12 - Getting Headline Gigs
No-one should feel like their live shows are stuttering. I’ve seen bands go from playing in nearly empty pub attics to huge headline festival slots and I want to share with you the things I noticed they did.
The reason you got into music is probably so you could play live. If I told you I could offer you a sold-out show in an arena tomorrow, you’d probably snap my hand off. Right now though, that probably feels a million miles away and you’re struggling to get people through the doors of your local show…
You want people to come to your gigs because not only will it generate some revenue, but larger crowds will also open doors to bigger gigs, tours and greater opportunities.
So what happens if you don’t figure this out? You’ll play the same venues to the same people, over and over. Maybe the numbers will start to dwindle and venues & promoters will start to lose interest in you.
From Open Mic To Festival Main Stage
How are you promoting your shows? Are you just posting about it on social media and hoping people turn up? In that case, you might as well just shout it from a rooftop. Try being more personal. Contact people directly on a personal level, have a conversation and ask them to come down to your shows.
Find out who some tastemakers in your area and genre are. Find promoters and offer them a free ticket to come down to your show? Talk to a band member of a local band who is doing well and invite them down to your show. It could make all the difference when it comes to them picking a support slot for a big gig.
Why should a person spend their hard-earned money on going to see your band? What sets you out from the rest? What could they go home and tell their friends about after seeing your show? Sit down with your bandmates and brainstorm creative ways of setting yourselves apart. Maybe you could add an interactive element? Set up a poll on the Facebook event and ask what interesting cover you should do in your next set?
Make it an experience
Once you’ve finished your show, or before you even start, I know all you’ll want to do it bask in the glory of being the rockstar that you are. Well, don’t. Go out and meet the crowd. Instead of just saying hi, introduce yourself and more importantly, ask them questions about themselves. Ask them a question about what they enjoyed about the show or maybe what they’d like to see in the future? You’ll never know unless you ask for that feedback. Make your audience feel appreciated and I promise they’ll come back and be a fan for a long time.
Ask For Reviews
Ask people at your gigs to review the show on Facebook. Having testimonials, and lots of great reviews are great social proof for potential promoters who may only see your Facebook page to decide on whether to book you. It could make all the difference between them taking a punt on you or not.
Having The Right Foundations
Doing all of the above is great, but you also need the foundations of having a killer sounding song. When people consider going to your gigs for the first time, they most likely will check out your songs on Spotify first. Don’t let them be underwhelmed and get a mix that gets you noticed.
Your friendly neighborhood mix engineer,