Narwhal Playing a Concert at a Grocery Store
Narwhal Vs. Narwhal playing at Cherry Sprout Produce

Atypical locations stir the magic

Sometimes the best gigs happen in strange places: maybe it’s playing your 15-year-old sister’s birthday party, opening for your friend’s art show, or playing live music at a roller rink. People enjoy experiencing music in  unexpected settings. Performing in a unique place may expose you to a new audience, and  you might see an increase in album sales, too!

People expect to see bands in bars and clubs where it’s easy to get distracted by friends, drinks and people with tight pants. But a band on a rooftop, in the back of a pickup, in a parking lot, or on a boat is harder to ignore.

One of the best shows my band ever played was in an old bowling alley. And one time we played in an old converted church (the acoustics were awesome and there was a certain amount of reverence in our audience that I could only attribute to the locale).

How do you book a show in a strange location?

How do you find unique gigs? Just ask around. Talk to the owners of local businesses. There’s a fast food restaurant in Portland that does in-store shows all summer long. All you have to do is ask.

I’ve seen concerts in boxing rings and bookstores. Chances are you’ve played some strange places too. So don’t always focus on playing the hottest club in town. Pick somewhere unusual and see where it takes you. Plus, if you pair yourself with a non-musical act (art opening, poet, storyteller, magician, etc.), you’ll be performing in front of an even wider audience.

What curious locales have you performed in? Let us know in the comments section below.

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