Musicians & Venues: How to be successful together
Things you must know before you call the venue for a gig
After you have done your homework, and identified the venue you would like to perform at . . . . comes the most difficult part . . . . getting in touch with the individual who books the gigs.
Right upfront I will tell you that more then likely your emails to the venue or phone messages will not be answered. Why? Simply because the staff has other priorities . . . UNLESS it is a music venue that offers new or established musicians a place to play as artists.
So, unless you are willing to play at a place where nobody gives a hoot about you as an artist, deal ONLY with a venue that has mastered their booking, through an online form and therefore looks at your application in an intelligent format.
The potential venue described above receives multiple applications each day, so present yourself prepared:
1. Check the venue’s gig calendar and identify dates that may suit their and your needs.
2. Check genre, age, for the performance day . . . do they match your performance format?
3. What do you have to offer the venue? –
• What does the venue have to offer you? Assuming there is an artist playing in the genre you represent and you are pretty much unknown in the area, I highly recommend to contact this artist and ask him/her if you can open for him/her.
• Most artists will agree to such agreement, and if successful you are entering into a great invaluable relationship for the future, simply because you get to know the artist better (schedule/performance skill/music connection(s), etc. and it will without a doubt help you in your career.
Now what most artists forget is, that you can also select a gig date and chose a local artist from the gig calendar of the venue for you as an opener . . . BINGO !
Once you have established a relationship as described above and you NOW contact the venue, you bring an asset to the venue.
The venue and you as a performer win, because more then likely you will bring a larger audience as if you would play as an “unknown”. Remember the venue has to have a sales revenue stream – You on the other hand want to build an audience that buys your CDs – downloads – and keeps following you as fans.
Don’t ever believe that it is the venue’s obligation to bring an audience. The venue simply provides the space for you to perform and to publicize your performance to their e-mail list or their social media followers. The audience size for a gig will always depend on the “name = draw” of the artist . . . NEVER on the skill or the experience of the artist ALONE !
Well, I know what you are thinking right now: “How about my remuneration for the gig?”
Let me discuss in my next article >>
As always, your comments are welcome . . . see below: