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GIGS & BEYOND - Pre-Booking Advice
By Cyrus Rhodes - 04/12/2010 - 01:58 PM EDT

Below are just a few hints and reminders for anyone aiming to get their own gigs by telephone or “cold calling.” For most newer bands don't forget you have to start somewhere - so this article mostly applies to you. 

-        Make a top to bottom venue listing within your locale and adjacent regions.

-        Send e-mails, make phone calls or visit in person when it’s quiet and the booker has time to chat.

-        One on one conservation is usually the best approach, especially with bookers, club owners, agents, etc. Look them in the eye and show you mean business.

-        Keep a list of venues you’ve contacted, the date, their reaction. Clubs tend to have a hi-rotation rate so scratch off the ones that are no longer in business.

-        Send your latest CD and Press Packs to prospective bookers. Arrange for a live audition.

-        I highly recommend “live” video clips because it says it all. Make these readily available for viewing on YOU TUBE, your URL, etc. This shows your “draw potential” to a booker or club owner.

-        Be sure to supply your own flyers, posters, etc.

-        Once you are booked confirm the date, start time, and the cost in writing. Things like door percentages, bar prices must be hashed out. This also includes the publicity strategy you have.

-        Word of mouth is powerful so get the street team to start spreading the word about the upcoming show.

-        Contact any local radio stations, newspapers, local music magazines and request an addition be made to their events calendar.

-        Attempt to bring more bands to the table to heighten the draw potential is a good idea. If you bring 3 or 4 popular bands to a single venue it’s more bang for buck.

Don’t ever forget “Draw Potential” is the most valuable thing you have to gain. If you have a good draw, then you can use it as a bargaining chip to get attractive door percentages, bar prices, etc. Money talks & So does your draw! Also making a great impression with bookers by delivering solid shows week in & Week out will usually get you an invite back every time, or a last minute phone call to fill an opening slot. Do this to 20 or more different venues around the region it will typically mean you have a gig anytime you need it. At the end of the day it’s just money in your pocket, and a great way to get local exposure.




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