When you are starting out as a young band, getting your first gig can seem like and almost impossible task. You may have been rehearsing hard for months and feel that you are ready to take the next step an actually perform in font of a crowd, but how to you go about getting a booking?
Before you start, make sure that you ask yourselves if you are truly ready to perform in public. Many bands will rush into it and it is fat better to take you r time and make sure that you are completely prepared. A good idea is to invite friends down to a rehearsal and ask for an honest opinion. Are you tight enough as a band, and are you really ready to put yourself in front of a crowd?
If the answer is yes, then it is time to think about recording a demo. Any venue worth it;s salt will insist that you supply them with a demo so that they can assess your abilities and see if you sound like the kind of band that would be suitable. Normally bands will records around three tracks to get started. Make sure that you pick a selection of songs that accurately represent your band and show off the best of your abilities. You do not necessarily have to go in to an expensive recording studio, and you may even be able to record one of your rehearsals. Do try and make sure that the sound quality is as good as you can make it. If you have a home studio, you should be able to create a very high quality demo for not much money these days. You can find more tips on recording a demo here.
Once you have your demo it is time to get live music promoters to hear it. The best way to get in touch with promoters these days is by email. Don’t send them your music straight away as they may not want their inbox clogging up. Drop them a note telling them about your band and asking if they would mind if you send them some music. Nine times out of ten they will say yes and this way they will be looking out for it when you sent it. If they don’t respond to your email, you should get a phone number and contact them directly.
Another good way to get gigs is to talk directly to other bands who are playing at the venue that you have your heart set on. Drop them a line and ask them if they need a support act. When you are starting out, it is very rare that you will go straight out as a headline act. The best way to learn the ropes is to support other local artists who have already established a following.
If you do manage to get a support slot, make sure that you bring as many people along to the gig as you can. This will mean that the headline act have a bigger crowd to play to and they will be far more likely to have you back as a support again.
To help, here is a list of music venues that you might want to contact.