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Venues in Chicago area

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by rad87gn, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. rad87gn


    Sep 17, 2007
    What are some of the good music venues to book at in the Chicago area for a high energy rock cover band that also plays some of their originals off of their CD?
  2. crow01


    Sep 1, 2008
    Check the chicago reader newspaper or the website or check yelp.

    There are too many out there.

    Big ones like Metro, everybody wants to play there. There are bunch more all over the place, maybe up to 50 places I am not sure
  3. rad87gn


    Sep 17, 2007

  4. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I'm not sure if all of these qualify as "good" (Some probably suck now that I think of it), and some of them may be "mostly originals" kind of places, but some places are...

    Cubby Bear ( both the Wrigglyville and North suburbs locations)
    Elbo Room
    Wise Fools Pub
    Double Door
    Red Line Tap
    Lilly's Bar
    Abbey Pub

    A good way to find ways to play is to find bands that are like yours and check their sites and see where their past gigs were.
  5. jakeox


    Feb 15, 2007
    This is the best advice. Look around on Myspace to find some.

    A lot of the "name" venues in Chicago don't hire cover bands, but there are plenty of bars that hire cover bands more or less exclusively. Try places like Duffy's, anywhere near Wrigley Field, and anyplace there are tons of drunk 23-year-olds.

    There isn't a ton of crossover between cover band venues and original band venues (as far as I've seen, anyway), so keep that in mind.
  6. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    The downtown Chicago market is pretty much black and white between original venues and cover venues. VERY little crossover at all, in my experience. Most of the cover acts go into the bigger places - Cubby Bear, Joe's, Navy Pier, etc. while the smaller bars get the originals (paying a WHOLE lot less out to bands) at such places at Wise Fools, Elbo Room, Double Door, etc.

    Keep in mind too that the big venues generally book out for one or two bands per night, anywhere from an hour and a half to a three hour set, while most of the smaller places will put four bands on for the night with each group getting a 35 minute set.

    Been there and done that on both circuits - I'll tell you, doing a load-in and setup while triple-parking your car on Lincoln Ave. and praying it doesn't get towed while you haul your cabinet inside and then hoping to God your stuff doesn't get stolen while you drive around an increasingly larger perimeter to find non-meter parking for a measly half hour show that starts at midnight gets old REAL fast.

  7. EvilTwin


    Aug 5, 2008
    I don't know, I don't go to see cover bands. Probably one of the Wrigleyville places is good advice. :bag:
  8. synterx

    synterx Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2005
    look up Joey Demarco at United Talent booking. The guy controls a huge number of venues for cover bands. Our band plays many of the nicer venues and festivals all year through him. While we hate giving him 10% of our cut, as long as you act professional all the way around, and don't expect to play the "good" venues at first, you will eventually get what you want. The key is your band has to be very good, very professional in all aspects, and don't get mad when you are opening for someone you think should be opening for you. If you want to go the original music route more than covers, then expect a different experience.
  9. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    ++10000 nothing like trying to unload in the snow and find somewhere to park in wrigleyville or Lincoln ave
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    All very true, especially the load-in logistics. Any bassist planning on gigging smaller clubs (elbo room sized)in Chicago, really owes it too themselves to get a portable rig. You don't need a huge rig for most of these clubs. Every time I see someone load an 8x10 into Lilly's or Elbo Room, I want to laugh.

    A Portabass 250 Head, and 210 cab, and a good gigbag were a Godsend when I was going every where by the EL, and now that I have a car, it's no problem to park 4 blocks away from a venue because I can transport all my gear easily by myself.
  11. gig-getter


    Oct 5, 2007
    Author of Gig-Getter & Rouse the Crowd
    "This is the best advice. Look around on Myspace to find some".

    #1 to that one. You can also just Google search for "Chicago cover band" or "Illinois cover band" and check out the "Gigs" sections on websites that come up for venue details. Then hit the phones..

    Hope this helps.

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