Gig Getting Strategies

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by stevel, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. stevel

    stevel Member

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    What do you guys find to be the most effective gig getting strategy (or strategies) for a band (pop-rock trio playing mostly 60s material).

    Obviously, we're not going to market Rap to a Country Music venue (though we do play a mix of country and rap, we call it crap). I will have a promo package with Photo, Demo, and "resume" (set list, contact info, etc.)

    But do you find going into a club and talking to the band booking person effective?

    What about using a booking agency?

    What about online sites where people can book you directly?

    Is dropping off a demo at the bar and then walking out reasonable? Or should you try and catch the booking person.

    What about mailing stuff out - either directed or "shotgun" approach?

    Are there ways to "target" your group - like if I'm looking to play weddings, is getting in touch with wedding planners an effective way?

    I've played in bands for years but never had to do any of the booking myself. Plus, many gigs just fell in our laps after people heard us (I've been in some good bands, and some "you'd be the perfect band for my..." bands).

    Hints, tips, and suggestions appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Member

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    OMG, really?

    I posted this a couple of days ago thinking I'd wait a while because it would garner so many responses I'd read them all at one time.

    You guys mean to tell me that you don't have any suggestions or experience getting gigs?

    I mean, I can get gigs, but I'd like to be effective at getting gigs, so any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  3. HHB

    HHB Member

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    our singer is a booking machine, he's amazing at it. He always tries to go in person for the first contact. friends have gotten good results for casuals and wedding w/ stuff like Gigmasters and most corporate gigs are agency gigs, thats all I got LOL
     
  4. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    All of the above.

    Though I don't think dropping off a CD at a bar or with a booker is going to work. Either become a regular at the bar and get to know the Manager, or find another way to befriend the Manager.

    I had a band member who was great at schmoozing bar owners. Got a lot of gigs that way.
     
  5. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    Find the bar manager or booking agent. You have to figure out when they are around and not super busy (nearly impossible). Just stop in and buy a beer or lunch or something and chat to the bar manager.

    Try to either book bars that have built in customers, or customers that will like your music (check the juke box). If you already have a large following, you can book pretty much any place that sells booze and has a stage.

    I would bring a demo cd with a few clips of songs so the manager can listen. It would be smart to leave a portable cd player in the car.

    Make sure to work out the payment in advance. If you are smart you will have a contract to protect your ass, but good luck getting a manager to sign anything. Some will some won't. Make sure you get a phone number to directly contact the manager. You have to follow up and make sure that they didn't double book you, or change details on ya.

    Be friendly. Buy them a beer. Maybe walk in the place strumming an acoustic guitar singing a song. That will get attention!

    dk
     
  6. m@2

    m@2 Member

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    i hate to say it, but myspace has been somewhat effective... most clubs have a page, and they can listen to your music easily, and communication is (relatively) easy.
     
  7. stevel

    stevel Member

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    So you mean, putting a myspace page up that's your "demo" - or your press packet so to speak, and then asking the bar manager/booking person to visit your Myspace page?

    Actually, sounds like a good idea.

    Thanks

    Keep 'em coming guys.

    Steve
     
  8. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Number one technique - perserverance.

    It goes like this:

    1. Drop off promo package at bar. It helps if you can get to the booking person directly. If you can't, find out when is the best time to contact them.

    2. Wait a few days. Call at the right time. He won't be there. Leave message.

    3. Call again, at the right time. He'll be busy, says he'll call right back. Doesn't.

    4. Call again. Finally get him. He hasn't had time to listen to the demo. "Call me tuesday morning."

    5. Call him tuesday morning. Bartender says - "He's not in on tuesday." Leave message.

    6. Call again. Get him on phone. He wants to know if you can drop off a demo, as he never got the first one.

    7. Drop off a demo w/the bartender.

    And so it goes...

    OTOH, if you can get the guy on the phone, in his office, w/his calendar out, you WILL get a booking. That usually takes at least 8-10 tries.
     
  9. m@2

    m@2 Member

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    yah, i don't necessarily make it my 1st contact (always best to go to the club in person, introductions.. shake a hand or two), but it's any easy way to get your music in their ear. I'd say we book 30-40% of our gigs this way now.
     
  10. Mike Fleming

    Mike Fleming Member

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    :) We must have played a lot of the same places...
     
  11. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

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    We actually have luck by looking at the online Calanders of places we play regularly and inquire about open dates via email.. Seems to work pretty well
     
  12. telemike

    telemike Member

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    There are a couple of sales axioms that apply to getting gigs. After all you are selling the band to the bar, agent, or promoter.

    1. It can take as many as 7 contacts or touch points before the buyer acknowledges you and/or your product (band). So don't get discouraged and keep at it.
    2. Target the prospective client carefully and do your research . Buyers buy from sellers that know their stuff and can provide solutions. In the case of a bar it is the appropriate style of music with a good crowd that showed up.
    3. Follow up, follow up, follow up (see number 1).
    4. Charge a fair price. Not many bands can get away with charging $1000 and then bring 30 people in the door.
    5. Be professional. It's a business, treat it like such.
     
  13. Adwex

    Adwex Member

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    Agreed. MySpace is the best way to network, with clubs, and other bands.
     
  14. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Well, the snipped part is what I'm trying to avoid. One of the guys who booked for a former band I was in did just what you say at the end here - he would pull out his calendar, stand there with the person and say "do you have your calendar handy" and they'd go book it.

    Steve
     
  15. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Well that's how we got virtually all of our gigs in one band we were in. But this is a new project starting from scratch so I have to get us out there first!!!!

    Steve
     
  16. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Ahh - I hadn't thought about that. Thanks, that's a really good idea.

    Steve
     
  17. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Thanks to all - keep em coming if you have more ideas.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  18. MikeNiteRail

    MikeNiteRail Member

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    :agree:rotflmao
     
  19. Shark Diver

    Shark Diver Member

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    Craig's List has landed me a lot of wedding gigs. We did a myspace for the reason listed. So, many clubs only talk to us this way. And their cliental can comment on the bands as well. Good feedback for the booking agent. We hardly use our web page anymore. Video is more important for places we are playing than anything else. It's taken us more than a year sometimes to get in the door. You go through 4 different booking people as they constantly change. It can be frustrating. But once we are in we have no problems. Perseverance.


    Only other thing I can say is anything that works. There is no formula. But I would add I'm always amazed that these things come up. If you have been in a lot of bands in the area you should already have contacts and it should be easy. Why do bands only have one member booking? Everyone should be doing it. You might want one contact person per venue, but everyone should be on friendly terms with the booking person and it should be easy to walk in and say, " Hi, so and so, i've got a new project going and think it would be great here." If they know you, and liked your other bands, they'll book you with out all the demo bs. Done it a million times.
     
  20. Alphonse

    Alphonse Member

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    So far, the majority of the responses seem to be about getting bar gigs. How about "Corporate" gigs. Any advice on that?
     

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