Getting Booked to Play Live? Top Tips to Fill Your Gig CalendarSep 18, 2023
Getting booked to play live as a pro singer, indie recording artist or band can be a challenging but rewarding goal if you want to build a successful career in music.
Here are some top tips to help you secure regular live gigs:
Develop a Strong Online Presence
Create a professional website or social media profiles to showcase your music, videos, photos, and upcoming shows. Use platforms like SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify to share your music and gain a fan following.
Build a Press Kit
Create a press kit that includes a bio, high-quality photos, music samples, and links to your online presence. Make it easy for an event organiser or music venue to discover and learn about you.
Identify Your Niche
This part is sometimes difficult for singers or bands but try to define your music niche and target specific venues or events that align with your particular style. Research venues that regularly host singers or bands in your music genre.
Network with Other Singers
Attend local music events and connect with other musicians, bands, and industry professionals in your area. Collaborate with other artists, which can lead to joint bookings in some instances.
Reach Out to Venues
Contact venues directly through email, phone, or an in-person visit. Find out who the booker is and prepare a professional pitch that highlights your unique sound and what you can offer to their audience.
Top Tip: Send personalised emails that show you've researched their events and can explain why you're a good fit. Don’t do a ‘copy and paste’ job.
Attend Open Mic Nights
Participate in open mic nights and showcase your talent to local audiences and venue owners. It's an excellent way to get noticed and make connections.
Use Booking Platforms
Sign up for online booking platforms like GigSalad, Sonicbids, or Bandcamp, where event organisers look for a variety of performers.
Highlight what you can bring to the event or venue, such as your fanbase, promotional efforts, or unique performances. Be willing also to accommodate their requirements.
Don't get discouraged by rejection. Keep applying for gigs and improving your pitch. Follow up with venues or event organizers to express your continued interest.
Build a Loyal Fanbase
Engage with your existing fans and encourage them to attend your live shows. A dedicated fanbase can make you more appealing to venues.
Record High-Quality Demos
Record demos that showcase your best work and sound quality. These can be shared with venues and event organizers.
Maintain professionalism in all your interactions. Show up on time for any auditions and gigs, and be respectful to venue staff and fellow musicians.
Top Tip: If you do get booked for a gig, honour that commitment. Don’t ever cancel last minute.
Leverage Social Media
Promote your upcoming live shows on social media platforms, and encourage your fans and followers to spread the word.
Remember that building a music career takes time and perseverance. Be adaptable, continuously improve your skills, and keep expanding your network to increase your chances of getting consistent bookings and achieving success as a live performer in the music industry.
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