Exposure is key when it comes to booking shows, and the best place to start for any artist is locally. You may wonder where some bars and festivals find talent to get on stage for their events, and honestly, there are a lot of ways this happens: by word of mouth, by making friends with the club owners, by being in the right place at the right time, but that doesn’t always come easy.
The internet has been the best way to find numerous services for most of the 2000’s, and a simple e-mail hardly cuts it – venues don’t like hearing from unsolicited artists. One of the more professional ways to put yourself out there without dropping big bucks on a promoter or joining a record label is to join a helpful website that you may not know about: GigSalad.
This post will teach you what GigSalad is, how to get started, and how to see success on the website. Keep reading to learn how to book shows on GigSalad.
What is GigSalad?
GigSalad is a website where promoters who need talent for their upcoming event go to find artists in the area, whether that be a rapper, DJ, or a band. The CEO of the website, Mark Steiner, has a long career in the entertainment industry, including booking talent for numerous events and shows. When customers log in to search for an act, they can choose an area and select a category, which ranges from bands and singers to actors and circus performers. It’s a great tool for bookers, but that isn’t what this post is about, so let’s continue into how to get started on GigSalad.
Making a Promo Kit
After signing up for the website (which is free to join) the first thing you need to do is make a promo kit. The promo kit is broken down to five sections, so I will cover them each individually.
After creating a brief overview for those who don’t usually read the terms and conditions, you’ll be asked to fill out a section about what to expect from your performance and a longer, more in-depth “about me,” which is a great space for a short biography. There is also a section for “additional booking notes.” It is important that you mention any of your needs in this area, such as if you need certain equipment or if you plan to bring your own. You don’t want to mislead any of your clients.
This is also the section where your price range, gig length, and spoken language will be listed. When it comes to choosing your price range, I think it’s best to only list a minimum, because this number can (and should) range depending on what equipment is needed, the length of the show, and how far away the event is. The gig length should just be something you feel comfortable doing. You can also set the amount of miles you’re willing to travel for a show.
This is where you list some of your current upcoming performances, that way concert promoters know if you’re available for their event before even reaching out to you. It’s also kind of nice to have this section because it lets you brag a little bit about some of the events you’ve performed at.
Although set lists tend to change based on crowd mood and the time of year/type of event, this is an area where you can list what songs promoters can expect to hear when they book you for a performance. Because you’ve already posted about how long your sets typically run in the “profile” section, you can use that as a basis to choose your most popular songs and fit them into that time frame. It’s important to include that you can add more songs as requested, if you so choose to.
This section is pretty easy. You can make it long or short and sweet – just list the artists, bands, or individuals that have inspired you to write music and perform for a crowd. For me, it’s Eminem.
Here, you should list the equipment you need in order to perform. If you have your own equipment, you should make sure to mention that, with the assumption that you’ll need a place to plug it all in. If you don’t have certain things, make sure to mention that as well.
On top of all this, you should definitely include music videos, photos, and songs. People are lazy, and they don’t want to look you up on Spotify, Soundcloud, or YouTube. Having everything in one spot can drastically increase your chances of getting booked.
Receiving a Lead
After you make your profile, you basically have to wait. Yea I know, that doesn’t seem very eventful, but I promise you’ll get leads on GigSalad. When somebody does send you a lead, it will look like this:
The lead will list the date and time, location of the event, the number of guests, the equipment needed, and a few other key things you should know. After you receive a gig, it’s your responsibility to send back a quote that you feel is appropriate for the type of event. You can also choose to decline the event or message the client if you have any important questions before you agree.
Although bigger events with multiple performers supply their own gear, you should be prepared to book some much smaller gigs that need you to bring your own things. The Harbinger M100-BT portable PA system comes with an audio mixer, two speakers, and inputs for microphones, guitars, a stereo line, and Bluetooth® capabilities. It also comes with convenient carrying cases for all the equipment. If you're a rapper, this system is a great way to get you started.
From here, you'll need a microphone to plug into the PA system. The Audix f55 Cardioid Vocal Microphone is an affordable yet versatile choice. It can handle high pressures of sound, which is great for rappers who really get into their work and get louder as a song progresses. Of course, the possibilities are endless, so make sure to check out Musician's Friend to buy guitars, drums, and other equipment.
After the Show
When the curtains close, bookers get the chance to review you on your performance, which will show up on your “profile” page for all to see. Because of this, it’s important to deliver exactly what you promise to, and follow up on the terms efficiently. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely you are to be booked by other promoters. Also, it’s important to never ignore a lead. Always offer an answer, even if it’s no.
Booking on GigSalad is one of the most efficient ways for independent rappers to get shows. Technology reigns at this point in time, and many people turn to finding talent on the internet. If you’re serious about booking a show on GigSalad, you should make an amazing promo kit and be patient. If you do manage to book a show, I want to hear about it in the comments.
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