1) Put Together A Package
Email locals that share a similar genre and ask for availability / interest playing a show on a range of dates. Three is a good number of dates to start with. Get a whole week or two if possible. If you draw at least 100 people on your own, feel free to execute step 1 and 2 later.
2) Put Together A Deal Among The Bill
Once supporting bands say they’re interested and available, send them info how you’d split the revenue. Ex: headliner = 40%, support band 1 = 30% and support band 2 = 30%. Let them know you’re reaching out to venues, and you’ll let them know when the show is confirmed.
3) Contact a music venue.
Check their website to make sure the dates you want aren’t booked. Include the lineup that’s available, the dates the package is available, suggested ticket price, estimated draw and include social media & press links.
If they’re interested, they’ll give you a hold. A first hold means you have first dibs on the date. A fourth hold on the date means three other packages have requested shows ahead of you.
4) Confirm The Date
If you’re ready to confirm the show, ask to challenge the holds ahead of you. If the holds ahead of you clear, your show will be confirmed. If you’re first hold, say you’re ready to confirm the show.
Send over announce times, on sale times, ticket price, band links / bios / photos. Once you do, the venue should send you contract terms and a ticket link. Send this to the bands, complete with announce and marketing info
Congrats! Your show is booked.
Try to reach out to talent buyers about 90 days ahead of the dates you want.
If you don’t hear back, follow up after a week. If you don’t hear back after another follow up, the buyer is likely uninterested or the venue is booked.
Do NOT confirm a date, then pull out of it later. Sometimes, emergencies happen, and this is unavoidable. If it does, offer to book replacements that would produce a similar draw. Apologize sincerely.