getting the gig

Problems, how to get them, favorite songs to play, groupies, funky bar owners, etc. NO names of clubs, please.

getting the gig

Postby deltablues57 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:26 pm

Hi Guys, have not posted in a while but have been monitoring the bigroadblues activity. Looking for some info. I have an acoustic duo(sometimes trio) we Have not been actively pursuing gigs. I would like to start giging more frequently. We do play occasional gigs and have played the last 3 local blues festivals. We have set up a myspace page http://www.myspace.com/bottleneckalley This has some rough video, pictures and info. Was thinking this is a way to allow potential venues to see and hear us. How do you all go about finding and approaching venues for gigs?
Thanks...Delta
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Re: getting the gig

Postby jeffl » Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:06 pm

The last time I was in a gigging band was a year and a half ago, but the way we did it then was we made a list of clubs we'd like to play and then we assigned guys to go and see the club owner or booker. We added a pay share for the guy who got the gig, i.e. , we were a 5 piece band, but we had 6 shares and the guy who got the gig got 2 shares. We made a 3 tune demo cd and gave it to the owner.
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Re: getting the gig

Postby jellyroll baker » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:26 am

Hey Delta,

The fact that you've played a few festival gigs is a really good thing. That makes you a known quantity. Venues like known quantities because they help them to bring in people and to sell beer. Remember - at our level a band is just a big, noisy way to encourage people to drink beer. A lot of people don't learn that lesson until they've been playing for 10 or so years.

Anyhow, the practical way to get gigs. The easiest way is to be friendly and honest. Get a demo CD together, pretty it up so that it looks nice and drop by a few local venues where you'd like to play. It always helps to do this in person at first because booking a new band is a risk and publicans are more likely to take a risk on people they know and like. Include a brief one-page bio sheet with contact details and also incldue a brief bio and contact details on the CD cover itself. That way if (and when) they lose the bio they'll still be ablke to get in touch.

Seeing as you have a myspace it can be really useful to find all the bands in your area playing a similar type of music and add them as friends. To be honest MySpace is how I get most of my gigs - someone contacts me wanting to fill in line up and the ball gets rolling from there.

Anyhow there are some guys on here who are more experience than myself but that's just a few tips I've picked up in my musicial and professional lives.
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Re: getting the gig

Postby watertore » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:26 pm

I have run the gamat from booking agents, to myself hustling my brains out till I almost dropped. I pulled off 250-300 gigs a year for about 20 years. It was mainly me getting them. I usually followed the beaten path-clubs that already offered music. Now, I target places I like, most often they don't have live music. I Prefer this route nowadays. Dealing with clubs that are known for music are real downer most of the time when trying to pin them down for gigs. Mess around with it all and see what works for you. Walter
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Re: getting the gig

Postby oleman » Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:29 am

Our trio gets gigs by offering to play for free or tips for one nite. It's sort of an audition for the owner. This works
quite well for us as we usually get a paying gig. We are more than just a band. Almost a Lounge act with jokes, comedy skits, comments on current events, witty repartee with the patrons, basically just ham it up, have fun and play everything from old standards, Country , Django jazz and of course, blues. We keep thinking that we should record one of shows or get a website. Perhaps later.
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Re: getting the gig

Postby Reggies Chicago » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:39 am

As a talent buyer for a venue in Chicago, most bands find me through word of mouth. I'm new at booking Blues acts but it seems to be working out really well. I prefer it when people just give me a call at the bar and ask for the booking agent or when they email me and send me a link to an EPK. Just figure out what clubs you want to play by googling good blues clubs in whatever town you're looking to play. Most of the websites will have a direct email for the booking agent. It may not always pay what you think you're worth but sometimes I think it's more important to make new, loyal fans so that someday you can get paid what you're worth!
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Re: getting the gig

Postby jellyroll baker » Thu May 08, 2008 1:58 am

Reggies Chicago wrote:As a talent buyer for a venue in Chicago, most bands find me through word of mouth. I'm new at booking Blues acts but it seems to be working out really well. I prefer it when people just give me a call at the bar and ask for the booking agent or when they email me and send me a link to an EPK. Just figure out what clubs you want to play by googling good blues clubs in whatever town you're looking to play. Most of the websites will have a direct email for the booking agent. It may not always pay what you think you're worth but sometimes I think it's more important to make new, loyal fans so that someday you can get paid what you're worth!
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