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Things to Consider When Booking Shows for Your Band...

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

If you'd like help promoting your upcoming show, please reach out to us at heavyheads417@gmail.com We have a great social media presence, and direct contact with thousands of people who are always on the hunt for great new music!


Booking shows can be a great way for bands to showcase their talent and reach new audiences. However, working with venues and venue owners can be tricky, especially if you are new to the industry. In this article, we will explore some tips for bands to work effectively with venues and venue owners while avoiding potential pitfalls.

  1. Do Your Research

Before reaching out to any venue, it is important to do your research. You want to find venues that align with your genre and audience, and that have a good reputation. Look for venues that have hosted similar artists in the past, and reach out to those artists for their experience and recommendations.


2. Be Professional


When reaching out to venues, it is important to be professional in your communication. Make sure to have a clear, concise message that outlines who you are, what you do, and why you think the venue would be a good fit for your band. Make sure to follow up promptly and be polite and courteous in your interactions.


3. Negotiate Fair Terms


When booking shows, it is important to negotiate fair terms with the venue owner. This includes discussing payment, door splits, and any other details related to the show. Make sure to get all agreements in writing and keep copies of all contracts and agreements. In the digital age, even having a good record of email conversations, text conversations, or communication via social media, is better than having nothing at all.


4. Be Prepared


Make sure to be prepared for the show by having all necessary equipment, instruments, and gear ready to go. Arrive at the venue early to set up and do a sound check. Make sure to promote the show to your fan base and encourage them to attend.


5. Beware of Unscrupulous Club Owners


Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous club owners out there who may try to take advantage of bands. Some common pitfalls include:

  • Pay-to-Play: Some club owners may require bands to pay for the privilege of playing at their venue. This is not a fair practice and should be avoided.

  • Unfair Door Splits: Make sure to negotiate a fair door split with the venue owner. Some owners may try to take a larger percentage than is fair.

  • Shortchanged on Payment: Make sure to get all payment terms in writing and have a clear understanding of how much you will be paid and when. Some club owners may try to shortchange bands on payment or delay payment. There's nothing worse than playing your heart out at a show, only to be stiffed when it's time to settle up. Now, here are some excuses club owners might use to get out of paying a band...

  1. Low Attendance: Some club owners may claim that low attendance is the reason they cannot pay the band. However, this should not be an excuse for not paying what was agreed upon.

  2. Technical Difficulties: Another excuse that club owners may use is technical difficulties. They may claim that something went wrong with the sound system or the lights, and this is the reason they cannot pay the band. However, this excuse should also not be used as a reason for non-payment.

  3. Lack of Funds: A common excuse that club owners may use is a lack of funds. They may claim that they are not making enough money to pay the band. However, it is the responsibility of the club owner to ensure that they have the necessary funds to pay the band before booking the show.

  4. Unforeseen Circumstances: Sometimes unforeseen circumstances may arise, such as a natural disaster or a sudden change in the venue's ownership. In such cases, the club owner may legitimately not be able to pay the band. However, it is still their responsibility to communicate the situation with the band and work out a fair solution.

  5. Late Arrival or Performance: Club owners may also use the excuse of a band arriving late or not performing up to expectations as a reason for not paying. However, if the band fulfilled their end of the agreement and arrived on time and performed as agreed upon, this should not be a valid excuse for non-payment.

In conclusion, working with venues and venue owners can be a great way for bands to book shows and reach new audiences. By doing your research, being professional, negotiating fair terms, and being prepared, you can increase your chances of success. However, it is important to beware of unscrupulous club owners who may try to take advantage of bands. By staying vigilant and standing up for your rights, you can avoid these pitfalls and ensure a successful booking experience.


Good luck to you! If you would like help promoting your upcoming show, please reach out to us at heavyheads417@gmail.com We have a great social media presence, and direct contact with thousands of people who are always on the hunt for great new music!

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