When you’re a new band, it’s easy to think of one thing and one thing only: playing shows. I believe playing live is the best way to connect with anyone, but your thinking can’t stop once a show is booked. Further, there must be a strategy in place, to ensure your shows are helping you achieve multiple goals. Here are two common gig errors to avoid:
1. PLAYING THE SAME MARKETS TOO OFTEN
It’s no secret that venues care about the number of people you bring to your show. Especially as a new band without a large following, it’s smarter to play sparingly in a city, and do everything in your power to get people to each show, than it is to play over and over for the same group of friends. Otherwise, people develop the attitude of, “I’m sure they’ll play again in a few weeks, so I’ll pass tonight and see them next time.” It’s better to make every show a rare event with some sense of urgency attached than for it to be something they can just catch next time.
2. IGNORING THE CYCLE
There is a vicious cycle – The First Gig Cycle – that occurs when you start gigging, and the only way to break through is with a combination of discipline, time, and genuine promotion – The AAR Cycle. Bands who care about playing live stop thinking once a show is booked. Bands who care about building a fanbase start thinking once a show is booked. Once a gig is confirmed, it’s time to get to work. Don’t expect people to care just because you care, and don’t forget that the venue you just booked does not come with an audience included.