What You Should Expect

Even experienced musicians find gigging nerve-wracking. If you don't, then you'll probably be looking to have the biggest laugh you can. Either way up you'll enjoy yourself a lot more if things go smoothly. And this is where a little planning can help.

This section gives you a list of things to look out for, including:

  • When to be at the venue
  • Borrowing gear
  • Organising yourself
  • Preparing your instruments
  • Checking the door policy
  • Marketing
One rule of thumb is to call a few days ahead, and then again the night before the event to make sure nothing has changed. Also be sure to get the appropriate information regarding the who, what, and where as we described on our Booking a Gig Page. On the day of the gig get to the venue as early as you can, to give you the most time to get the sound right. If it's a large bill, you may have to take the afternoon off work to be there on time. If you can't, for whatever reason, let the promoter know as soundcheck time can be pretty tight and if you're late, it can cause all the other bands to run behind.

Take the promoter's contact details with you, so if your van breaks down you can let them know you'll be late.

Your audience will want to know when you're on, so check that too. Then lie on your publicity and say it's half an hour earlier - but tell any A&R's the correct time as they will not hang around. Again, it can be critical to keep things running on time if there are a lot of acts so make sure you're back in the venue at least 10 minutes before you need to be on.

If you're being paid per audience member, make sure your fans know to tell the door staff who they've come to see.

Most venues will let you design your own fliers to use instead of theirs - which can be pretty generic. Check ahead to make sure, though. It makes sense to make your own so you can include maps and stuff specific to your audience. It's always worth making certain that you'll be included in local gig guides.

Make sure you meet the copy deadline for informing local press - they'll usually need at least a couple of weeks' notice. This alone is not enough, though.

If you're trying to pull in a big crowd, all the ingenuity you can muster will be needed. Make sure everybody who might be interested knows - by any means necessary. Check out our 'Promoting your Band' section for more details!


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Catch 22 Productions, Inc
A NonProfit Corporation
P.O. Box 1261 Victorville, CA.92393