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thebrig

How does your band go about getting gigs?

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[size=4]We are a five piece band that plays pubs and small clubs, and we have all agreed that one or two gigs a month is all we want because we all have family commitments, the thing that is bugging me is the fact that no one can be bothered to seek gigs, it's all left to me, and if I mention about others looking for gigs as well, it’s always, “[i]yeah ok[/i]”, and months pass by until I mention it again and then they’ll say, “[i]we’ve been too busy[/i]” or “[i]I will have a look next week[/i]”, but nothing ever happens and this has been going on for three years now.[/size]

[size=4]I moved up to Shropshire from Hertfordshire just over three year’s ago, so my knowledge of the local music scene is limited to my local area, whereas, the rest of guys in the band have lived in the area all their lives and have gigged regularly around the area, so they know the area much better than me, but despite this, I have got at least 95% of all the gigs we have played so far.[/size]

[size=4]Because of this, the gigs we have played have been mostly around my area because I’ve actually done the leg work by going into the venues that I know have live bands, now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing the lion’s share, but a little bit of help would be welcome because there are only so many gigs that I can get on my own, especially with my limited knowledge of the area, I have tried emailing and sending FaceBook messages to music venues I have found via Google, but most of them don’t bother replying, and I have mentioned to the guys that if we all managed to get just four or five gigs each in our own areas, then that would be our calendar filled for a year seeing that we only want one or two gigs a month.[/size]

[size=4]To make matters worse, one member actually complained about nearly all the gigs being over my way, well you should have seen the look I got when I said, “[i]well you know what the answer is, go out and get some gigs in your area and I will happily travel to them[/i]”.[/size]

[size=4]They are all decent enough guys, but it is getting to the point where I am thinking of either packing it in altogether, or try and find a band where most of the members are a bit more proactive.[/size]

[size=4]But before I make a decision, I would like to know:[/size]

[b][size=4]Is it this the norm in bands where most members can’t be bothered and just leave it to the person who is bothered?[/size]

[size=4]And how do your bands go about getting gigs?[/size][/b]

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[quote name='thebrig' timestamp='1510229483' post='3404759']

To make matters worse, one member actually complained about nearly all the gigs being over my way, well you should have seen the look I got when I said, “[i]well you know what the answer is, go out and get some gigs in your area and I will happily travel to them[/i]”.

[/quote]

That's a bit arse-ish

Six months ago I moved 30 miles to the south so I could afford to buy a house, as a result my commuting time to gigs now averages about an hour, but I don't complain about it - it was my choice to move, it's my choice to remain in the band. I'm also (with so far no joy) looking for gigs local to me, which the others have all said they're happy to play.

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our singer gets most of the gigs he seems to enjoy that side of it, I chip in with one or two the Gutarist and the Drummer never get any, on the other hand the singer doesn't help setting up and packing away at gigs which does piss me off but then I think "well he gets the gigs" so I put up with it.
Most bands I chat too seem to have one member who gets most of the gigs

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Our singer/guitarist gets all our gigs, but in all honesty he rarely has to ask for gigs now, we get asked to do more than we`re able to do so have to pick amongst them. Not for the better venues or stuff like that, but for those more suitable in terms of locations/other bands on the bill etc. We don`t like to play in only one area, so try and keep the gigs well spaced out (countrywide).

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This is pretty much the way it is in all the bands I have played in over a considerable number of years. Some people are good at finding gigs and selling the band others aren't.
With the current band it is myself and the singer who get all the gigs. Even if the other members get wind of a gig or are approached, it is inevitably passed to me to seal the deal.
Sometimes I actually think I enjoy the thrill of the chase more than the actual gig.
Any of the agencies we work for come to me as well.

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There's allways one member that is more of a people person, most cases is the frontman/frontlady. In my band's case in the start i was the one doing the most contacts - calling to known venues, sending FB messages, emails, etc. You really need to send a lot of messages until someone gives you a reply. After getting the replies i passed all the phone negociation to the singer as he's better at capturing people's attention than me, he's a really good showman (think Robbie Williams meet Fredie Mercury - i'm not exagerating!).

In 3 years this band has we're now one of the most well payed bands in our zone, we travel frequently (200km+) to good venues in the country capital and we got a bit of name going on, we stopped going after venues over a year ago and we have our bookings allways full.

This is all to say, in the start there's allways someone that has to push the band forward, you're the one thats putting in the hard work. Start pulling others to assist your work, give the contacts to the singer for him to talk to the landlords and close the deals after you iniciated conversations. Get the rest of the band to do the same, they just need to get the contact from their local venues, somebody will take care of the rest. If you can do this when you notice it you'll see that the singer has taken a taste in closing the deals and is more proactive in seeking venues, the rest of the band will also chip in with even more contacts as they see it isn't that hard hork for them. Finnaly, the more gigs you play more bookings will be atracted as your band's name strats to spread around, eventually you you'll start recieving phone calls with work offerings.

