Guide to getting and playing better gigs


   

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If your band members communicate really well with one another, then you could possibly split up the booking chores, getting together frequently to update each other. But in general, it works out best if one person is in charge of booking. Pick someone in your group that's very organized, social, responsible, and deals well with spending a lot of time on the phone!

When you call the promoter, introduce yourself and your band, and tell them what your band is up to and that you'd like to play x place on x date. More than likely, he/she will ask if you have any music to send. Of course, you will, because you'll have your stuff ready to mail.

Follow up on the package with a phone call. Make sure they received the package and ask whether they've had a chance to listen to it. If they liked it, hopefully they'll book you. If not, thank them for their time. If you're stuck for leads in that market, ask them if they could point you to other resources.

People in this business keep strange schedules. It's a good idea to ask people what hours they're available so you can organize your calls to make the most of your time. Be accessible to people, promoters, clubs. Be sure to always return phone calls in a timely manner, preferably within 24 hours.

You may need to call people every other day, and some people every day to get a response. Booking shows requires persistence, but be careful not to bug people to insanity. If you're not getting a response from somebody, move on to another resource.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket by only calling one person, and waiting for him/her to return your call. Call at least two other people about setting up a show.

Learn as much as you can from the people you talk to. Ask them about their scene, good local bands, etc. Listen and get information!

Be open to possibilities. There are lots of places to play besides traditional clubs. You can line up great shows at places like warehouses, parties, houses, garages, backyards, universities, record stores, parks, collectives, etc., etc., etc.

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