10 Tips For Getting The Gigs You Really Want

by Vinny Ribas

Every artist has their list of ‘dream gigs’ that they’d really like to play. Here are some tips for getting those gigs.

  1. Work your way up to the gig. Start playing smaller venues with similar crowds. Leverage your successes there to sell your act to your target venue.
  2.  Study everything about your desired gigs, including their audiences, their stage and sound system, which night(s) of the week you would fit in best etc. That way you can show the manager that you’ve done your homework and do not see any challenges or conflicts.
  3. Build relationships with other bands who are successful at that venue. At the right time you can ask for a referral.
  4. Build relationships with the staff or the sound man. Again, at the right time you can ask for an introduction to the entertainment buyer.
  5. Be willing to start by playing on an ‘off night’. You might even suggest that.
  6. Be willing to audition live. Again, you might suggest it if the manager can’t see you perform live in a good venue.
  7. Have top notch marketing materials, including an impressive (but not expensive) website, a great EPK and an engaging newsletter. A good physical press kit is also important in case the manager asks for it.
  8. Learn what is most important to the manager and what are his/her pet peeves. When calling the venue for the gig you can emphasize your awareness of these and how you plan to please him/her.  You find out by asking other bands that have performed there. Again, it shows that you have done your homework.
  9. Get reference letters  from the managers of your current gigs stating that you are a top-notch act and that you are very professional and easy to work with.  Put them in your marketing materials.
  10. Be bold. When you know you’re ready for the gig, ask for it! If you don’t get it, ask why, and find out what you can do to convince them to give you a chance. Don’t let it just be a pipe dream.

So, as you can see, you need to earn your way into the best gigs. Follow these steps and you will be much more successful at landing them.

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.