If you’re a musician living in an area with a sparse or nonexistent music scene, you might be interested in relocating to a city that truly celebrates the arts. Look no further than Washington, DC! For decades, DC has embraced countless musicians looking to build their careers in the nation’s exciting capital. If you need help getting the word out about your music, you can look to DCR for resources! Furthermore, this guide will show you how to establish yourself as a musician in DC.
Get to Know the City’s Music Scene
The DC area has a thriving music scene, and whether you’re a seasoned musician or a brand new artist, you’ll be able to carve out your own niche here. DC is a hotbed of musical innovation: it was once known as the home of go-go music! Today, artists across all genres play at the city’s many venues, and no matter which style of music you prefer, you’re sure to find a home within the city’s artistic culture.
Find an Apartment
The rental market in DC can be quite competitive, so it’s important to prepare for apartment hunting by researching which DC neighborhoods you’re interested in, working out a realistic budget, and gathering any documents you need in advance. Chances are, you’ll want to find a community with a strong creative spirit! Daro Apartments recommends checking out Cleveland Park, Foggy Bottom, Columbia Heights, or Adams Morgan.
Top Music Venues
You’ve found your apartment, you’ve explored your neighborhood, and now, you’re ready to start seeing some local shows and diving into the music scene. But which venues should you swing by first? With so many options, it can be hard to choose! However, some venues truly stand out as local favorites. Make sure to get in the door for shows at famous spots like the 9:30 Club, The Anthem, Union Stage, Black Cat, Pearl Street Warehouse, and The Hamilton Live.
Like any major city, DC also hosts lots of major music events and fun festivals throughout the year. You won’t want to miss out on these events! Bounce recommends grabbing tickets to the Capital Fringe Festival, DC Jazz Festival, Down in the Reeds, and ongoing events like the Capital Riverfront Friday Night Concert Series and Jazz in the Garden. Attending festivals and events like these is a great way to discover new local bands that you’ve never heard of, meet other musicians, and get inspired for your own creative process. You’ll get to see a whole new side of the city!
Land Your First Gigs
Now that you’ve learned the lay of the land, you’re ready to start seeking out gigs and putting yourself out there in your new city. But when you have very few connections in the area, how can you get on stage? First, it’s always a good idea to start with open mics – anyone can sign up for an open mic, and there are plenty of small venues that host events like these across the city every week. Take Lessons also recommends creating samples of your work to give out when you want to play at a particular venue. Having a demo will give venue coordinators an idea of whether or not you’re a good fit for their stage.
Lots of musicians already call DC home – and you could be next! With these tips, you’ll be ready to search for the right apartment, check out shows at the city’s best music venues, and even snag your very first gigs at clubs and events around the city. Soon, you’ll be glad that you chose DC as your home base.
Ready to focus on promoting your music career? Turn to DCR for the tools you need! Visit our website today to book a free consultation!