You’ve got the band together, and you’re ready to book more gigs. Yet, especially in the New York City area, there is a lot of competition. It’s pretty easy to believe there are thousands of bands out there with over eight million people in the area.
So how you present your band to venues and make an impression becomes much more important. Whether it’s through social media, video or contacting booking agents, there are tons of ways to get your name out.
Here are five ways a band can put themselves out there to be more attractive to booking agents and ultimately land more gigs. Tell us what you think!
You have to go where your audience is, right? For years social media has been the driving force in building awareness and finding gigs to play. Venues will often post their calendars with the bands playing. Use this knowledge to reach out and find an empty date for a potential gig.
Social media is the way bands are promoting themselves these days. Without a Facebook or Instagram page, it’s hard to stay current with both your listeners and booking agents. Post regularly and create posts that will generate engagement. You can be sure to get noticed, not only by more listeners, but venues as well.
Recordings and Videos
Recordings are often the gateway to the sound of your band. Have readily available media to share! If a venue is going for a specific aesthetic or audience, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t. A booking manager can better understand how your group will fit into the mission of the venue. Whether it’s folk, acoustic, DJ or straight up rock and roll, recordings are an important tool.
You can also experiment with video, which gives listeners and booking agents a sense of how you perform. From cell phone video capturing lively crowd reactions and how many people you draw, to a polished video recording that portrays a sense of professionalism, putting out more of your sound gives booking agents more reasons to put you on a bill.
We know this is a technique that goes back to antiquity, but it still works. Many bands create email lists for listeners to share music and tour dates. However, not all bands create a database of contact information for booking agents.
If you’re looking to book a specific date, you can send an email blast to as many venues as possible. With that being said, by using the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) option, you can add a personal touch—something that always goes a long way.
Create a Lineup
One thing all booking agents love is when you make their job easier. Even if you pursue dates to play on your own, there’s still a good amount of work for the booking agent. Help him or her out by setting up your own bill. Creating your own lineup is one of the easiest ways to get more gigs for your band. By doing this, you’ll be doing a lot of the fifth item on our list, helping you to get more gigs.
If you have a feel for the kind of audience or aesthetic of a particular venue, reach out to other bands that complement your sound. Present the entire bill to the venue. This is effective because it adds a personal touch since you’re considering the venue’s given audience and identity into the lineup. As a bonus, you’re also helping out other bands get gigs.
One of the easiest ways to get gigs is to go to other band’s gigs. If you find a band you want to play with, introduce yourself and start a dialogue. Share your media and when they have a spot to fill there’s a better chance they will call on your band.
If a band drops from a bill, booking agents generally reach out to more acts or call on the groups already booked to fill that spot. Making yourself willing and open to be called upon could be what lands you the next great gig.
Are there larger bands who have an audience you think would love your sound? Connect with them, go to their shows, play them your music. If you’re called upon to play a show with them, you will simultaneously be exposing yourself to a larger listener base making this strategy a win-win.