To get a concert date, you need an audience, but to get an audience, you need a concert. You have to start somewhere and often young bands find themselves at a dead end!
Overcoming this paradox and getting your band to play in front of a crowd requires careful planning and knowledge of the different methods and tools to get there. Getting a single gig is an important starting point that you can use to book your band for an entire tour. To do this, you need to know how to promote your band and how to approach potential venues.
Here are 5 tips to help you get gigs:
1. Before looking for concert dates, be prepared to perform a live show
There’s no point in looking for a gig if you aren’t ready to perform. Focus on practicing until you’re sure you can get on stage and bring out the best in your project. Take into consideration that people will pay to see you. You need to be patient and take the time to master your instruments and your group dynamic.
Don’t forget that live performances add new layers to your musical universe. While listening to an album is primarily an auditory experience, your fans will have the opportunity to experience your music on a whole new level when they attend your concerts. So think about your outfits, stage configuration, new versions of your songs, how to interact with the audience, inviting special guests on stage, covers/medleys and other unexpected surprises. All the attention will be focused on you, so it’s the ultimate moment to launch your career.
IMPORTANT: For young musicians, never pay to play. Musicians provide a service, so don’t let venues take advantage of you. Unless you are doing something like a charity performance for a cause that is important to you, make sure you always get paid. It also means that you have to be on top of things and put on a quality show.
2. Starting out: thinking local to find concert dates
Obviously you won’t be able to sell out the Olympia on the first try. In the meantime, look around you to see what’s going on. In the street, at open mics, or even in music competitions, there are many places for artists who want to take their music to the next level. Start with small stages and observe the reactions and enthusiasm of the audience. It’s a chance to test your songs, your stage presence and evaluate your performance. With experience, you’ll feel more and more comfortable and will be able to compete for bigger venues. Start canvassing bars, small concert halls, local music associations and SMAC (Scène de Musiques Actuelles) around you.
Similarly, consider approaching other artists on your local scene. There is strength in numbers! Don’t hesitate to ask them for advice, or even to offer to play as an opening act for their next concert. The Internet and especially Facebook and Instagram can really help your research. Find out about the artists being programmed around you and keep in mind that you can build your network by exchanging with other musicians.
3. Build your social media presence to facilitate the search for concert dates
This is an important element to take into account. Today, in order to exist as an artist, you must already be present on social networks shaping your fan base and, therefore, generating traffic on your video clips and streaming platforms. What you need to know is that promoters love bands that have fans. Use your influence on social networks as a selling point when you present your project to venues. Here are some steps you can take to attract more fans online:
- Create an artist page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (or even a website)
- Ask all group members to invite their friends to like your pages. This will allow you to start with a solid and faithful base.
- Share your news, upcoming concert dates and new songs, and respond to people who interact with you.
- Get in touch with similar local artists. Share their projects and comment on their publications. Feel free to share their upcoming concerts. Establishing relationships with other similar groups can help you expand your fan base and build yourself as an artist.
4. The crucial moment: canvassing venues to play Live
You are now well established and you are only waiting for one thing: to perform on stage. First of all, find out which venues around you correspond to your musical style and are open to proposals from young talent. To do this, be strategic and use the internet and your network to find the right contact. The ideal would be to travel in person to the venue and talk to the venue’s programmers, but that shouldn’t prevent you from sending an email to ask them beforehand.
To avoid wasting time, get organized by listing all the possible venues with their name, contact details, and the date you contacted them. This will allow you to have a clear overview of your work and better manage your progress.
Here are some key elements that will help you get a positive response:
- Be concise and professional. There’s no point in telling your life story. The point here is to sell your project. It’s up to you to find the right words and make an impression with authenticity.
- Give specific information. This includes the duration of your set, your stage configuration (equipment and instruments) and your availability.
- Personalize your messages. Show that you care about performing in the venue you are approaching.
- Put together a good press kit.
- Include a promotional video (live session) of your band.
| Read also : Press Kit : Tips and Tricks for musicians
| Read also: How to write a good biography to promote your music?
5. Use networking platforms for musicians to play live
In addition to your personal canvassing, don’t hesitate to post an advertisement on networking platforms dedicated to musicians and events. These allow you to create your own musical ad free of charge according to your location. Most of the time, there is a demand for playing private events rather than concerts open to the public. But as these are often rather well paid, they can allow you to finance the development of your musical project. Here are some networking sites to check out:
To launch your career, Groover allows you to send your tracks directly to media, radios, labels and touring companies, etc. with the guarantee of being listened to, receiving feedback and gaining visibility!
Similarly, the platform offers many opportunities to play live and regularly organizes free showcases to highlight new musical talents!
– Article written by Amy Cimpaye in its original version, translated by Mackenzie Leighton –