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Performing in front of a live audience is one of the most effective ways for musicians to sharpen their sound, build their fan base and tighten up their tracks in front of a live audience. Whether you’re putting on a small gig at a nearby bar, or a series of huge shows at large venues in a host of different cities; every performance counts.

Putting on an unforgettable live show is arguably the best way to make an impression on potential fans, and promote your tracks if you’re planning to release music online as an independent artist.

However, as a musician, your first obstacle is securing bookings and grabbing as many opportunities to perform live. But if your new to finding shows to play, it’s not always clear how to start racking up those gig offers. Here’s some useful advice from Ditto Music on getting in touch the right people to book gigs and take your music career to the next level.

Explore your local music scene

If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to get heavily involved with your local music scene. If you’ve already got a passion for music, it’s likely that you’ll already know about your area’s most popular music hotspots, and these venues offer a great place to begin reaching out.

Build relationships with other musicians

It’s important to start building relationships with local independent musicians and venues, so simply heading out to gigs and chatting is other bands is a great way to find new opportunities. Ask them how they secured their latest bookings and make new connections with any promoters or venues that they suggest. Once you get to know them, you could also see if they’d be happy for you to support them at an upcoming show.

Research promoters and send them your music

Serious promoters will have their own website, featuring details about the types of bands they work with and how they’d like to receive music submissions from new artists. Different promoters will prefer to accept submissions in different ways, whether that’s an MP3 file sent via email, or a direct message via social media, so make sure you contact them in the the way they’d prefer, so they’re more likely to take notice.

Make sure to keep your initial contact with venues and promoters short and straight to the point. As well as attaching links your music, you should also include a brief overview of you and your music as well as your contact details, location and availability. It’s also a good idea to include details about any notable gigs you’ve played before. If you think you can pull in a big crowd, don’t forget to mention that too, as it’s always a big selling point for venue owners.

Top Tips to Help You Book More Gigs

Make sure you’re contacting the right people

Before you reach out to promoters and venues bookers, it’s vital to do some research on exactly who you’ll be contacting. Find out about the kind of bands they’ve worked with in the past to get a better idea of whether they’d be a good fit for you and your music.

For example, as obvious as it may sound, it would be a complete waste of time contacting a rap promoter if you’re an acoustic singer-songwriter. It’s important to make connections with the people who suit your genre and have a good track record for securing gigs, rather than simply sending out an email to every promoter you find.

Create a professional press kit

Getting all the essential information about you and your music in one place will make it much easier for potential venues and promoters to decide whether or not to book you for a gig. Creating an electronic press kit (EPK) and sending it to your contacts can make a great first impression, showcasing your professionalism and making it as easy as possible for them to see what you’re all about.

The perfect press kit will include your music, your contact details and links to your website and social media pages, as well as any other details you think are relevant to securing a gig. Don’t overdo it though. You want to make it easy for readers to quickly work out who you are and why they should book you.

Don’t be afraid to follow up

Sometimes messages get overlooked and people forget to reply. So if it’s been a while since you heard from your contact, don’t worry – it happens! Don’t be afraid to send across a polite reminder if several weeks have passed since your first message. Don’t panic if you don’t get the perfect booking straight away, as persistence is often key when it comes to landing a great gig.