#5 ways to get gigs…
Gigging is a fundamental practice for many musicians. It is a superb way to connect to your audience, spread the word about new releases and build a solid and loyal fanbase.
So if you need a little inspiration on getting live gigs, let’s take a deep dive at the top tried and tested strategies…
#1 Attend Open Mic Nights
Attending local open mic nights is a brilliant way to connect to your local music scene. When I first started playing live in 2002, it was the only way I built a solid fanbase.
Open mics tend not to pay artists but open doors for artists to get paid for featured sets. So find the most popular open mic in your area and go. Every single week.
Attending local open mics means you don’t have to travel too far, it’s not going to cost a fortune to get there, and it’s a great way to build friends and connections, putting you at the heart of the local music scene.
They are also an excellent testing ground for trying out new material to audiences and gauging the reaction before committing a song to being single or on an EP or album.
#2 Hosting Live Music Nights
Hosting your own live music night is a brilliant way to a) get paid for playing music and b) make connections with other musicians.
Whether you host an open mic night or a featured arts night (where 3-4 artists are playing a longer set each), it will ensure you can build a community of music lovers.
You can either charge the venue for putting the nights on or (on the featured nights) charge the audience for attending and come away with some money in your pocket for your hard work.
To start hosting nights, you only need the following;
1) A simple PA set-up.
2) Internet connection to spread the word.
You can advertise your night for free on your social media pages, Facebook groups and Facebook ads if you have the budget. If you go down the ads route, make sure you make an awareness campaign and set the target audience in the local area to the gig.
In addition, people attending the gig will inevitably check out your music if you promote the event from your pages, leading to more fans for you. Win, win!
#3 Gig Swap
If you are hosting your own events, this opens you up to a whole new world of gig swapping.
You can book artists who host their own events and swap gigs with them.
So if you’re in Leeds hosting an event and find someone doing the same in London, swap gigs, and you will both have a whole new pool of new potential fans reading and waiting without having to seek them out.
It is a mutually beneficial way to build contacts and network with people in the same position as you.
#4 Unsigned Guide
The Unsigned Guide is a brilliant resource that is a directory of promoters/venues and their contact details to help you to get gigs and progress in your career.
There are sections for;
- Rehearsal Rooms
- Training & Tuition
- Equipment Hire
Also, there are sections for;
- Artist Managers
- Creative & Branding
- Law & Music Business
- Live, Media
- Music Publishing
- Music Training & Careers
- Record Labels
- Recording & Production
- Selling & Distributing Your Music
So it is more than just a way to get gigs.
There is a fee of (currently) £5.99 per month to access the information, but even if you just tried it for one month, you will have a wealth of contacts at your fingertips.
#5 Live Stream
Finally, Live Streaming your own gigs is a brilliant way to get new fans of your music, build that fan base and
It is a great way to play from home without having to travel to gigs, and you can play for free, or if you choose, you could make it a ticketed event or set up donations for viewers if they want to tip.
You could also share the stream with another artist in your genre, doubling your audience and opening your music up to new people.
I feel that the world of live streaming is just opening up, and it will be a massive player in the future, so why not start now?
The Wrap Up
Combining all the strategies above will ensure that you get gigs, build fans and connections and make money out of your music.
Whether you want to play live every night of the week or make rare appearances once a year, the tips above will make that dream a reality!
Did I miss anything?
Please drop me a comment or an email kris@fvmusicblog and let me know!