How to book a gig

How to book a gig

Stop desperately waiting for that next show offer, and learn how to book a gig yourself. It’s not as hard as you think, you’ll learn plenty in the process, and can strategically increase your band’s profile in the local scene.

When is it a good time to book your own gig

If you’re a new band struggling to get show offers (Make sure you’re ready, don’t ruin your rep!)

If you are getting ripped off with low show payments from other bookers

If you’re a band trying to increase you’re profile by headlining gigs

If you’re launching a new product, such as an album release party

If you’re raising money for band projects like touring and recording


How to find the right venue

Location – Central, near public transport

Capacity – Realistic size, not too big, not too small

Costs – A few dollars per head is good, or a reasonable hire charge or bar split

Scene – Make sure it’s the right type of place for your genre


Contacting a venue

Pick a theme and a date and be ready to be flexible, then email them something like this;


My name is Brendon and I am writing to enquire about booking a music event at the BandTools Hotel on Saturday 13th August if available?

The concert is a CD Launch for Perth metal band Claim The Throne, and Australian Tour for American band Metallica, We also plan on booking 2 local bands for the show.

Claim The Throne are a highly renowned group with a big following in Perth and have played in Bunbury on three previous occasions. Expected turnout is at least 100+ payers.

We can arrange all booking, promotion, sound engineer etc. Any further info required please just let me know and I will gladly send it through.

For more info on the band, please feel free to visit our press kit at

Look forward to hearing from you.




Follow up after a week or so. If still no reply, either give them a call or let it go and find somewhere else.


What else you need to know from the venue

A good way to do this, is by sending them a spreadsheet or template with the questions you want answered, ask them to fill in the blanks..

Booking confirmations – An email with the agreed terms in writing is fine, or for huge shows it would be worth considering a signed contract.

Sound Engineer & Lighting provided or not

PA & Backline provided or not

Soundchecks available if required, or line checks

Merch area and any associated costs

Is a door person provided

Load in times


Guests Lists

Open & close times


How to find the right support bands

See who is playing other shows, be familiar with your scene

If you are a new upcoming band, then consider getting 1 or 2 bands as headliners above you

Contact them – Send a nice facebook message or email

Negotiating payments – Per head door split is easiest and fairest, but if you have a big name headliner to pull the crowd then they may want a guarantee. Pay them a fair figure, but don’t let them take advantage of you. If you’re going to be out of pocket then it’s not worth it, find someone else.

Negotiating set times – Most local bands are happy with half an hour, give the headliner a bit more (within reason). Also allow for changeover times between sets. Something like this usually works;

Doors – 8pm

Band 1 – 8.15pm to 8.45pm

Band 2 – 9.05pm to 9.35pm

Band 3 – 9.50 to 10.30pm

Band 4 – 10.50pm to 11.40pm

Curfew – 12

Print these out and stick around the venue. Tell the bands they cannot go over their end time, if they start late that doesn’t mean they can finish late because it affects the bands after them.



How to communicate

Worksheet created by you, sent to the bands and venue nice and early

Set times

Set times printout for sound guy and around venue

Stage plot & tech specs for sound guy





Choosing a date – Check for no clashes

Facebook event

Mailing list mailout – Hopefully you’ve got a small list. If not, it may be worth finding a local industry person to help with email promotion

Ticket sales – Conisder if you want these or not


Need more on how to book a gig with help from BandTools? Please reach out to us!

Templates, examples and guides are available in the BandTools database, to access visit our Patreon page to subscribe!



Similar Posts
Google Docs
Google Docs
Keeping all aspects of your band organised on your computer is never easy, but using Google Docs as a musician...
Square Reader
Square Reader
If you play gigs then you must have a merch stand, and with less people carrying cash these days Square...
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Excel
Every band member needs to organise things from time to time, so if you manage your own band’s tours, recordings and...

There are no comments yet, add one below.

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)