Why You’re Not Booking a Music Showcasing Gig (And What You Can Do About It)

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Booking a music showcasing gig could bring you to the next level in your music career. What are you doing wrong and how can you fix that? 

As a musician, there are several things that can increase your visibility and get more gigs. While it does help to rush in some instances, in others, it takes time to figure out the desired effect. Booking high-paying, visible music showcasing events can increase the amount of money you make and spread your influence. By showcasing music at venues, events and other contracted gigs, you’re bettering the chance of success.

Before jumping headfirst into a music showcasing gig, you need to define your goals and understand the environment. Defining your goals for gigs is one of the most important factors to consider. Are you playing gigs to make money and promote your music? Or are you interested in gaining more fans and networking with people? Are there a lot of music venues in the area? What type of musicians play there? Will your music reach the audience? Practical questions about the venue will give you an understanding of your potential influence.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Approach how you book gigs. As with all things, you’re not going to get every gig or project that you inquire about. For one reason or another, you will be denied for something. If you notice that after several weeks or months of prospecting, you’re still not getting any gigs, something has to change. Whether you’re a new artist premiering a track or an artist with a couple years of experience, showcasing music at gigs will be something that you eventually do. If you’re looking to secure more “Yes” than “No” from venues you should look at several areas that affect the outco

Communicate Effectively

To book a music showcasing gig years ago, musicians would need to be on the phone calling numerous times to secure a spot on stage. It was long and tiring work for those that did it. Fast forward to the present, there are several ways to connect with venues and talk about showcasing music. People use social media, e-mail, phone calls and direct visiting to send messages to owners. One of the most effective ways of communicating with venues is using e-mail. This way you can present all the information that you want to while giving the venue the opportunity to research and respond. While e-mails are great to use, sending one message isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to have a lot of conversations that go back and forth until both parties come to an agreement.

Weak Demo or Portfolio

For some venues to showcase your music, you need to have a great demo. Your demo or portfolio should include work that highlights your best skills. Whenever sharing your music demos, make sure you’re sharing it with venues that will appreciate the quality and genre. Sharing a track perceived as bad or irrelevant destroys any chance you have of securing a gig. If you span different genres, include samples to show how you could potentially fit into a venue’s schedule.

You’re not branded

If you don’t have a playing style, aesthetic, or strong music, you’re not going to be easily relatable to people. That makes it more difficult for venues to want to showcase your band or feature your music. Make sure you have an identity that is easy enough for people to understand. If you play cover music only, it’s simpler to connect with bars or small hubs instead of concert stages. If you are playing original music, it may be more beneficial to find open-mic nights and stages that attract crowds of interested people.

No Agent, No Bookings

Agents often save musicians a lot of time and energy by knowing the potential for bookings at venues before following through with it. They may not know every venue, but they should be aware of the large portion of the venues that are available to your music. An agent helps tailor you to larger audiences and secure music showcases. Generally, they also have a bit more authoritative influence over venues and other gigs.

If you are working with an agent, make sure that you stay connected to them in case any news comes up. Find a way to show appreciation to your agent. If an agent knows your actively looking for more work and you have a good standing with them, the cultivated relationship could help to push your music into a new arena. On the other hand, if you’ve had an agent and feel like it isn’t helping or too costly, drop them and find someone else.

Snooze-fest Music

If your music isn’t exciting or you have a member of the band who isn’t good enough, figure out a way to work around it. Sometimes it may mean changing the type of music that is played. Other times it could be hearing less of the member in new music or replacing them. If the singer or lead is out of key, unprofessional, or makes too many mistakes, you may want to consider replacing them too. It sounds harsh, but ask yourself, would you rather lose a relationship with a bandmate or lose your entire band?

If your performances aren’t high in energy or lackadaisical, you will find it’s more difficult to use at music showcasing events. For many artists and bands, the lead member is where a lot of the performance attention falls on. It’s important that your lead member represent the band and brings as much energy to the stage as possible. You should consider changing the performance and energy of the show. Holding the audience captive or being interactive can be great ways of ensuring you’re succeeding in hyping the crowd.

Improve Group Dynamics

Group dynamics will affect everything from creating, performing, communicating and following-up. Make sure everyone that is part of the band is comfortable and well taken care of. Details about the event should be given to everyone performing. This ensures everyone is on the same page while keeping things as smooth as possible.

If you’re standing in with a band, but have an interest in making it a longer arrangement, then work to build relationships with those in the band. Help members anywhere you can to make sure the event goes as smoothly as possible. Don’t do anything to set yourself too far from the group when you’re on stage. Nothing ruins a jam session at a gig quicker than someone making mistakes or taking too much time playing.

Being a successful musician takes time, energy and skill. Whether you’re well known in your local area or unheard of, showcasing your music in front of audiences at gigs is one of the most direct ways of turning people into fans. Venues that cater to new or upcoming musicians are easy to snag but aren’t normally high paying. Popular venues will bring more crowds and open the way to reoccurring gigs, events, or projects. As a musician, you should ensure that you’re doing everything possible to leave a positive impression on the owner of venues.

If you’re having a hard time booking music showcasing events or want to take a new approach, consider rebranding your image to make new connections with listeners. Your previous image or performances may not have gotten the right attention. Manage your contacts and show your appreciation after an event has occurred. While it’s not guaranteed, it definitely helps to show that you want to do more or be better for the next event. Successfully booking music showcasing events as a musician will push you to the next level in the music industry.

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