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Advice > Articles > Tips For Booking Gigs

Eights Tips To Booking Gigs

Remember, until you pick up the phone and start booking gigs yourself, you just might not be worth a talent agent’s time. So get busy, promote your asses off, and build demand. 


1) Put together a list of your target venues. Find the name of the booker, number, email, and best time to contact. You can use a program like Microsoft Excel to neatly insert all your data. Call or email the club or promoter with a clear idea of your style, like bands, and the dates you’d like to perform. They’re busy people, but don’t be too afraid—they’re people! Be patient and pleasantly persistent; just don’t be a pain in the butt. 


2) Keep good records of all correspondences, including the date and time you called, and what the promoter said. You don’t want to call the club back in a week when he or she advised to call in one month. 


3) Be prepared to send a press kit containing a CD with three of your best songs. Also include a bio that outlines the clubs at which you’ve already performed (if you’ve already performed) and your average nightly draw. Also establish a personal website or social networking account where promoters can get all the information they need about you in one click. You might also consider utilizing a service like Sonicbids ( to establish an “electronic press kit” (or online press kit). 


4) Let the promoter know that you’re available at a moment’s notice to fill in for cancellations.. It might also help to have at least two sets worth of material prepared, just in case you’re asked to perform longer. (Maybe learning a few “cover songs” could help). 


5) Be sure to work out the logistical aspects of performing live, such as how you’ll move your gear. Be sure to have sturdy cases that allow you to conveniently carry your gear. Also visit some of the van and truck rental places in your area and ask them about the requirements. You’ll definitely need a credit card and driver’s license. 


6) Understand the deal structures of clubs in your area: you’ll either be asked to play for free, buy and then “pre-sell” tickets, or receive a percentage of the door money. Whatever their “deal structure,” be sure to get it in writing.


7) Remember that moving up in the club circuit and expanding your territory into touring is not about how good you are but how many people you can draw. Promote your asses off and make every show an “event” not to be missed. Create hype, throw amazing after parties, invite tons of beautiful people, involve a charity, and make your audience feel so special that they can’t wait until your next gig.