How to Book Your Band's First Show

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Have you been practicing for months and now you’re ready to start gigging?

Have you been out of the game for a while, and now you’re thinking about dipping a toe back into the waters of live music?

Well, our friends at Music Think Tank have shared some great advice on booking your first gig (or your first gig in a while). Check it out HERE for full details, but I’ll paraphrase author Simon Tam’s advice below.

7 tips to booking your first gig

1. Find the right venue- Make sure you’re asking to play in venues appropriate for your genre. Oh, and aim small, and here’s why!

2. Book at least 2-4 months in advance- Booking agents are like professional jugglers. They’ve got to dangle hundreds of bands at once, pair them up, and slot them into empty dates on their venue’s calendar. That takes time, so give them plenty of it.

3. Don’t send attachments- Do not send attachments in your booking request email. That’s a sure way to end up in the junk folder, and bookers might delete your message. Instead, leave a clear link to a place online where they can go and hear your music, read your press, etc. For more info on how to email booking agents, check out our article “Why You Don’t Need a Press Kit: How to Book Your Band in the Age of Email.”

4. Read their booking requirements– Don’t forget to check the venue’s website for their booking requirements and suggestions. What nights do they host music? How do they prefer to be contacted? Are there any stage restrictions? Finding this info out first will help you when you’re asking for a gig.

5. 2 paragraphs or less- You’ve got to state your case quickly for why you’ll put on a great show that will draw fans to their venue. Be succinct and honest. Don’t waste their time.

6. Give options- Be flexible, if possible, and provide a date-range or a few specific options for show dates.

7. Ask for help- Other bands can be your biggest allies in the booking game. Ask them for advice and try to build a bill yourself with similar acts. Then pitch that complete night to the booker. You’ll be saving them work!

Are you about to book your first show? Or your first show in a while? Let us know how it goes in the comments section below.

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  • Simon Tam

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Barry Cristantiello

    Thank you CD Baby, Came at the right time for my artist Voni Crist. Barry Cristantiello

  • Franco

    Helpful and inspiring! Thanks!

  • There is a great deal of info in this article, this was an awesome read !

  • I am thankful I will try this

  • Da Money-Dogg

    This MAke Since …NOw I Got A New Light For This !!

  • HEY THIS THE alabama blues boy thanks for sharing that info i am a new artist trying to get out there so this is a good way to reach my people you all are the best.

  • Glad to help. Let us know how it goes.

  • cocoajack here thanks for the tips

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  • I never thought the links are better than attachments – I don`t like URLs – but the bookers do – so thanks a lot for advice)) However, Russian bookers are of the special kind:(

  • Roni Dorsey

    Read your suggestions and now…first gig is just a month away. Made lots of phone calls to venues, sent Facebook messages, emailed, and simply went road tripping to meet venue owners face to face. FB and email were NOT advantageous for me, but the phone calls and road trip did the trick! Thanks for the info.

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  • José Martins Nunes

    É uma pena, não falo inglês.desculpe.