In my recent lecture I was given the task of finding how to set up a gig without the use of internet ie. leaflets/ advertisement through word of mouth. Some of the steps that I’m about to go through are very easy and simple but when done right and shown with confidence and conviction your gig(s) without internet can still come to fruition. They will be in steps so without further or do I’ll introduce with step 1:-
Step 1 : -Talk to bands and organizers at local gigs and stay in contact with them.
– Offer to help on gigs that they are organizing i.e. offer to be a roadie and help set up equipment, or put up the posters or sell tickets. Be sure to do it for free; it will get you free access to the gig anyway and they will owe you a favour.
– Once you have been to a couple of gigs you should have met at least 5 bands or artists. Make sure you keep a good relationship with them.
Step 2 : – Find a venue for your gig. Local theatres, cinemas, schools and function rooms are open to be rented. However, once you find it talk to the manager to make sure it’s within their rules to hold a live event. Your best bet is to use a theatre, as many theatres have the option of holding a seated or standing gig and already have a PA system and stage installed; this cuts costs. There are also an increasing number of pubs dedicated to live music, these are generally around 100-300 capacity and should also have sound engineers on their books and an in house PA. This last point is vital, if this is your first time putting on a gig, having an in house PA not only cuts costs but means that A)this is a venue where people come often enough to warrant an in house PA B)the system should be set up to work with the room making your sound engineers job easier and C) this will greatly reduce the amount of time and hassle before/after the gig as there is one less thing for you to sort out and there will only be a minimal amount of gear going in/ coming out of the venue.
– Get insurance. Public Liability Insurance (PLI) may be included with the venue but always check. Around £150 for insurance for the night is better than a million pound lawsuit. All insurance companies have an option for PLI. With each gig you organize, as long as there are no accidents, the cost of your insurance will go down because you have proved you’re responsible and there is less risk.
Step 3 : – Make posters. The ‘budget’ but classy way to do this is, to make one simple poster with white writing and a black background and get someone who works in an office to photocopy it as much as possible. Otherwise, you will have an extra cost for printing. Put the following on the poster:-
– Headlining Band
– Band on before them
– Band on before them etc.
– Opening band
Step 4 : – Ring your local newspaper/radio-station/etc. and tell them that the gig is on. Give them all the information you have on the poster, or even post them a copy of the poster. Write a Press Release, and send it to newspapers in your area, and the area of the gig, a few weeks before the gig. Try to get the newspaper to send a photographer if they have an ‘Out& About’ section or similar.
Step 5 : – Gig NIGHT!!!
– You need determination and commitment; things will go wrong, just plough on through. You’ll learn as you go.
– Be strict on security for your first few gigs until you get a natural feel for running them.
– Try to be as nice as possible no matter what someone does.
– Be prompt with payments to keep a good reputation.
Thanks for listening and if you felt inspired in some way then we can talk about setting up a gig.