Do You Have Any Tips on Successfully Booking Shows?


Via Linota

THE ARTIST: Via Linota Lancaster, PA
THE QUESTION: My  CD release party is coming up and I’m going to need to start playing as many shows as possible to get the word out. I noticed you are booking a lot of stuff. Just thought I might write and ask if you had any suggestions for being successful on booking shows. If you have a minute to give me a few tips i would really appreciate it.

THE ANSWER: Congrats on the new CD! That question has so many answers.  I highly recommend checking out this former post: 5 Tips for a Booking a Successful Show. But here are some newer thoughts on that matter that are maybe a little easier to digest.

1. Get other artists opinions on a venue before booking to see if it will be a good fit for you.

2. Decide what type of environment your music best fits. Are you cool with being background music (i.e. a bar)? Or do you want to play for listening audiences (i.e. listening rooms)?  Or both? I’ve personally decided that I don’t want to do background music shows anymore. They’re a waste of my time and they don’t help me build my fanbase b/c no one is listening. Just a thought. However, background music-type shows often pay the bills…so i wouldn’t write them off.

3. Always have an email sign-up sheet at EVERY show. Pass it around and get new subscribers as often as possible. This will give you the opp to stay connected with the people who like your music. If you’ve missed the opportunity to connect with them, you’ve lost a potentially long-term fan. See Mailing Lists & Social Networking.

4. Read your local city paper and find out what events are taking place. See if they need local music. You’ll be surprised at what you find out by reading the local paper, visit other musicians websites, and subscribing to community calendars. See Stay Informed: Read, Watch, Listen, Go.

5. Play at local farmers market, gallery opening and anything that could benefit from music. Even if it’s not their original game plan to have music, ask them if they’d be open to the idea. Never underestimate the power of suggestion.

6. House shows are great…espec since Fall is around the corner. See House Shows – Small Crowd, Big Return.

This website also has tons of other posts on everything from booking tours to deciding what type of venues are best for you. Ch-ch-check it out 🙂

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2 Comments on “Do You Have Any Tips on Successfully Booking Shows?”


  1. Some extra tidbits: As Joy has mentioned before . . . play out as much as possible. Go to friends’ shows and
    ask if you can play a song or two during their break or with them. If you have a particular instrument to add, then they’ll probably love to have you!

    And while everyone’s going about #1: make sure you ask your colleagues exactly who to contact at a venue, and be shameless about it. You have to ask! Many people won’t volunteer the information because they just don’t realize that it’s not common knowledge or because they think it’s weird to network like this. (No, really!)

    Now, obviously, these require a rapport with your fellow musicians, and some scenes are more cut-throat than others and you’ll get some freeze outs. But the first paragraph is an especially good way to be supportive of the local scene *and* get your name out there.

  2. Shane Says:

    Here’s good overall video presentation from Taxi about music career development

    Preparing for Success in the Music Business with Kenny Kerner
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/9113642


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