Tips for Musicians to get Paid Gigs

Tips for Musicians to get Paid Gigs

Maybe you’re a musician who wants to try your hand at the live music scene. Or you’re already in at a few locations and want to play new gigs. So how do you get more live music bookings? As a booking agent, I can help you with a few tips. I work with Vinyl Chromatic as a talent buyer for quite a few local bars and restaurants.

Build Your Social Media Following

My first recommendation for you is to work on building a Facebook and Instagram following. Bars and restaurants generally want to hire you not only to create a fun and relaxing environment, but mainly to bring in customers. If I see you have a good following and promote your events regularly through social media, I am way more likely to book you. Especially if you post Facebook events and tag the venue as a co-host. Another online platform that you should have is a website. Think of it as a digital business card.

Don’t forget to post some videos of yourself playing, preferably live at a venue. If you don’t have any live gigs of you playing yet, record a video of you playing at home. Something here is better than nothing. I want to hear what you sound like and what music you’ll be playing before I bring you in. YouTube is great for sharing your videos as well.

Find and Approach Venues

Where should you look for live music opportunities? You can start by researching local bars, restaurants, and breweries on social media. They’ll likely be creating events when they have live music. You’ll need to contact them and figure out who manages their bookings. Once you get in contact with the person who manages the live music schedule, they’ll likely ask for links to your social media over email or text. It’s a good thing you have been working on building that following. Bar and restaurant managers are very busy people and you might get lost in the vast amounts of emails that they have. Following up with them is the key.

You will need to do this months in advance, because the venues schedules will fill up as the dates get closer. Typically, the more advanced notice you provide, up to a year, the more likely the venue is to have open dates available. Summer will be the “busy months”. Many venues like to have music on their patio so people walking by will hear it and be enticed to come in.

Keep Hustling

I asked one of the full time musicians that I book, “how do you get gigs?”. He told me he makes cold call after cold call trying to find gigs. Persistence is key.

Does this sound like a lot of work? There is actually a way to lighten the workload without paying a booking agent. Our company, Vinyl Chromatic, works directly for venues, so you won’t get charged a booking fee. We book out live music at bars and restaurants. Our goal is to help connect bars and musicians so we can improve the local music industry in your area. Sign up with us and we can send gigs directly to you, without you needing to hustle.

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