Music Gigs – How to Secure Gigs

Open Mic UK’s top tips for getting gigs.

Music gigs – how to secure gigs: Learning how to get music gigs is one of the most important things to master if you want to succeed in the music business. Live music gigs are integral for getting your music heard by the right people, giving them something they can’t get from a studio recording – LIVE ENERGY! Gigs are instrumental in building up a fan base.

  • Step 1: Compile a list of all venues in your area. Don’t just stick to the venues most play at! Smaller venues such as pubs, bars etc. are more likely to book an un established act, which gives you the opportunity to build your fan base and get your music heard. This will increase the likelihood of getting booked to play larger venues.
  • Step 2: Include as many contact details of the people taking bookings as possible. Name, address, phone number(s), email addresses! This reduces work time in the future and gives you a point of reference for the future.
  • Step 3: Create your press kit. At its simplest, this should contain: your contact information, links to all social media pages, a brief biography, the music you play and your experience. This will aid the venue to see what music you play and see where you have played before. If within your budget, include photos and a demo. Remember to keep it simple and engaging preferably concise on one page.
  • Always label your demo! Venues receive many and you don’t want yours getting lost in the masses.
  • When emailing, keep it short but factual (two short paragraphs)! No time for waffling as you will lose the venues interest.


Now you’ve got your comprehensive list of venues and contacts, the next step is to start sending your press kit and demo to as many gig venues as you can!

  • Phone each venue and ask to speak to the manager or booking manager. This way you can ask whom is best to send your email or press kit to.
  • Not all venues you contact will lead to anything! In fact the vast majority won’t, so don’t get disheartened. Even if only a few get back to you, it’s time well spent!
  • Getting those first few shows is most important. You can quote playing these venues when applying for future gigs!
  • As you improve most gigs should present itself with more opportunities, getting regular gigs to start with is the hardest part.

In the meantime, it’s time to get networking!

  • Attend as many gigs and live music nights as you can. Try and perform at Open Mic nights. This will give you experience playing to a crowd and meet like minded people.
  • Befriend other musicians, especially local ones. They can suggest venues, introduce you to their contacts and maybe even offer you to play with them!
  • Ask more established artists if you can open their show for them! This will get your music to a larger audience. Of course, you may have to repay the favour!


If you’re interested in exploring other avenues for getting gigs, check out BandWagon, as they offer a great service as the middle-man between promoters and bands. Top promoters list any gigs they are putting on that require extra acts, and members of BandWagon can apply for them! They also host a premium service for getting paid gigs so check them out and start making some money for what you do!


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