One of the best ways to get noticed and back up those first recordings is to get your name known around your local music scene. However in this time of recession, local music scenes across the country are suffering and new artists are finding it very difficult to get gigs. Particularly here in Leicester there are a limited number of venues and audiences can be fickle and often absent.
That said, with the recent Live Music Act that lifts restrictions on small venues, there is a real opportunity for artists to expand their reach into pubs and bars that wouldn’t have previously held gigs.
Start to Get Gigs
Trying to book new places like this opens up a whole new audience to your music, especially pubs that have loyal regulars. Never be afraid to diversify and try unconventional places. People often have very eclectic music tastes and playing outside of your perceived niche can open new doors for you. That’s not to say that sometimes you wont take a risk and have it go badly, but don’t take it personally. Risks need to be taken in an industry that is competitive as the music business.
As far as the practicalities of getting gigs, email loads of venues and promoters and include as much information as possible. However don’t be afraid to call people. It can often be easier to agree and work on details when you can establish a rapport. Also, going to venues to speak to people can be very helpful. Seeing the stage, venue layout, PA and even things like parking and facilities can help you to plan the gig better.
What Else Can You Do?
Make sure you keep updating social media regularly and try to push your numbers up. Venues and promoters want acts that they think will draw a crowd. A great way to do that is to interact with your fanbase and keep your online profiles fresh.
Something else that goes hand-in-hand with this is to get your music available everywhere. While iTunes is the biggest online music retailer, there are still a huge number of people using different services. Getting your songs on those sites gives you a more comprehensive online presence and can give you more prestige. The best way is through a distribution service like Horus Music, who quickly and efficiently distribute music to worldwide.
Some don’t have their own sound system. This means that having a portable PA or knowing of a rental at a reasonable price is very useful.
During paid gigs, you can earn more by providing a PA as the venue doesn’t need to hire one itself. Even when you must hire, often pubs don’t have a sound engineer. It’s wise to understand how to work a PA and soundcheck yourself.
Especially when approaching pubs and small venues that have recently been affected by the Live Music Act. If they aren’t experienced with gigs, saying you have a PA and don’t need a soundman can work in your favour. This can be the difference in whether you get gigs or not.
Get Yourself Gigs
All in all, the main thing is to keep trying. Keep things fresh, so you don’t bore your loyal fans. Don’t play in the same places all the time, try to move around and play outside of your usual scene.
Try to get as many people to the gigs as possible. Even if they are all existing fans, it builds a good reputation for you and makes it more likely that you will be booked again. Make sure you also read the blog about the gig preparation to make sure you’re ready!