Worked for me, may not work for you but just my 2p. Good luck

Edited by Ghost_Bass

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[quote name='BassBunny' timestamp='1510231358' post='3404791']
This is pretty much the way it is in all the bands I have played in over a considerable number of years. Some people are good at finding gigs and selling the band others aren't.
With the current band it is myself and the singer who get all the gigs. Even if the other members get wind of a gig or are approached, it is inevitably passed to me to seal the deal.
Sometimes I actually think I enjoy the thrill of the chase more than the actual gig.
Any of the agencies we work for come to me as well.
[/quote]I wouldn't mind making the actual enquiry if a band member gave me the details of a venue they think might give us a gig, but they just don't get round to it :unsure:

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[quote name='thebrig' timestamp='1510231529' post='3404798']
I wouldn't mind making the actual enquiry if a band member gave me the details of a venue they think might give us a gig, but they just don't get round to it :unsure:
[/quote]

Just explain to your mates that they don't hacve to close deals, just go in a local pub with live music for a pint and talk to landlord saying they're playing wit band X and they would like the have the contact so that somebodyelse can call at a certain time for a bit of a talk about prices and conditons.

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[quote name='Ghost_Bass' timestamp='1510231685' post='3404799']
Just explain to your mates that they don't hacve to close deals, just go in a local pub with live music for a pint and talk to landlord saying they're playing wit band X and they would like the have the contact so that somebodyelse can call at a certain time for a bit of a talk about prices and conditons.
[/quote]TBH, that's what I've been saying to them for three years, and it's getting to the point where I can see that it annoys them by me keep mentioning it.

I often go into a pub even when I don't really fancy a pint (although that's not very often) just to ask the landlord for a gig

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Yeh - I am completely useless at getting gigs. Don't send me - guaranteed disaster.

Our singer, on the other hand, is an expert salesman or a dog with a stick depending on how you look at it. He goes in with cards, photos, videos and then wears them down until they say yes. Some people are just better at that sort of thing than others.

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The only successful way I have booked gigs is to visit the pub at a quiet time with your diary and a laptop with footage of the band. Email approaches are hopeless.

I was involved in sales a long time ago and the trick is to ask the right questions in the right way. First you need to establish what sort of bands they want. "Hi I'm the lead singer with a hard rock band" might put him off, even though he's looking for "mainly 70s classic rock" and your set list is right up his alley. Ask the question and discuss what he means by the response to see if you really are a god fit for the place, or check what other bands are playing there regularly (Lemonrock is great for this) and whether you set list is similar. A well researched knowledge of his boozer/club is likley to impress him in any case.

"Would you be interested in us playing" gives the landlord a choice. "So you have a free slot on the 15th of Dec" when you know there's nothing in their diary or yours is a much better place to start.

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I am responsible for sourcing all of our gigs except one this year, last year, in fact bar a couple that our harp man got (at a festival he organised, so doesn't really count!) I have got all the rest of the gigs (150 or so). Being fed up with it doesn't begin to describe it, every time someone complains about the pay, the location, or anything else, I get one step closer to walking away.

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I'm in the same position, that I end up booking all the gigs for our band, the case is if I didn't do it we would not be out playing.
I also contact the local press and send out the posters to the venues in advance of the gigs.
I am now getting to the point that I will be taking an extra 10% of the gig money for all the additional work and stress that goes with it.

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[quote name='thebrig' timestamp='1510229483' post='3404759']
[b]Is it this the norm in bands where most members can’t be bothered and just leave it to the person who is bothered?[/b]

[/quote]

Yes.

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How does the band get gigs?

They wait for me and Silvie to text them.

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I could write a book on this one. Here's a few bullet points.

All members must be committed 100% to the band and gigging

The band has to stay together, it takes time to build a name where a large percentage of your bookings are from "call ins"

Be professinal, don't bend on your fee unless offered multiple dates

Be realistic about where and when you book


Booking is not easy and you're going to have to deal with a lot of rejection and unanswered calls and emails

I'm not big on agencies. If you have a friend or spouse who is a good business person use them. Musicians are generally not good at booking.

Blue

Edited by blue

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We're bombarded by requests via our FB page from promoters wanting to put us on.
Those that can put a workable deal together get the gig.

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It's our singer that got 80% of our gigs. Me and the guitarist, about 10% each.

She was/is, very proactive and does all this for both, her bands.

We don't gig much as all members are in other bands of some sort or another.

We did 35 gigs this year and still have a couple left. However, we have put the work in to be good and despite having about 30% of next year's gigs already booked, we haven't asked for any of them. They've asked us.

We're good, and our set list is designed to entertain but if I'm honest, there's an element of big fish / little pond in our case. We can draw a crowd and keep them dancing and singing all night but there aren't 100 other bands also trying to get into the venues like a lot of you guys have to put up with.

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In most cases gigs don't become consistent until you've made a name for yourself and have a decent following.

Can't believe some guy thought we would play a free Tuesday night as an audition for paid Saturday night.

We told him he'd be lucky for us to play his bar considering the business we'd bring.

We declined his offer.

Blue

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