Friday, April 24, 2015


Have you ever considered turning your local watering-hole or favorite restaurant into a venue? Although this approach may not seem ideal at first glance, you’d be surprised at how many places are open to the idea of live music if the terms are right. Many establishments are looking for ways to separate themselves from their competition. By offering entertainment, this could be a win-win for the musician(s) and business.

Know Your Audience and Surroundings

Audience: A coffee house is a completely different atmosphere than a bar. It is important to be aware of surroundings and the customers you will be playing to. Imagine being at your local coffee house and an 80’s tribute band is shredding in your ear. Even if you do “Rock-n-Roll All Night and Party Every Day”, you would not go to a coffee house for this experience. Make sure your music is appropriate for the situation.

Surroundings: Certain regions cater to different styles of music. If you are a Hardcore Death Metal band and you happen to be in Downtown Nashville, this may not be the best fit. Once again, think about the business owner. If they have entertainment, it must cater to their customers. If your group creates an unexpected or unwarranted experience, you may not get the gig or be invited back.


1.) It is not uncommon for bands/groups to play the same venue multiple times due to the familiarity factor. Although there are circumstances where this can be a positive, you need to get in front of new people to grow your fan-base. By playing the non-quintessential venue is a perfect opportunity to accomplish this.

2.) Building your own show is a great way to earn money. If your group/band manages to entertain the crowd, you now can ask the venue for a portion of the bar, flat-rate pay or a percentage of the cover. The key to getting paid is to improve the patron’s experience and draw traffic to the “venue.”


1.) Whenever you book through a promoter or manager, they are responsible for making sure everything goes well. While in this situation, you’re the one making the commitment to ensure everything runs smoothly. Sometimes the additional stress and work isn’t worth the pay-off. Be sure that the venue is worth doing the work for.

2.) There are instances where the venue and the band/group may not come to agreeable terms. Remember, if you’re unable to find a mutually beneficial agreement you should move on. Everyone knows the phrase, “Time is valuable.” Make sure your properly investing your time with the right people at the right place.


Put yourself in the business owner’s shoes and ask:
-How does this benefit them financially?
-Will this enhance their customer’s experience?

To remain competitive and versatile, investing in a P.A (Public Address) System is a worthy cause. If you are a success, the expense will recoup itself within the first few outings.
Remember: If you’re going to perform somewhere specifically not designed for music, your performance must cater to their customer and benefit the “venue.” If you can offer the right sales-pitch, you are more likely to land a booking.
Blog by James Gubersky, Conductor of Artist Support for and ferocious frontman with over a decade of concert playing experience.

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