So, You Want to Put on Your Own Gig?
So you’re looking to put on your own gig for your band, or you want to promote new music in your area, or you simply want to earn some extra cash promoting your own night – Here’s the OOiZiT guide to running your own gig.
Pick your venue carefully – In order to get off to a good start you have to get the venue right. Spend some time researching potential venues in your local city, and this doesn’t always mean in the city centre either. Once you’ve found a venue that provides you with the perfect mosh pit or stage, talk to the manager and see if they are able to hold live events.
Check the pricing – Most venues will agree to let you keep the door money because you’re bringing in the punters to buy beer, but double check with the manager to ensure they don’t come up with any surprise/hidden costs later down the line. If you have to pay for the venue, try and negotiate as much as possible, after all you’re pulling in a paying crowd!
It’s important that you try everything to encourage ticket sales so it’s often possible to add some extra incentive with drinks promotions – Speak with the manager if you’re able to agree a deal on this – But make sure you’re encouraging people to drink responsibly of course.
Other costs to consider are DJ’s, security, door staff (to collect tickets and/or money). If you’re bringing in a mass of people the venue will need to be insured (Public Liability Insurance). Most live venues will have this already but it’s worth asking the question. Check that the manager has these covered, if not it’ll be down to you to sort this out.
The next concern is the PA, check that the venue already has one and, if they do, make sure that you’re able to use it. Most venues will let you use their sound systems; however, some may insist that you use their sound man/engineer to control everything from sound checks to mic changes.
TIP: It’s important that you at least break even when putting on an event so it’s important that you’ve chosen a popular venue that people recognise as a place for live music. This maximises the chance of pulling in passersby that didn’t know about your gig in the first place.
Before you start making poster or promoting the gig, make sure that the venue is available! Most venues will require you book at least two weeks in advance so they get pretty booked up.
OK, so you’ve got your venue sorted, music artists/bands booked (to find out more on how to book music artists click here) now you need to start thinking about marketing the event.
How much will your tickets be? Tickets need to cover costs but also need to be affordable. Think about how many acts you have on, the calibre of those acts and how much you would be prepared to pay to go and see them play. Think about how long they will be playing for, how long the gig is and what people get for their money. Once you have an idea, ask peoples opinion on the price to make sure you’re not pricing yourself out of the market.
Don’t under sell yourself! It’s important that you provide value for money but not to come across too cheap, people want to see quality new music and your pricing should reflect that.
Build the hype! The more people that know about your event the better - use everything possible to get the word out there that your gig is going to be fantastic. There are loads of things you can do offline to make your gig stand out including:
- Fliering (make sure you have a licence for this)
- Adverts in the local press
- Try to get the local radio and/or newspaper to cover the event
- Stand out with high impact billboards
- Hire a street team to encourage people to come into the gig on the night
- Plus much much more.
Most of these cost money, but there are lots of things that you can do for free online too. Use all of your social networks to push the idea. With your OOiZiT profile you can create an event, invite people from Facebook, Twitter and people on OOiZiT.com that are from your local area.
Put links to your OOiZiT.com event on MySpace, Bebo, Facebook and Twitter too. This give everyone access to the event and pushes your event to the millions of users that don’t know about your event.
Send emails to all of your friends from school, college or work and let them know about the event. The bigger the impact in the early stages the better. People like to hear about new things especially when it’s about music so keep everyone informed on the run up to the event.
Make sure you push the benefits and “the big acts” of the event, not just the event name. Typically you’d have a headline act and then list everyone else in order of them playing. People need to know when, where, how much and dress code of an event, so make sure you don’t miss that out. If the event is in a bar and they’re selling alcohol, make sure all of the licences are in place PLUS make sure that tickets are only sold to over 18’s.
On the night of the event, make sure you get as much coverage as possible. Take a camera or, even better, a video camera and capture the event as it happens. You can then use this material to promote your next event using things like YouTube, Flikr and OOiZiT.com.
Good luck, but most of all enjoy the event!