Local Band War Stories: suddenly, we're getting more and better gigs.

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Crowder, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    Chattanooga, TN
    We're a local, 90% original band, mostly guys in our 40's, playing stuff that we write and which makes us happy.

    For the last several years, we played a bunch of bad gigs. Thursday nights, starting at 10pm, three bands on the bill...just bad gigs. But it was like an old shoe. Comfortable. Riskless. It made us feel like we were doing something, but really we were just doing the same thing over and over again.

    We had one nice "event style" gig last year, and it made us realize how nice those can be. The event raises the crowd. The event provides the PA. The event pays the band. And the people who support the event are much closer to our age, and seem to dig us.

    We didn't know exactly how to get more of these, but we decided as a band to start by turning down the bar gigs we had done in the past. I think not having any of those on our calendar was a wake up call to all of us. If we didn't hustle up some gigs, we wouldn't have anywhere to play.

    Through working personal and business contacts, we've been able to get on more good stages this year than the last five years combined. We'll have 8 events in the first six months. All paying, all pro sound, all of them getting us home at a reasonable hour, none of them is smoky clubs where our friends don't really want to be.

    Not sure why I'm posting. I just realized the truth in the old saw "If you always do what you've always done, you're gonna get what you've always gotten." I think that shutting off our old, comfortable pipeline of gigs created a sense of urgency for us to work our connections and get on better stages.

    So...what's working lately for your band?
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Sedona, AZ
    If by events you mean festivals, I'm right there with you.

    The last original act I was with struggled to draw, to bar shows.

    The leader was one of those guys who would take almost any gig, just to play. The amount of time and effort involved to promote, rehearse and actually play these gigs, for a disappointing turnout and generally no return gig booked was a complete waste of time, IMHO.

    Working at booking festivals which we always went over great at, writing and recording was a much better use of time.

    If you're in your twenties and actually stand a chance at doing something, you need to get out and play. It's also way easier to promote gigs at that age.

    If you're pushing middle age, unless you really enjoy it, it's not very productive.
  3. Zingeroo

    Zingeroo Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    I'm in the same situation as the OP.
    We play festivals, usually outdoor, maybe 12 times a year.
    Crowds are great. Girls are hot.
    Play an hour to 90-minute set instead of four punishing hours.
    Just bring up your rig and play.
  4. speedemon

    speedemon Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Azusa, CA
    Not waiting on management and booking is working for us lately. Record company and band leader working much faster.

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