In the early stages of your bands potential career it can be tough to find shows and you can often feel like you’re not getting the chance to get out there and play enough. You may find yourself on the bill with bands who genres don’t fit yours and you can feel simply out of place to their audience. As a venue owner you may be struggling to get the right performers of the highest quality who suit your atmosphere in your doors to entertain your guests and keep your business thriving. Now as much as the internet has altered the music industry in more ways then one, it’s also provided some great tools like these 3 sites to help get your band or your venue on a productive and prosperous track.
Sonicbids is your one stop shop to “gig booking made easy”. Wether you’re in a band or looking to book bands this site has something for you. It’s one of the biggest and most popular sites on this list.
Founder(s): Panos Panya
Cost: Free to join but if you want to submit to listings you’ll need an active membership which are $119.88/year or $12.99 a month.
Why it’s helpful: They provide the tools and resources you need to connect you with great music opportunities all over the world. Assisting you in getting gigs, licensing, professional EPK’s and more. One of the biggest advantages to Sonicbids is the ability to submit to the renown annual SXSW showcase filled with industry eyes checking out bands exclusively through their site.
I hope this information can help you get make all of your career goals possible! The opportunity is there, now it’s time to go after it.
Bandsurfing’s mission is simple, help bands and venues get together.
Founder(s): Javier Romero
Cost: Free! For venues. For bands it can be free but if you want to take full advantage of the site you can buy subscriptions. Subscriptions work in the way of something called Plugs. In order to submit to gigs you have to spend Plugs. Each submission will cost you 1 Plug, so for most bands the 3 free complimentary ones are usually more then enough.
*Note: You’re not guaranteed to get on the bill for all the shows you submit too.
Why is it helpful?: They provide an efficient and convenient way for you to get the shows you want. If you’re a venue you’re probably pretty busy and rather then going through mass amounts of emails, Bandsurfing simplifies and organizes the process of booking gigs and getting acts into your facility.
INDIE ON THE MOVE:
Indie on the Move is a giant data base filled with music venues and bands through out the United States. They focus mainly on independent touring. Their site not only benefits bands and venues but also record labels and managers. They even list job opportunities in the music business along with an address book of contacts filled with bands, management and more.
Founder(s): Kyle Weber and Bryan Weber
Cost: It’s free to sign up if you want to take a DIY (do it yourself) approach or you can pay for a professional service which allows you to sit back and relax while a seasoned IOTM (Indie on the Move) professional plans your tour, ups the anti on your booking pitch, assess your web presence and reaches out to suitable music venues in desired markets along your route.
To purchase 10 Markets it’s $295, 20 Markets is $395 and 21+ Markets you have to inquire for a quote. When you purchase the professional service you also receive 20% off IOTM’s college gig booking directory which you are normally granted access to when purchasing a subscription to for $79.99 a year as the college directory is not included with the free sign up.
Why is it helpful?: Opportunity laid out in front of you. It gives you and your band access to tours, the ability to know which venues are great and which are not so great by giving you the ability to rate the places you play allowing members to warn or encourage fellow bands to book there or not. It also gives you access to deals and discounts on CD/DVD manufacturing, website development, radio promotion and more!
Now as we’ve learned about the resources discussed above to help you get where you wanna be, the stage, it’s important to take note on something from a band perspective. Touring has become less important and less of a feasible option for building a name for yourself as an artist in todays music industry. It’s almost become a luxury experience but of course you’d still wanna do it because it’s still a major part of the rock n roll fantasy to hit the open road and play for new audiences every night. Back in the days where touring was crucial for bands to gain popularity, it was because they didn’t have the internet as a platform to make themselves known internationally at their finger tips like you do today. New Zealand based Alt/Pop singer Lorde blew up on the internet an achieved astronomical success long before heading out on tour. She was able to later go on tour because there was a demand for her to. If there is no demand for you in a city you are just going to burn through money traveling across the country to play a show no one is going to show up to. It just doesn’t make much sense and isn’t a good career move. So before you utilize the resources above, build your presence online and see who’s calling for you.