Small town gigs?


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Naturalchampion
03-09-2011, 07:21 PM
Anybody here start gigging in a small town?

My town is pretty small, and so are most the towns within 10-15 miles of us.
If you've gotten a gig in a small town, I'd enjoy to here about it. How you got it, how'd it go, how many people were there...ect.

AlanHB
03-09-2011, 07:26 PM
Sure thing. How small is your town?

scguitarking927
03-09-2011, 07:31 PM
consider around 7k people small? Had a event where a couple bands from the surrounding areas got together and put on a show at a rented out church. Had about 300 people show up to see 5 bands. Was pretty fun.

Best ways to get gigs in small towns is to make your own. Find some bands around you get together with them and either rent out a space or try to find somewhere where you can play.

Naturalchampion
03-09-2011, 07:41 PM
Well, mine town is probably about 10k.

How do you go about actually getting a real gig though?

scguitarking927
03-09-2011, 07:49 PM
Well, mine town is probably about 10k.

How do you go about actually getting a real gig though?

what do you consider a real gig? I mean honestly starting out you have to work with what your given. Bars, renting out buildings, or just playing in parks or parking lots. If you have people coming to hear you, it's a real gig.

Talk to bar owners, if they're skeptical about allowing one band to play get another band or two to split the evening.

People don't realize, especially in small towns and place where there isn't really a great music scene, you have to create the scene. Create a demand for the music work with other bands and make events out of the gigs.

Naturalchampion
03-09-2011, 07:56 PM
what do you consider a real gig? I mean honestly starting out you have to work with what your given. Bars, renting out buildings, or just playing in parks or parking lots. If you have people coming to hear you, it's a real gig.

Talk to bar owners, if they're skeptical about allowing one band to play get another band or two to split the evening.

People don't realize, especially in small towns and place where there isn't really a great music scene, you have to create the scene. Create a demand for the music work with other bands and make events out of the gigs.


Problem, will bars allow my band to play if some of the members are minors?

AlanHB
03-09-2011, 08:07 PM
One of the great things about "small" towns (mine was 900 people) is that the music community is very close-knit, they all know eachother. Your best bet is to get to know some of these people, because you can bet they can get you gigs if you're nice enough.

Sure the pubs mayn't allow minors, but there's a lot more events than just bars that want bands. Cafes also commonly have bands. If no cafes in your area have bands, go to them and ask anyway. Record some demos, give them around. It's most likely that you either know the owner, or have friends in common with them anyway.

Finally your parents and parents friends will always know the town gossip and who would like bands at their places. Just network and ask around.

scguitarking927
03-09-2011, 08:10 PM
Problem, will bars allow my band to play if some of the members are minors?

its at the discretion of the individual bar. Some will just say flat out no, some will ask you to leave as soon as the set is over and others will be fine with you staying, just may mark your hands with X's to show that your minors.

Get in contact with them though, if at all possible don't let them know some of your members are minors. Just be like "hey, I have a band and we are interested in playing at your bar, I'd like to give you a demo and to get some more details on setting up a show". It's one of those don't ask don't tell situations. If they ask, answer truthfully and ask if there is anyway around it.

Also have the oldest member talk to the owner, it'll give the appearance that ya'll are older. And just let the minors know, they can't be goofing around or drawing unwanted attention to them if they don't ask and you get a gig, they need to act in a mature manner.

Most bar owners I've worked with are pretty lenient when it comes to minors in the band. And will be fine with it once the right precautions are taken, which usually is a giant fat X on the hands with a permanent marker.

Naturalchampion
03-09-2011, 08:20 PM
its at the discretion of the individual bar. Some will just say flat out no, some will ask you to leave as soon as the set is over and others will be fine with you staying, just may mark your hands with X's to show that your minors.

Get in contact with them though, if at all possible don't let them know some of your members are minors. Just be like "hey, I have a band and we are interested in playing at your bar, I'd like to give you a demo and to get some more details on setting up a show". It's one of those don't ask don't tell situations. If they ask, answer truthfully and ask if there is anyway around it.

Also have the oldest member talk to the owner, it'll give the appearance that ya'll are older. And just let the minors know, they can't be goofing around or drawing unwanted attention to them if they don't ask and you get a gig, they need to act in a mature manner.

Most bar owners I've worked with are pretty lenient when it comes to minors in the band. And will be fine with it once the right precautions are taken, which usually is a giant fat X on the hands with a permanent marker.


Well, I live somewhat close to Sturgis SD, where once a year there is the Rally, and one of the bars there gets HUGE, so if I could get a gig during that there is actually a chance of record guys being there.

Natrone
03-10-2011, 02:57 AM
My band's first show was in the basement of a local college.

As has been said, the best way to get small town gigs is to just make your own. Find someplace with PA equipment that is willing to let you use the stuff either for free or a small fee and get a bunch of other bands to come play with you. It's a pain to organize but sooo much fun.

the_perdestrian
03-10-2011, 03:52 AM
my drummer knows everyone. he had mentioned to a promoter/crappy musician in the area that we had formed a band. a band couldn't make it to a gig, he called us up.

other than that, minors can't play in bars in our area and that venue got shut down, so we have had to rent out comunity centers and play there with other bands. bring some guys in from out of town, make conections with them, etc.

JDizzle787
03-12-2011, 02:44 AM
my city is small, but hardly anyone pays attention to the scene- even other musicians are kind of disjointed (This isn't the case for me, I try to make shows when I can, at least for a good friends band. Only a couple, literally a handful of people go to others' shows around here)

There was a place here that had all ages shows and almost anyone could play, but not enough people went to keep it open. It was awesome because you could play alongside nationally touring bands sooo easily.


Talk to everyone you can, talk to other bands in your area and ask if you can join them on a show to open for them. Or ask if they'd want to rent somewhere out (along with other bands) and do that. I'm learning the hard way how to talk to everyone. Also, don't be discouraged if not everyone gets back to you. Out of about 7-10 places I've gotten in touch with, about half have responded, and less than that have been able to actually set something up. Be persistent though; it's worth it to find out.

Ethanb08
03-12-2011, 07:06 PM
I live in a area similar to yours... theres 5 towns that sorta share a highschool but have split junior highschools... Anyways we would play at outdoor parties that classmates would throw. The one time we played there was probably about 200 or so students there from the surrounding area. It went pretty good, we opened for the other local band. We made like $150 cause people had to pay to come and party on whomevers property it was, we got in for free being the band..lol A lot of people enjoyed it, some people were saying it was some of the best stuff they had heard in a while. It was a real confidence booster.

That band more or less disbanded but were working on getting our current one together and gig ready. We'll probably play some parties and local bars, then maybe some botb comps in the city, then relocate.