I’ve written about how to find gigs numerous times on The Musician’s Guide, but in the past I’ve often focused on how to understand how promoters think and reverse engineering that process to get a higher success rate when contacting promoters. In this post I want to take a step back and share a few ideas on where you can find the opportunities to perform gigs.
Looking at other band’s gig lists
This is one of the age old tricks for finding gigs to perform. Look at bands of a similar genre and level as yours and see what gigs they’re performing. From here, you can do two things – you can either contact those venues directly asking whether they’re looking for bands to book, or you can do something that I find far more effective – turn up to one of the band’s gigs and meet them. Email them before hand asking if they’d be up for a chat, and share some tips – ask if they would be able to introduce you to some of the gig promoters they’ve worked with, and offer to do the same for them.
Splitgigs.com – swap gigs with other bands
I first wrote about Splitgigs almost two years ago, and to this day they’re still one of my favourite concepts to help bands get more gigs. Quite simply, you enter the gigs you’ve got coming up with a spare slot on the line-up, and then you browse other bands gigs and ‘swap’ a spot on your gig’s lineup for one of theirs. Unfortunately, the site is still a relatively small community, but there are still heaps of opportunities waiting to be taken.
Looking at ticket seller websites
Similarly to looking at band’s gig lists, looking at ticket seller’s lists for concert tickets and upcoming gigs can be a great way to see which venues are hosting shows in different counties / states. The only thing to bare in mind with this tactic is that most venues that go through ticket seller websites are major venues, so you often won’t find the more nichey venues on here.
Download a list of UK music venues
Another option is to download a list of UK music venues (you can download a list of 450 music venues for £8.99 from The Musician’s Guide). This approach may not be quite as effective as asking other bands to introduce you to promoters, but it is relatively less time consuming, and you can send a message to over 450 music venues far easier than meeting 100’s of bands!
Finally, if you’ve not used StageIt.com yet, change that right away! The site allows you to host online gigs for your fans remotely from your kitchen or anywhere with an Internet connection. Hundreds of fans can pay a couple of pounds each to connect via a ‘Skype-like’ video/audio connection to watch and hear you play exclusive gigs.
Although this approach lacks a ‘live gig vibe’, it compensates with exclusivity, innovation, and intimacy with your fans, so it’s a really good alternative approach to filling some dates in a tour or doing something creative.
If anyone has any further tips, leave them in the comments below!
This post was written by Marcus Taylor, founder of TheMusiciansGuide.co.uk, a website that provides music promotion resources to help musicians succeed in the music industry. You can follow The Musician’s Guide on Twitter at @TheMusicGuide
Image Credit: muffinquek