Streaming is how consumers listen to music today. Services like Spotify and Apple Music pay artists $0.03 per stream. It is tough even for big artists to generate substantial revenue from this.

Xo Tour Llif3 by Lil Uzi Vert was streamed over 1.3 billion times in 2017, however, he only made $900,000 in royalties from it. How do artists make money then? Live shows!

How do artists get their foot in the door with touring? Emerging artists need to start doing smaller venues, perfecting their live shows, and establishing relationships with promoters, booking agents, and venues. Learn how to book a concert venue below.

Check out our other artist resources on our blog to take your artistry to new heights!

Perfect Your Performance and Branding

It should go without saying, but take the time to develop your artistry before you figure out how to book a concert venue. As an emerging artist, you probably have an urgency to perform, but it is critical to be honest with where you are in your artistry. 

If you are a DJ, make sure that you have perfected your blends and your transitions to a place where someone can’t deny your talent. If you are a singer, make sure that you have perfected your lung capacity to the point that you can move around the stage without missing a note. As a rapper, make sure that you can move around the stage while still maintaining your flow and breath control. 

Another aspect that is included in this is making sure that your marketing strategy is well executed. Establish a brand message with your music and make sure that it is consistent throughout your digital presence. 

How To Book Your First Gig

Your first shows are going to be average at best but you have to start somewhere. The Weeknd played the Mod Club in 2011, which has a 600-person capacity after his first mixtape came out and even he admits that it was a bad show. In 2022, he headlined Coachella and his performance has 4 million views on YouTube. 

After you have conditioned yourself to perform and established your branding, you can start to shop yourself to promoters and booking agents at venues in your area. When you are first starting out, it is important to work your way through smaller clubs, bars, and venues before trying to approach a bigger venue like House of Blues for a show. You will have to throw your own show at first. 

There are a lot of rental spaces that you can use to put on your first couple of shows. Invite everybody that you can! Your friends from high school, neighbors, acquaintances, and even people that you might meet in passing. Put on a good show and make sure that you record it. 

This is evidence to promoters that you can draw a crowd and put on a decent performance, even though they’ve never heard of you. If you follow this strategy, build good relationships, and maintain a good reputation, you’ll be playing bigger and better venues. Check out our management services that can help you get paid gigs and create a press kit to show promoters!