Booking your own shows is an essential skill for any independent musician. It can be a complex process, but with the right approach, it is entirely doable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through it.

  1. Build Your Online Presence: Before you start reaching out to venues, make sure you have a solid online presence. This includes a professional website, social media pages, and a portfolio of your music.
  2. Research Venues: Make a list of venues in your area or in the cities you want to perform in. Research the venues to see what kind of music they usually host and the size of the venue.
  3. Create a Press Kit: Your press kit should include your biography, a high-resolution photo, a link to your music, videos of your live performances, and any press clippings you have.
  4. Craft Your Pitch: When you contact venues, you need to be clear and concise. Explain who you are, what kind of music you play, and why you think you would be a good fit for the venue. Include a link to your press kit.
  5. Contact the Venues: Start contacting the venues on your list. You can usually find the contact information for the person who books the shows on the venue’s website.
  6. Follow Up: If you haven’t heard back from a venue within a week or two, send a polite follow-up email.
  7. Negotiate the Terms: Once a venue is interested in booking you, you’ll need to negotiate the terms of the show. This includes the date and time of the performance, the payment, and any other details.
  8. Promote the Show: Once the show is booked, start promoting it. Share the event on your social media pages, send out an email to your mailing list, and create posters to distribute locally.
  9. Prepare Your Set: Make sure you are well-rehearsed and have a solid setlist prepared.
  10. Perform the Show: Arrive at the venue early to set up and sound check. Give your best performance, engage with the audience, and have fun!

Booking your own shows can be a challenging process, but with the right approach, it is entirely doable. Build your online presence, research venues, create a press kit, craft your pitch, contact the venues, follow up, negotiate the terms, promote the show, prepare your set, and perform the show. With determination and hard work, you can successfully book your own shows and grow your fan base.

Written by Stop The Breaks
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.