equipment is working properly.
Whether your band is new to the scene or you need fresh ideas for booking more gigs, proper planning is key to getting closer to your goals.