Getting gigs is important for independent and emerging artists as it helps them develop their musicality and even expand their fan base. Being able to get gigs means you need to be in contact with the right people; venue managers, booking agents and promoters.
The points below are suggestions of what to do when trying to make contact with those all important people in the hope to get more gigs.
Knowing where to start can be easier than you think if you’re regularly participating in gigs and open mic sets, you’ll most likely already know the bookers and promoters for these events. If there are a lot of music opportunities in your area, go and shake hands with the people that organise them. Meeting new promoters and booking agents can increase your chances for new/more gigs, especially if other promoters suggest you to other people.
If you’re wanting to go further afield and play gigs in a different city or town, keep a look out on gig listing sites to see what sort of shows you could play. See who other bands have previously worked with, they’ll be honest and may give you tips on how to approach the promoters.
Make sure you research different promoters and venues to see what type of bands/artists they usually book. Don’t put yourself out there as it can be a waste of time, and even money. Doing some research on different venues can save time when you could be focusing somewhere else, if you’re a rock band there’s no point contacting a Jazz club. Take a little time out to see what the required music style is on their website by looking at previously booked bands to make sure you’d be a possible candidate.
Contact methods and content can be a struggle when reaching out to a gig promoter as everyone is different. Email is the most likely way to get in contact with any gig promoter but it’s what you should include that counts. Some promoters prefer an audio file to listen to your tracks, whereas others may want a streaming link or a link to your socials. Take a look at each individual promoters website as it may have information about how to get in contact with them and what they want to see.
The best think to do is keep it brief yet relevant, get your point across with links to your material. A long winded email and loads of links to different tracks is time consuming for you and the promoter, so keep it short. Start with a snippet about who you are, where you’re from and what your music is about. Make sure you get across the type of gigs you’re interested in/looking for and mention previous gigs you’ve played in the past. You can also mention any bands the promoter has previously put on that are similar to you, this shows them you’ve taken time out and researched previous acts they’ve hosted.
An *EPK can also be included in your email with all the relevant information for the promoter to view in once place, but make sure it’s all u to date! It’s unlikely promoters will want to book you if you haven’t updated your material in three years. Don’t forget to add all of you social links and your website, if you have one, into the email.
Follow up on any contact you’ve made if you haven’t had a reply. There’s no harm contacting the promoter a few weeks after primarily contacting them as they may have forgotten and simply need a reminder.
*Electronic Press Kits provide the recipient with all the relevant media information including photos, music, tour dates and even press releases.