How to Book Live Music at Your Restaurant or Bar

Looking to book live music but don’t know where to start? Here is a step by step process on how to book live music at your restaurant or bar.

First things first, you’ll need to ask yourself “what kind of music do I want to bring in for my guests?” Whether it’s Country, Rock, Pop, or just the classics, quality live music will entice your guests to stay longer, eat more, and drink more.

There are additional considerations you need to keep in mind when looking to bring in live music.

Before Booking Live Music

  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you have a sound system?
  • Is there ample room for the musician/band to set up and play?
  • Will you provide stage lighting or does the musician need to provide it?
  • Do you have the appropriate live music licenses?

Musicians generally charge much more when they have to transport lighting and sound equipment. It’s also important to let the musician know if the event is indoors or outdoors. If it’s outdoors, keep the weather in mind; no musicians want their gear wet.

Finding Bands

Now that you’ve got the details hashed out, it’s time to start contacting the musicians. There are many ways to find them. You can check out other venues and your competitors in the area to see who they’re bringing in. A lot of performers will post on local music Facebook groups. Another good place to start is by calling music stores in your area. They will typically have a stack of business cards from musicians and can make recommendations. It will take some time and effort, but you can build up a lineup with local musicians this way. Some musicians will work through a booking agent so you’ll need to contact the agent to get the musician playing at your venue. Once you have your list, ensure you vet each musician for sound quality, professionality, and ability to bring in their followers to your establishment.

Booking Bands

You’ve got a lineup of musicians to fill your schedule now. You can start sending dates out to musicians and filling up your schedule. The best way to manage this will be an excel sheet or calendar. It’ll likely take many attempts to find a musician for any given date (especially in the summer). Once you start filling out your schedule it will be very important to keep close track of who you’ve scheduled and when they play. It will be pretty awkward when 2 musicians show up for the same gig expecting payment, so make sure you don’t double book. It will take some time to build relationships with musicians and bands, but the majority will happily play at your establishment.

I recommend sending a follow up email on the week leading up to the event. Sometimes things come up and the musicians will need to cancel. Even though it can be stressful, if you’re diligent, you’ll be able to find a competent replacement. During busy season, this will be a little more challenging as most musicians will have their schedule for the week already filled. 

With some dedication and hard work, you’ll be delighting your patrons with quality live music. You just need to follow the steps outlined above.


You can have Vinyl Chromatic take care of everything listed above for a small booking fee. We have automated the entire process so you don’t have to book music ever again. It’ll only take about 30 minutes of your time for us to evaluate your needs and book professional musicians at your location. So fill out the form below now.

Similar Posts