How to Get Gigs For Your Band, Local Band, or Garage Band
How To Get Gigs - For Your Band. How to get band gigs and shows for your local band? It's not always easy to get out of the garage and get a gig. You can get a show booked for your garage band, local band, or indie band with a little hard work. Your rock band should have a strong music set, quality song material, and should play well in a live setting. It is now time to take the next step and book gigs for your band. Check out our tips on getting gigs for your band below as well as our three part article if you click this link. Get the band out of the garage and in to a gig. Listed below are some tips to get your bands some local gigs or shows in your area. With a little persistence and the right presentation your band should have success in securing some gigs at local venues. Songwriting for your indie band is quite important, so make sure your songs are of a professional quality. While you may have to play for free at first to get some gets, as you gain exposure and experience your band should eventually start to see a paycheck.
How To Get Gigs and Shows for Your Band
- Band Press Kit - The first thing your band, indie act, or garage band should do is to get a band press kit together. The press kit, press package, or media kit will have everything your band will need to get started. Visit our Band Press Kit Page for tips on getting the press kit together. Once you have your press kit, you'll have a vehicle to start promoting your indie band.
- Demo CD/MP3/Tape - For most gigs, a club owner or party planner will want to hear how your music sounds. So record your indie band Demo CD or Tape. You may want to buy or rent a portable home recording multi track studio at your local music store. Make sure your songwriting is of professional quality. Songwriting is a trial and error process and may take time. Many rewrites may be needed when writing songs. It's just part of the songwriting process. Portable home recording studios or computer recording software should give you sufficient quality for most local venues. Once your band is more established, you may want to get into a local reputable recording studio. Many professional indie bands use a computer program called Pro Tools or Cubase software for recording. While this is an expensive venture, it may be just as cost effective to learn the software than booking studio time.
- Open Mic Nights - Start off playing open microphone (Open Mic) nights at local clubs. Not only will this give you a little experience on stage, you'll actually have a built in audience. Many open mic nights are hosted by more established local bands or indie acts. Make valuable contacts for the future with the hosting bands and other local bands playing at the open mic night. Check your local music newspapers, perform an internet search for open microphone nights in your city, or search music websites to find this information. This is a great starting point to play gigs and shows in your area.
- Offer to Open for Free - The reality is that your not going to get paid when you first start out. Offer to be an opening band for free for a local band you know. Network with bands than you may have met at an open microphone night. E-mail more established indie band in the area and offer to play an opening gig for them. Many indie bands love opening acts. They don't have to pay you much and they don't have to play as long of a show set. This is the time to start promoting your garage band too. Hand out business cards and press kits to any clubs you play. Make sure to follow up with the venue after you have given them your press kit. Call or e-mail to make sure they get back to you. Be persistent. Booking agents and club owners are always getting approached by prospective indie bands and garage bands.
- Solicit your Press Kit - Now that your band has performed gigs at open mic nights, start calling clubs and soliciting your Band Press Kit and Band Demo. It is a good idea to visit clubs that play your style / genre of music and talk with the booker of the club. Please leave the venue booking agent a press kit and demo CD. The club booking agent will need a day or two to listen to your demo music. Call back and get some feedback. Ask for the gig for your band. Again, be persistent. Once you get a show visit our How To Negotiate A Gig page.
- Approach Town Fairs, County Festivals, or City Concert Venues - Another way to get exposure is to gig for a large audience at a local fair or festival. Most of these gigs your band may play for free to get exposure until your band gains a fan base. Some festivals do pay bands once they get a following or fan base. Visit our page on How to Book Festival Gigs. Do some research on the internet to see what local agencies take care of bookings for festivals or town fairs as well. Look for Entertainment Bureaus in your local phone book. Give out your band business cards at the show as well. This is a good promotion tactic to gain more fans. Someone in the audience may want to book your indie music band in the future.
