We’re going to talk how to Book Live Shows as an Independent Artist.

But more importantly, we’re going to talk about what you should have in place before you start approaching these people to book more shows.

My name is Rick Barker, host of the music industry blueprint podcast, and former manager of superstar Taylor Swift.

And if you like these videos, if you’d like to get educated about what’s going on inside the music business, right below this video, I want you to hit the subscribe button.

So too often, I see artists still come to me, whether they’re my management clients, whether there’s someone that I meet, they’ll say, Rick, I need to book more gigs.

I was like, great.

How many shows are you currently playing?

They’re like, Well, I haven’t played a lot of shows.

So that’s a warning sign number one for me right now, because the venue is going to ask you that question.

So what I would do if I were you, is start utilizing social media.

So if you don’t have a show yet, or you don’t have original material, don’t put yourself out there too quickly.

Don’t go out and start asking to be the opening act if you don’t have enough material to cover the song, but start using social media as a way to promote your live shows.

Another one that’s really good.

There are open mics. Get comfortable in front of a crowd, have fun, go do karaoke.

I don’t care about doing karaoke.

If you need to do karaoke, you need to put yourself out there.


A lot of times, we’ll sit down.

And with all the artists that come into my world and management, we sit down and say, Okay, what are our goals for this year?

And sometimes they’ll say, Man, I want to play 100 shows. Like, great, how many did you play this year?

Well, I haven’t really started playing yet.

Book exciting live shows

I’m like, why don’t we play 10? You know, we have to start somewhere.

If you’re a performer, if you play the instrument every day, I would encourage you to play in front of the mirror.

I did this with Taylor, I did this with Nick Reggiani when he was on American Idol, and like, dude, you need to go sing in front of a mirror.

If you take five songs, and you play your instrument, and you sing your songs, and you do it in front of a mirror that day, you just had your instrument practice, your vocal practice, and your performance practice. You need to see what it is that you look like. You can also go out and someone asked me this yesterday, and it’s going to be a podcast episode.

Hire a live music producer.

Not a performance coach.

Okay, this is not what they are, a live music producer.

It’s someone like Tom Jackson, someone who’s going to be able to walk you through the process and teach you how to create moments in your show.

On stage, success, calm, that’s Tom’s will make sure it’s below. I may be off on that one.

But just look at the link below.

Hannah will make sure that we get that in there.

But Tom Jackson, you know Amy, who works with Tom as a live music producer, they’ve got some great free material. You want to create something that’s compelling.

So work with a live music producer.

You don’t have to accomplish everything on your own.

But a lot of times, you want to go out and book more shows.

But you haven’t even really performed any shows yourself.

So just because you hear other people say, well, that’s the next step in the process, is to go out and book more shows. You want to be able to book more shows that you want to be able to tell if they’re going to ask you some questions.

I’m going to give you those questions.

We’ll shoot a whole other video on this.

But the question they’re going to ask is, how many tickets?

Can you sell it?

If you’ve never played a market, how do you answer that question? You’re going to need to show them the people that you have.

That’s where Spotify for artists comes in handy.

iTunes comes in handy.

Your Facebook demographics, your Instagram demographics come in handy to understand how many people are in the market.

Also, too, it’s like they may ask you a simple question.

Like, what is your rate?

Oh my gosh, they’re asking me about the money.

I don’t know how to talk about money, understand what it is.

And town shows 500 bucks, out of town shows $1,000. How do you determine how you figure out your price?

There’s a little bit that goes into that.

First and foremost, what are your expenses?

And then how much do you want to make?

Okay, so that’s that’s a whole other video itself.

But this is one of the questions they’re gon na ask you.

What is your rate?

Do you have references from when you played at another show?

See if you can get somebody to say, hey, I love it when Rick’s band played here.

They were awesome.

The plate place was packed.

Everybody was having a lot of fun, no problems.

Go ahead and get yourself some references.

But the best thing you might want to do is follow the other bands in that area and start following their fans.

Start letting them hear your music and stuff.

So that way, you’re kind of known in the area. Maybe reach out to those bands, see if they ever need an opening act.

Or maybe if they’d like to gig swap, if you’re trying to get into a market that you’ve never been in before.

Maybe you offer them a show in your market. They offer you a show.

And there’s but there’s just so much that goes into this.

It’s like it’s not going to be easy for me to just sit here and create one simple little video.

But what I wanted this video to be was something that just kind of got your wheels turning.

Gotcha thinking, what kind of questions are they going to ask?

Do I have the answer to that?

If not, how do I get the answer to that?

If I haven’t played a lot of shows, how do I play any shows?

Well, if I’m not old enough to get to a bar, how can I perform well? We can use social media. We can do Instagram Lives, Facebook Lives.

A lot of this we talk about inside social media for music.

It’s a free training that I do, where I also walk you through how to monetize your live stream.

So hey, if you’re doing a live stream from your house, and you’re making money, there are no expensive expenses.

That’s a good thing.

So I’ll teach you all that information below this video.

Give me some ideas for other topics that you would like in the comments below while you’re down there.

Also, hit the notification button to get notified whenever I go live.

I hope this wasn’t too confusing for you.

But it’s a very confusing subject and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. I wish there was.

So let’s go out and make yourself a better person so that you can become a better performer so that people can see you on the stage.

All right, all the info from this video is below.

I’ll talk to you on the next one.


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