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Booking your first show / gig

As any ambitious artist at the very beginning of his career, you might be asking right now: "How do I book my first show? How do I get my first gig?". Well we're here to help you figure it out!

The beginnings of a music career may sometime be pretty hard and it may get difficult to pick the right path at the start line. Anyway, there will always come a moment in a musician's life, when he/she will want to, or even need to, show and prove. But how do you get up-stage in the first place? Let's assume you're at the very beginning of your road too, therefore you have no fan-base. Because fan-base is key for setting the right fee, so you should be ready to play the first few shows for free, for a symbolic amount, or in exchange for a couple of beers on the house.

You should also consider visiting some open-mic events, where anyone can get on the microphone for a few minutes, and is great for fighting stage-fright and training your show. You may also meet some interesting fellow musicians here too, or get an offer for a real gig!

"So how do I get my first real gig?" - There's plenty of ways. I personally consider direct contacting local venues to be the best though. Having a friend or relative working in some of them may be of help, but don't take it for granted, if you get to perform in one. If you're playing classic acoustic pop, you could be a perfect fit for your local café or a diner, but wouldn't do so well in an underground punk club and would probably get zero new fans. And that goes all the ways of course, so first thing first - you should name your target audience and think about where can you meet that people!

When approaching your selected venues, I'd strongly recommend to act professional and be professional. Learning the basics of correspondecne etiquette won't take much time off yourself and if you're not sure about your grammar, I'm sure you have a friend who will be happy to help and double-check your e-mail. Huge help will also be having a well-done and good-looking EPK (electronic press kit), which is basically a musicians CV, where a brief information about artist can be found, along with his accomplishments and achievements, and details about lenght of his show and a playlist as well. I will try to get in to the EPK thing further in a specialized article.

Attaching a record is a must these days. You can get a professional recording with full mix & master at A2Z Studio for as much as €100. If you're not ready to spend your hard-earned cash for your dream yet, you can always ask your friend to catch you on a video with a smart-phone. Better than nothing. But naturally, the better the recording, the better are your chances at getting the venue-manager's attention.

Next to the direct-contacting the venues, there is many other ways to get up on the stage, but most of those require at least some experience and / or some fan-base. In Czech Republic, it may be beneficial to open up from time to time, or joining a multiple groups for musicians on Facebook works all across the globe. Venues where-ever you might live may be looking for someone to brighten up their programme with their gig right now, other artists and band may be looking for someone to open for them on their show. In future, you could also consider hiring a booking agent who would take care of all of your trouble regarding shows and gigs. Untill then, you may also find a pleasant alternative so-called busking - live gig in public place.

Did this help? I hope it did! If you have any further questions or if you think I forgot to mention something, please let me know!


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