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Getting Gigs
Online Booking Services

We have lost count of the emails requesting advice on getting gigs, so we hope the following information will provide some constructive tips and a place to start!

First step on the agenda is to create your publicity/press pack - a business card is all you need to start, although a photo, biog and audio or video demo are preferred. Read about Publicity Packs & Press Kits at Vocalist where you can also read Example Booking Contracts.

If you haven't already done so, participate in as many open mic, jam nights, showcases, talent and charity shows as possible - agents, bookers occassionally drop by and the venues they are held in may book acts that impress them or their regulars.

Pick up the local newspaper, yellow pages or trade paper like The Stage, NME, Melody Maker, Billboard, Variety and other magazines, or use our Venues listings to find contact details for live music venues and do some research. An exploratory phone call or visiting the venue enables you to discover where you would set up, the audience capacity & style of music prefered and who books the acts. Then all you have to do is ask for a booking.... Of course there are no guarantees that the booker will be ameniable and give you a gig, some people are more persuasive than others, but as long as you are polite (and don't pester the booker when he/she is busy), then you can always approach them again a few months later. Make notes of who you contacted, when and what the outcome was..... and when to call them back.

I can already hear groans of dismay at the thought of ploughing through (and possibly being rejected by) dozens of venues before landing your first booking...... Help is at Hand! For a commission of course .... Hiring a manager to deal with the business aspects is an option, if you can find one capable and willing to take on the task.

An easier (albeit slower) route is to contact Entertainment / Booking Agents whose business is to match and place acts with bookers / venues / event promoters who use their services.

Many are constantly on the lookout for new fresh artists to entertain their clients and welcome applications for inclusion on their books, although it's advisable to telephone to establish the type of acts they are seeking before sending any info. Do not expect to be flooded with tons of gigs straight away!! They have hundreds of established popular acts who will get the top jobs and it is your responsibility to keep the agents informed of your availability, a polite enquiry once a week or fortnight will provide a gentle reminder that you are there, alive, and looking for work - sooner or later, they'll offer you a spot on a showcase or a couple of gigs to see how you get on. Do well and there will be more in the offing.

The internet is a wonderful tool that has enabled companies to provide online booking services, use one of the many search engines to find them or find listings on music business directories.

Browse Entertainment Agent and Agency Listings at Vocalist.