- Booking Agents - Most booking agents take a percentage of the money that you get for a gig. Booking agents can be a valuable resource for getting some better paying gigs. Do a lot of research and be sure they are reputable. Do a search on your local yellow pages. A lot of booking agents only take well known acts, so shop around and see if they will deal with your local band. Stop by in person and take your demo and press kit. Check out the Better Business Bureau and make sure they are a reputable company.
- College Gigs - While college and university gigs can be difficult to attain, we give you some great resources to get your band on the right path. Many college band gigs are booked through campus associations. Many of these association charge a fee for their services, so do your research beforehand. Visit our college gig page for more information.
- Sound Technician - As your indie rock band becomes more established, you may need the services of a sound tech for your gigs. Many venues have their own PA system (sound systems) and will charge a fee for the services of the sound technician. Find this out ahead of time. If the venue does not have a PA system, your band will have to supply one. Please keep in mind that someone will have to run sound as well. Running sound can be expensive. Most sound technicians charge a good bit to bring the equipment and run sound. A good sound guy can mean the difference between a good and a bad gig. Please make sure your sound technician sets up efficiently and gives your band professional sound service.
- Website And Social Media Band Promotion - Promote your local band over the internet and social network sites. If you don't have a website for your local band or garage band, get one. They are a valuable tool for indie promotion in today's internet world. If you can't afford a band website why not try a Myspace Music page or Create a Facebook page for your band. Have all of your friends like the page and post updates on this page. Each update will post to anyone facebook personal page who likes your band page. Post show dates, CD / album releases, and band merchandise for sale. This is a great resource for bands to actually post your copy written songs, show dates, band bio, contact info, and more. Visit our Social Networking area for info on Social Media Band Website Promotion.
- Post Your Shows To Free Concert Calendars - Feel free to visit our Concert Calendar and Post Your Bands Shows, Gigs, Tours, or Concerts. New Users Click Here. Existing Users Login Here. Once you have your web address, start submitting your band website address (URL) to local band listing websites. Do a search on your city and see what sites list local bands and show dates. For Example, try searching: (Band Listings Pittsburgh, or Concert Calendar New York). Email the site and ask to have your web link added. Also, e-mail any concert calendars, entertainment newspapers, city papers, online newspapers, online music show listings sites, and have your band gigs and shows listed. You would be surprised how many you'll find in your area. Also email your local clubs with your website address and see if they would like a Band Press Kit.
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- E-mail Local Newspapers - Have your show dates added to local newspaper concert listings. Most papers will list your gigs for free. Contact any free papers that list band show dates. Also, see if they will do an article on your garage band or review one of your gigs or your CD.
- Band Manager - Look into having a band manager who will help out with promotion. This person can help book you indie act. Has someone that you have known taken an interest in your garage band or music career? See if they would help book your indie band. Relatives may do this for free or a small fee designated by you. Watch out for people that get to meddlesome in your band and try to control your band goals. Negotiate for fees charged for such services.
- Battle of the Bands - Send your demo and press kit to any local battle of the band competitions. Most competitions locate up and coming talent in the area for battle of the bands shows. The great thing about these competitions is that you can network with the promoters, other bands involved, and get exposure. Many of the competitions are promoted on the radio, internet, and newspapers. The winner usually gets a decent prize like studio time or free promotion. Have your business cards ready at every portion of the competition.
- New Clubs, Bars, and Live Music Venues - Pay attention to all the venues that have live bands perform in the area. Many bars and pubs tend to turnover or get renamed after a few years as well. If you are in tune to all the venues in your region, you will easily recognize when a new live music venue has a grand opening. It's a great idea to be one of the first bands to approach the club, bar, or venue. Call, email, and even show up in person at some point to hand the entertainment booker a press kit and demo cd. Try approaching the venue even before it opens as they may need bands for the first few months after they open. Network with the venue, like their facebook page, and follow them on twitter as well. Performing these tasks on the front end can give you an edge over the competition. Also, keeping informed on social media may also give you opportunities to see if the venue needs bands in the future.
- Gig Finders - Gig Finders can help you band get to the right venues looking for gigs. Visit our gig finder page for pros and cons on using these website services.