So, you want to book your band for a paying gig, congratulations that you’ve gotten this far. The first step in booking a gig is deciding whether you want to book directly with the venue, or through a promoter or manager.
If you book directly with the venue, generally you as a band take on the costs and responsibilities of promoting the show. You may get more money up front, you just need to be ready to do the promoting and understand those costs up front or you will lose money on the gig.
If you book with a promoter, then it is usually going to be the promoter who takes charge of promoting the show. This may mean less money up front, but this is a great option if you don’t know how to promote your band and don’t want to deal with it.
You also need to be aware that some venues work only with a specific promoter, and sometimes they don’t. Give your venue of choice a call to find out if they work exclusively with any promoters. If you don’t know this promoter, then ask the venue for their contact information so you can make a connection. You should also approach other bands in the area to find out who the other bands already work with in your area. Once you have done your research and gathered the names of a few different promoters and venue booking agents you need to send them all promo packages that include your quality EPK (Electronic Press Kit). You want to take these contacts seriously as according to Kathy Salem, founder of GigMonster, “It isn’t what you know, but who you know and what they think about you”. Even if you don’t use a promoter for your current gig you will never make a mistake by making a connection for the future. These contacts can be what sets your band apart and gets you gigs by working smarter, not harder.
Make A Good Deal
A good deal is an important part of a great gig. You should prepare yourself, and your bandmates, for the fact that many shows will lose money. If you’re just starting to book gigs and don’t have much of a following yet, you should think of your gigs as promotional opportunities for your band rather than moneymaking opportunities. Your willingness to work with a promoter and/or venue to try and minimize the financial risk involved in a show will only help convince people to work with you. The more your following grows and the demand increases to see your band play, the more money you will be able to charge a venue. The more people you bring into a venue equals that venue recognizing the revenue they can earn by booking you on a regular basis.
Detail Payment & Expenses Before Playing The Gig
Your deal should detail how any income for the show will be divided and confirm information about things like accommodation for the band, riders, backline, and soundchecks. If there is something you’re unsure about or you don’t think is fair, speak up well in advance of the show. Try and identify where every dollar is going to go, or your money will speak to you and say “Goodbye”. Remember that you are running a business and part of running any business is understanding all your expenses, income, and hopefully in the end making a profit.
GigMonster can help you create your EPK (Electronic Press Kit) as well as provide you with your own GigSite (personal or band website). GigMonster is 100% free, and we provide valuable tips for effective marketing, booking gigs, and negotiating with venues. Do you have any tips you’d like to share about booking gigs? GigMonster wants to hear from you; you’re part of the family now!