Booking a Cover Band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sniperchris, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. sniperchris


    Nov 17, 2013
    I play in a band that can do either covers or live band karaoke and I am trying to set up some out of town gigs for the summer.

    Any tips on how to successfully get shows? When emailing bars/venues, what do you include and what do you say?

    Anyone have any advice on getting gigs?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    Thats a good question. We have no problem getting gigs from people who've seen us. We have plenty of jobs this year again, all from calls coming to us, or facebook. However, in the past I have emailed several places, just for a change of scenery such a ski lodges and clubs, and even stopped and dropped business cards. I don't recall ever booking a job that we have solicited. The only thing that seems to work for us is playing in front of people, then the phone starts ringing. Then you get that out of town wedding, new people hear you, and then you might get calls from that area.
    As for getting into new venues, one thing I thought about trying is giving a price break for these new places for a first gig. Tell them its an introductory price. If you like us and want us back then its our normal price. We are confident you'll call us back.
  3. What works for our band is actively canvassing the venues we'd like to play. Bring samples with you that can be played on the spot. Most venue owners don't take the time to go to websites or listen to CDs. Be present. They don't want to do footwork, they want to see someone take the serious time needed to promote themselves.
  4. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    Get some professional photos and a professionally recorded demo of four or five of your best covers. Make sure the demo looks professionally designed as well. Use the photos for cards, posters, and the demo CD. After we did this, no trouble getting bookings out of town from people that had never been to a show.
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Once you've played a number of places, it gets easier as they start inviting you back and you get some momentum (assuming you're good). It's getting those first few gigs that's hard. Play some open mics and get good video of your performance - not somebody's cell phone, an actual good video, hire someone if you need to. Record some demos too, even for covers. There are so many cover bands that just suck, you need to persuade a skeptical venue manager that you're not one of them. And they're not going to want to spend a lot of time checking you out. Don't just shoot an email out there and hope they reply. Go to the venue, with tablet or laptop or some such device in hand, and make your pitch in person, showing them your video and demos. Make followup calls.
  6. Seriously - personal contact works best. Use management/agent - or personally go to the bars/venues with your promo package and sell yourself and the band.
  7. If you have following that is all they want to hear. They couldn't careless if you are Jimi Hendrix brought back from the dead. face to face and talk up the crowd you can bring them. Your promo kits aren't looked at by most clubs, no one listens to your stuff because it doesn't matter as long as the drink is flowing and the dance floor is full how's that for a reality check. My band on the club scene for the past 10 years
  8. sniperchris


    Nov 17, 2013
    Obviously we just started. 10 years ago your band probably had no following. So how did you build one and how did you get shows without one?
  9. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    In my area an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) works well. Agents and venues don't really want to receive a manilla folder full of pictures, flyers, a CD, and other "bulky" items. Instead, design an nice PDF file that is like a poster and can be sent in an email. This EPK will have links to your website and Youtube videos. Be sure to include contact information, statements from past clients, a list of venues you have played, etc. For more EPK ideas CLICK HERE.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  10. We are all pros with reps so when we put the band together we already had a following. So we were all well known. And even with all of what I just said clubs haven't changed at all over the many years I have been playing. I only came years across a handful that were about the music and they were owned by players like us who knew what we all put up with. we are one of the better bands in our area. Things have been alot better in the past few years with some clubs understanding that we are partners in this and they need to have a following we can entertain and keep them there in their seats. But as I mentioned if you are going to get your foot in the door you need to bring warm bodies to to fill their bar.
  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    First time you play somewhere, nothing wrong with stuffing the box (ask friends to come - buy a drink or two).
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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