Posted by Will Rose
May 6, 2019
In our first post about booking more shows, we mentioned a number of methods to aid in your approach to playing out more. Here we’ll break down the items from that post, and expand on why they’re important, and how to go about them.
If you want to get on the radar of local venues, it isn’t a bad idea to reach out to them directly. Send booking inquiries, and be sure to include:
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a response right away, you may have to wait a beat, or send a follow up email. You also may never hear back, or even get rejection emails. It happens. Keep moving, and don’t be discouraged.
A typical email thread between a venue can be rather lengthy, and often looks something like this:
I’m reaching out about potential shows at The Music Bar, we are an 8-piece folk-noise band called Band from Milwaukee, booking shows in support of out upcoming releases.
Attached is our bio, press release, and social media accounts.
The Music Bar:
Thank you for reaching out.
We currently have dates available June 1, 12, or 19, do any of those work for you? Do you have any other bands in mind for the bill?
Typically our shows charge a $5 cover, and after the sound tech fee of $75 you keep 100% of the door. Does that work for you?
The Music Bar
We would love to play the 12th of June, and our friends Other Band are also available to play on the bill!
The Music Bar:
Great. Load-in is 7pm, sound check is 8pm, performers get two drink tickets each. Each band gets 4 guest list spots.
Backline we have:
2 Fender Deluxe guitar amps
1 Fender Bass Amp
House drum kit with hardware (bring snare and cymbals)
Parking in the area is limited, so we suggest you arrive early.
Great. Do you promote on social media, should we make our own facebook event?
The Music Bar:
Make a facebook event, and add us as a co-host.
Great. Excited for the show. Thank you!
As you can see, the email thread can get pretty drawn out. If only there were a better way! The above example was actually a rather streamlined and efficient thread.
Another good idea for booking gigs is to contact other acts that you’re interested in performing with.
Now that you’ve been regularly attending live shows, you’ve come into contact with all these great artists and acts that you’d be thrilled to share the stage with. Reach out to those contacts by whatever means available to you: emails are great, texts work, facebook messages are totally acceptable. Whatever avenue you have available to get into contact with performers and set up a show, go for it.
Another great idea for setting up shows, both locally and on the road, is to message the Facebook band pages of acts you’d like to perform with. It’s direct and effective. If you’re looking for a show in a different city, find an act that you like, and that could add draw to your show. Enthusiastically message them about the dates you’re looking at, let them know about venues you’re considering or inquire about their recommendations, and take it from there.
When sending performance inquiry messages, make sure to retain a level of professionalism and respectfulness, even when that sentiment isn’t met in kind (trust me, sometimes it won’t be). Be friendly, be grateful, and make a good impression.
A bad example of a gig inquiry would look something like:
“What’s up, wanna do a show?”
A good example would look more like:
“Hello! I’m reaching out in hopes of setting up a show for April 14 at The Gig Club, I’d be thrilled for you to join us! Are you available that day?”
Again, common sense, although unfortunately not always so common.
As we previously mentioned (link to go to shows blog) it’s great to get your foot in the door by showing up in person, and making some contacts in real life. This way you can establish some rapport and get the ball rolling.
When you do book those dates, be sure to use the BookLive platform to handle all of the important details!
May All Your Performances Be Spectacular.