The music business is one of THE most difficult businesses to get yourself into, believe me I have seen many try and fail! But one thing I did notice about people who were looking to get into the business is they had the thirst and the determination to put on some really crummy gigs in some even worse bars.
So I thought I would share some of my experience of putting on a gig and hopefully can help some people who are thinking about putting a gig on somewhere and how they can put it all together.
Seek some experience
Ask around some local music bars and get in touch with organisers and promoters who can set you up with some experience. Offering to be a roadie, which essentially is a dogsbody but what this allows you to do is to be near musical acts and understand the finer points of putting on a night of your own.
Speak to local acts
Build up a relationship with local acts and meet as many as you can. By doing this you can then approach them about playing at your night and also puts your name out there. Don’t forget all the online resources there are too such as Twitter and MySpace.
Find a venue
Check out your local area for venues that are available for rent. Schools, cinemas and function rooms should all be available to you but keep in mind the size of the venue and also the facilities that they offer as part of the deal. Will the venue provide sound engineers or a PA system and in particular the last point as this can save you money down the line.
Costing the project
It always makes sense to cost the venue for the night and add it to your total budget, some venues insist on taking a cut on ticket sales and if this is the case make sure that it does not exceed 40% as this can eat into your budget too heavily.
This is one point I cannot stress enough. Speak to a reputable company and have them supply security for you. If something happens then it is always safer to have people who are trained in dealing with those situations. Some laws even insist that security is undertaken by professionals.
Going to all the hassle and expense of putting on a gig shouldn’t be at jeopardy because of $200 or so. Getting Public Liability Insurance protects you from any damages that may occur and is generally a good idea.
Determine which bands you will have playing at your gig and a wise move is to choose a band who have a good following so you have a better chance of getting more people through the door.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to promote your night as best as possible. Get some friends to hand out flyers, set up a Facebook page or Twitter account and push what you are doing to people. Ask the bands that are to perform to mention the night on their profiles too. Also another great idea is contacting local radio station and ask them to spread the message, sending demos will do no harm either.
Michael Wood has spent many years providing merchandise including lanyards and badges to bands and music promoters, if you would like to speak to Michael about blogging or seek advice you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.