How to get gigs

Booking gigs: the basics

Guide

Gig is a term for a live musical performance. Gigs can take place in many different types of venues - from concert halls and industry events to coffee shops and birthday parties.

No matter where it takes place, performing live is probably one of the best ways for a young artist or a new band to build up a fan base and attract interest. For seasoned performers, gigs are great for growing audiences, promoting new releases and generating income.

What does it mean to book a gig?

Booking happens when there is an agreement for a music act to play at an event or a venue. Bookings usually take place between:

  • the artist, or their agent or manager
  • the promoter or the venue owner

If you're only starting, you will most likely represent yourself and be responsible for your own booking arrangements.

What are promoters looking for?

Simply speaking, promoters - and venue owners - book acts because they want them to generate profit. Shows can create revenue from ticket and bar sales, so it's in the promoters' interest to book acts that can draw in the crowd and fill up the tills.

Promoters and venues are usually inundated with booking requests. Many acts compete for limited performance opportunities, so getting a spot as a new act can be tricky. If you want to get a gig, you will need to be able to prove that you can bring in the audience.

How to book gigs

Before you dive in, make sure that you have a demo or a promotional pack that you can send or give out to venues, booking agents and promoters. This will help you to showcase your music and potential. 

From there on, several steps will follow. See:

Keep in mind that, the more often you perform and the better your act gets, the more opportunities you may get to play. See best practice when playing gigs.