8 Unusual Options For Booking Live Shows

1 (1)When it comes to being successful as a musician, live performance has become more important than ever, and while traditional music venues are all well and good, this article provides some less orthodox options which artists should also strongly consider.


Guest Post from Trill Trax

The world is now riddled with countless musicians, singers and artists vying for the attention of someone to simply listen to them. With shows like American Idol, America has commercialized the “making it” aspect of being a songwriter. No matter how much music you create, performances should have a strong role in your career. 

Finding where to perform is a task in itself. Below I will discuss a few options you can seek out based on your geographical location. 


Store Openings

New stores are always seeking out ways to market their grand opening. Depending on the type of store, a mini concert rarely comes to mind. Try to reach out to the owners and offer your services. Don’t do this if you just want an outlet. There should be equal pros and cons between you the artist and the owner of the business. 

Offer to promote their grand opening on your social networks. Offer to split the cost of flyers if they can put your name on the back of the flyer. Offer to perform for free or barter for a free meal. There are many ways to go about this option. If you choose to perform for several hours, try to barter a discount card for food or merchandise.

Stores like Foot Locker, Nike and Apple have had artists perform on grand openings in the past. Atlanta is big on using big name DJs such as DJ Drama to attract attention to the new location. While your reputation may not be as big yet, that does not mean not try.

With this, make sure A. your music fits the style of the store and B. it is family friendly and clean. The opening is not about you. You are an accessory to the event and any bad press caused by you will reflect on the company that books you. 

Holiday festivals

Spring and winter are both great for participating in holiday festivities. This is a great platform to test your music on a larger demographic. Generally you have to book yourself months in advance. Know all the equipment you will need. In some cases the venue requires a stage diagram to accommodate where you will need all your instruments set in relation to the stage monitors.

Again, this type of performance requires clean music and relatable content. You will have a hard time attracting people if your music content is excessively aggressive, sexually suggestive and unwelcoming to children.


Pool parties

Pool parties are great to participate in because it can show a different side of you. These parties are fun and highly energetic. Therefore, you have to cater to that energy. Have people come and sing the hook with you. Crowd participation always wins.


Teen parties or birthdays

Younger children parties are probably the hardest to perform at due to their tunnel vision of music. If they don’t know you and your music doesn’t immediately grab them, then you’re in for a rough night. Birthdays are cool if you make more radio friendly music.


Opening artists 

Opening for big name artists requires patience and a lot of networking. If the promoter does not know you or the club owner or even the bouncer, what makes booking you profitable? Don’t get discouraged. Just remember that at the end of the day, that club is looking to make a bottom line profit and not break new music. 

Reach out to the promoter way in advance and work to book yourself. Again offer some collateral and try to barter. For example, in exchange for a 30-minute slot, bring 200 people. Or offer to split the cost of flyer production in exchange for your name as the opening act on the front. 

Sometimes contests are held for artists that sell the most tickets. This is more or less a popularity ploy. Nevertheless, it is a chance to get some exposure. With opening for big acts it is strongly recommended that you “know” someone. No serious owner or promoter is going to let you on stage if they have never heard of you or met you before. Get out and network.

Also be sure that all your social networks are in order when you reach out these individuals. Maybe they check you out before they respond and see inactive accounts or find it difficult to Google you.


Art districts

Generally a more open environment, art districts are great to meet a lot of unique people at once. See if they hold events where local artists can showcase their skills in your area. This applies to cafes and open mic nights as well.

Open mic nights are cool; just don’t make it a habit to do them often. At the end of the day you want to make more fans. Performing in front of other artists and musicians is cool for networking, but not so much for increased fan support.


College fraternities & sororities

This is great if you’re trying to make some extra cash to build your budget. Typically they hire DJs for their events, but talk to them or the DJs on the scene for an opportunity. Again it is all about what you can bring to the table outside of music. Can you bring a lot of girls? Can you sell a lot of tickets? Can you bring a massive sCound system with lighting trusses?

College parties are great judging platforms. Keep the energy up though. Unless they know you are a serenading type and women are swooning over you, I would save the heartfelt ballads for a chiller performance.  



Hotels now book big name DJs and performers to attract larger, particularly youthful crowds, to their establishment. Find out hotels that may have events but have not picked the music selections yet.

With EDM, DJs have used hip-hop collaborations to create even larger anthem records. Try to collaborate live with a DJ, changing the instrumental you started with, looping phrases and creating drops. This will build a relationship with him and offer the crowd a unique experience.

There you have it, eight options for you to perform at. It is now up to you to do your own research. Each of these options requires networking and knowing people. It is going to be difficult for you if you do not go out, and expect to perform at a huge nightclub. Get off the couch and go meet some promoters, club owners, DJs and stage technicians.

Performing is the only platform that consumers cannot pirate. It is the only authentic platform where what happens is what happened. If you mess up, that is real. If you mess up in a recording studio, you can erase and try again.

As mentioned before, your social network interaction is extremely important. Make sure everything is up to date. Because if they do choose to use you, sometimes they will not request graphics or a bio from you, instead they will use the older content that has not been updated.

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