Booking a gig is always an exciting moment. The anticipation of an upcoming live performance is a huge motivator to finish songs and prepare to perform live.

With the pandemic of 2020, it felt like live gigs would change forever—and they certainly have in many ways.

But playing shows is still incredibly fun. There’s nothing more exhilarating than the in-the-moment feeling of playing live material.

With most venues re-opening, bookings are filling up faster than ever. Eager artists with fresh new jams are hungry to play their first shows in a long time.

That’s why you need a plan to book your first gig. After all, it’s your chance to be heard by fresh ears in a live environment.

So, let’s take a look at a handful of tactics you can employ to book a gig, get on a great bill and be a great performer that gets invited back.

When it comes to booking gigs here are five ways to do it.

1. Reach out to your contacts in the community

If you have friends or contacts who work in the music scene, you’ve already got a huge leg up.

Whether you know a venue owner or a booker, or if you have friends with their own projects—you should definitely reach out to everyone know you and let them know that you’re looking to book a gig.

Your contacts are going to be your biggest asset when getting started, so make sure you brainstorm and don’t be afraid to reach out to everyone you know.

2. Build up your network by attending events

Be nice, be social, be fun and you’ll be making connections in the music scene with ease.

Be nice, be social, be fun and you’ll be making connections in the music scene with ease.

If you don’t have many contacts in the scene, you probably need to get the lay of the land in your local community.

So plan on going to lots of shows, maybe one per week—consider checking out new artists you have seen before and invite your friends to come too.

Once you start showing up and being part of the community it’ll be so much easier to meet new artists, promoters and venue owners—all of whom represent people who might want to book you in.

Just be ready to show people what you’re working on, it’ll really help to have music live on streaming services so you can easily share your tracks with whomever you meet.

3. Make a call out for bookings on social media

Social media is a huge way for artists to meet each other, collaborate and book each other’s acts.


You should absolutely have some kind of presence on social media if you don’t already.

There’s a lot of ways to make posts, just make sure you do so with respect and etiquette.

Once you have a bit of a following, definitely feel free to mention that you’re looking for gigs—you never know who might be following you.

4. Check upcoming local shows and get in touch with the promoters

If you have a larger music scene in your city, there probably is a promoter who’s regularly booking gigs for out-of-town acts.

More often than not, these shows will get some kind of local support from artists living in your city.

So, why not be the local support for an established touring artist?

Take a good look at whatever upcoming shows the promoter is booking. Get an idea for the kinds of music that would make sense for an opener to play.

If you find an artist who’s similar to your sound or who inspires you, come up with a good email pitch to send to the promoter. Make sure to include some recordings that’ll impress too!

If you find an artist who’s similar to your sound or who inspires you, come up with a good email pitch to send to the promoter.

Remember, it’s not always promoter who makes a decision about who opens—the touring artist’s management will often get a say in who opens and who won’t.

So keep that in mind when putting together your pitch.

5. Book your own show

Here’s a slightly risky, but tried and true way to get your first gig—book it yourself.

This one will take a lot of work, and you’ll need to be somewhat established in the community to pull this off well.

That’s because you’re going to be the one doing all the work that a promoter usually does.

That means booking the venue, booking the bands, marketing the show, hiring sound personnel, making sure the backline is managed, hiring security, hiring coat check, satisfying the touring band’s rider, paying everyone after the show—the list goes on and on.

Don’t forget that you’ll be responsible for the safety and well-being of all the attendees during the course of your show too.

And that’s all before the part where you’ll actually have to perform your set. Phew!

A successful event can be both lucrative and a springboard to bigger opportunities. But a lot can go wrong and you can lose money if attendance is low. So be careful!

Book acts that can draw a lot of people, and exercise a bit of humility by making yourself the opener—or at least not the headliner.

Remember that you need bodies in the door to cover the costs of the event. That means you you need acts that people already want to see.

It’ll be a lot of work, but the payoff will be immensely satisfying if everything goes to plan—be prepared and get ready for a big night.

Social media is a huge way for artists to meet each other, collaborate and book each other’s acts.

Congrats on making it this far

You got inspired, you wrote some songs, recorded them and created a live act that people can enjoy in person.

That’s amazing! The world thanks you for your contribution to art and culture.

Now it’s time to get out there and share what you have to offer with the community around you. Maybe one day you’ll be performing far beyond your hometown.

But, the first step is to network and start hustling a little bit to book that first gig.

If you take these tips to heart, I’m sure you’ll be booking gigs in no time!

Audio LANDR