Venues & Bookers Will Love You For This

Top 17 things to do to make sure you’re booked again

23rd Hour
23rd Hour
Dec 6, 2018 · 2 min read

You’ve landed a cool gig. Maybe you’re really new and you just booked your first coffee shop feature. Or maybe you just scored your first festival or showcase. Every new gig is an opportunity to make new connections in the music business, no matter how small the venue or audience. You always want people to feel like they were lucky to book you. It’s not hard to do, but it is all in the details.

Before the gig

  • Make sure you know where to go, what to bring, who will be the point of contact beforehand.
  • Decide on your set list. You should at least know how many songs you can fit into your allotted time slot.
  • Think about your banter. Is this a venue where people will want to hear the story behind your music? If so, which story do you tell? Refresh your own memory so you don’t stumble on stage. You want to be as professional as possible to make your booker look good!
  • Promote the event. Everybody loves some help promoting their event.

At the Gig

  • Bring your best attitude and be flexible. You’re an entertainer, it should be fun to be around you. Introduce yourself to other musicians if you get a chance.
  • Show up at load-in time. If applicable, ask where to put your gear until it’s your turn to soundcheck, so that it’s not in other people’s way.
  • Once you’re there, stick around until you’re done soundcheck. Don’t have people chasing you around when it’s your turn.
  • Try really hard to remember everybody’s names: the sound engineer, MC, volunteers, anybody who’s helping out. It does matter.
  • Thank everyone personally before you leave.

On Stage

  • If it’s a new audience, repeat your band name a few times.
  • Mention your social media and/or merch if applicable.
  • Thank your audience.
  • Thank your host/venue and the event staff.
  • Do not apologize. It doesn’t make you appear humble. It makes you appear unprofessional and undeserving of the audience’s time. Even if you make a mistake, the show must go on.

After the gig

  • Send a thank you note. Bonus points for physically mailed thank you cards.
  • Tag the venue, organizer, photographer etc in your social media posts about the event. If a photographer provided pictures, make sure to give them credit whenever you post those photos!
  • Share any posts about the event. Promote them. Reciprocity is the name of the game.

There you have it! Have we missed anything?

SmartMusicianGuide

Strategies for success in the new music business

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