Music bands and independent artists often have a tough time connecting with organizers who want to book bands for events and music gigs. If you love to gig out and want to start living life on the road, you may need all the help and advice you can get to make sure event hosts invite you and your band to perform.
In this blog post, we will share some practical tips and strategies with you to help find gigs for musicians and book your first music show or gig. We will also share some handy tools to ease the journey and help you get started quickly. Let’s dive in.
How to book a gig as an independent artist
1. Gain exposure
If you’re a budding solo artist or band, you’ll need a good amount of exposure to get promoters and booking agents to sit up and take notice. You need to have a persuasive demo that includes a collection of your best songs so you can market yourself successfully.
To put a demo together, you need a high-quality professional studio recording of your music. Once you have one, choose the best streaming service for your music, prepare the right materials (such as audio files and cover art), grow your online presence, and get more exposure:
Getting your music up on a streaming platform is a challenge in itself. So here’s an article that provides a little more detail on how to become part of a streaming platform.
2. Perfect your performance
As an artist, you need to master your live performance at music events. Make sure that you and your band members hone your craft constantly and perfect your live show. This will make you confident about performing and ensure that your live set impresses promoters, booking agents, and new fans.
3. Promote your work on social media
A solid social media marketing plan is key for booking shows for independent artists. So, build your presence on social media using Instagram post templates and other handy social media tools. If you have a band, you need to have active social media accounts too. This includes scheduling and publishing social media posts religiously.
Think about which social media platforms your fans and potential fans might be using. Once you’ve chosen which platforms are relevant for your music, create a social media calendar and consider what your target audience would be interested in. This will help you come up with regular content that will keep you top of mind for your listeners.
This is a great opportunity to create a community of people who enjoy your music so make sure to post content that’s related to that and the genre you’re in. You can also use it to get the attention of event organizers who are looking to book bands for events.
4. Promote Your Music IRL
While you’re promoting yourself on social media, don’t forget to get the word out in real life too. Use templates from PosterMyWall to create band flyers, concert posters, and music posters. Hang them around town and especially at your performance venues.
Also, call or text your friends and family and tell them about your music and upcoming gigs. Don’t underestimate the value of promoting your music and spreading the word. Increasing awareness about your music can help you earn the attention of booking agents and promoters.
5. Research Venues for Your Next Gig
It’s not only important to book a venue for your next show and play there. You also need to play at the right venues that match your music genre and style. Research the types of artists and bands that perform at a particular venue before contacting a promoter or booking agent. Finally, select a venue keeping in mind the following considerations:
Location is key to deciding the right venue. Consider whether your music may fare better in a quaint and charming outdoor setting or at a downtown location.
Play where your music will sound best. Rock artists may find the ambiance of a bar best for their music. Meanwhile, a mellow setting may work better for a folk artist.
Besides the location and environment, another thing you need to factor in is the capacity of a venue. Consider the size of the audience you usually attract. You will need to make room for all of them so they can attend and your show can become successful.
When researching venues, learn about the kinds of patrons who usually flock to those venues. You need to make sure that your music matches their tastes so you can play to a great crowd while attracting new fans and followers.
After you have decided on a few venues, save their details in a spreadsheet. The details must include the name and address of the venue and the contact information of the booking agent. Keep this data on hand to speed up the booking process. It will also make it easier to plan future music collaborations and tours.
6. Email Promoters and Booking Agents
To get the ball rolling, you need to contact the venues that you’ve researched. Get in touch with the promoters and booking agents. Their contact details are usually available on the website of a venue.
Remember that most promoters and agents have to deal with hundreds of inquiries on a weekly basis. They entertain countless people to book bands for events. So, make a positive first impression by sending a professional email to them. PosterMyWall has a wide range of free customizable email templates that you can choose from to speed things up.
Insert a clear subject line and add your content in the body of the email. It should include an introduction, artist bio, genre, details about your past gigs, and a link to your social media and body of work. Also, mention your interest in booking the venue.
Don’t forget to proofread the email’s content. Grammarly can help you polish your content quickly and professionally.
If agents and promoters are interested in your work, you’ll need to send them your artwork or posters that you’ve created for your music. If you already created it in the fourth step above using poster templates, you can also send them in an email. Your posters will help the agents book a venue and promote your gig.
7. Follow Up
If you don’t receive a reply from the agents and promoters looking to book bands for events within a week, it’s time to follow up with them. If they show interest in you but do not offer a gig, reach out to them again after a month or two. Persistently contacting them can increase your chances of getting work.
You can also shoot a friendly email to them that includes your latest music or press kits. This will help you follow up without coming across as too pushy. Also, remember to maintain a pleasant tone and don’t over-send emails.
8. Keep Building Your Brand
Even after you book a show as an independent artist or band, you must continue building your brand to get more people to book and rebook you. You can also book your own gig and lineup, find gigs for musicians at local music festivals, and update your promotional and marketing strategies to stay on trend.
Promote your music while delivering unforgettable performances
Booking shows as an independent artist is tough. But our simple tips and strategies will ease the process for you and guide you every step of the way. Once you book your show, enjoy it and make sure to deliver an unforgettable performance. This will help you attract more bookings as you grow your music career.
Senior editor at PosterMyWall.