Guitarists on a stageThe gig is booked and you’re stoked to play your hometown venue even though the club has changed owners since you last played there 5 years ago. It’s the day of the show and you arrive for soundcheck and meet the sound guy, only to find out he has no clue about you even being on the bill. You look around the venue and there are no posters or flyers around promoting your show. It’s as if no one confirmed that the show was actually happening. Worse case scenario? Maybe. But it’s also more common than you may imagine. Luckily, this type of mixup can be easily avoided by properly advancing your show.

  • Advancing a show:

    Confirming in “advance” all of the details surrounding your gig with a venue contact.
    Once you’ve confirmed your show, the booker should send you a contract or email with all the necessary show details. If they don’t, ask for the info yourself.

  • Point of contact:

    Who is your main point of contact? Is it the venue manager? Promoter? Keep their first and last name, cell phone number, and email address in a handy place.

  • Promotion (4-6 weeks out from your show):

    Who is promoting the show: you or the promoter?

    • If it’s the promoter:
      • How many posters and flyers are going up, where, and by when? Who is making the flyer? You or the venue?
      • When do tickets go on sale and through what outlets? If there is a presale of tickets, get a link so you can share it with your fans in advance.
      • Has the local media been notified about the show?
    • If you’re promoting the show, and need some promotion tips, check out the DIY Musician’s music promotion tips.
  • Details to consider 1-2 weeks out from your show:

      Now that you’ve confirmed that fliers are hung around town and the local press is pumping up your show, it’s time to confirm the particulars. These details are likely in your contract, but it’s always best to double-check. Give yourself enough time to find solutions for any problems that may arise.

      • What is the name and address of where you are staying? Who’s paying for it?
      • What is the name and address of the venue you are playing?
      • Confirm best driving directions to venue and any streets to avoid.
      • Load in time? Sound check time? Door time? Show time? Set length?
      • Can the venue accommodate any special equipment requests you might have?
      • Will special meal requests or any other rider requirements be honored?
    • Day of show – your final check in:

      It’s show day! Check in with your point of contact for one final run through of the details and review any plan changes. Re-confirm load-in and sound check time, show up, and get ready to rock!

    -Molly King


    Distribute your music worldwide through CD Baby. 

    Photo by Daniel P. Jones.