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Written by Ramsey Brown.
The digital era along with constant advancements in technology has completely changed the music industry and its means of operation. Today’s musicians are able to display their talent to the public and sustain their careers much easier than ever before.
Almost anything and everything can be done from your computer or smartphone. Things like engaging with fans, distributing music, or booking gigs can simply be done with the click of a few buttons. However, without the proper online tools to assist you, these tasks are not going to be as effortless as you may think.
With the overwhelming number of artists and bands out there, getting the proper exposure, events, and gigs can be quite difficult. Every artist's dream is to perform on a stage in front of a crowd of endearing fans. But if you are an independent artist, you know finding gigs and getting booked for shows isn’t always easy as it seems.
Artists can no longer sit around and wait for a performance opportunity to come to them. Nowadays, you must do some digging to find gigs for yourself. This is where the use of online resources like gig booking websites can really assist with kickstarting your career as a performing musician. As the saying goes, ‘work smarter, not harder’.
You may be wondering what platforms are really the best for booking gigs, or you may have used a gig booking website in the past with little to no success from it. If this is the case, you’ve landed on the right page. There are a plethora of online platforms that claim to help artists find and book high-quality gigs. Although, this is what makes it difficult to distinguish the legit websites who provide gigs from the websites providing false hopes.
In this article, we are going to provide you with the top 7 best gig booking websites online today. These sites will not only help you find good show opportunities, but they will also provide you with various features to help you build a decent performance portfolio and boost your overall musical career.
If you are tired of wasting your time and energy on unsatisfactory booking websites or booking agents, check out the information below so you can begin fulfilling your dreams as a performing musician.
If you're an independent artist or a band that hasn't got the exposure they deserve, it might be due to a lack of digital presence. Venues and talent buyers seek out acts who are active online and who are constantly seeking out ways to engage with their audience. That's why we're going to tell you some of the essential proven tips and tricks that you can use to make your presence known — which will ultimately help you land epic gigs and performances.
Create Your Band's Website - In today's world of digital communication, you want to make sure music lovers and event organizers can easily find your band’s information and be able to contact you if they need to. The best way to do this is by creating a music website. You’ll want to include your portfolio/EPK, music links, band/artist bio, aesthetic designs, and of course your contact information. Musician’s with a proper landing page appear professional and much more hireable all together.
Use SEO - Search Engine Optimization is a technique by which you place most search-friendly keywords depending upon your niche in your content and website. For example, as a musician, you'd want to make sure the content on your website is search engine optimized so more people can see it when they search for bands and musicians for paid gigs. If you are a country musician from Nashville whose sub-genre is bluegrass, you’ll want to include keywords surrounding that specific niche somewhere on your website
Build Your Performance Portfolio - This is another important tactic that people often forget about. Make sure you include a performance portfolio section on your website so that interested people can check out where you've performed and how good you are. Include any dates and venues you’ve performed at in the past or that are upcoming. You can also include any performance videos or photos that depict a strong on-stage presence. This will boost your chances of getting more gigs in the future.
Collab With Other Bands or Artists - There are likely a ton of decent bands and artists in your local area and vicinity. It is always a great idea to try and collaborate with them or be an opening act for one of their shows. This allows you to become exposed to their fans, who may end up enjoying your music and become a fan of yours, thus creating chances of people booking your gigs for their events.
List Your Profile on High-Quality Gig Sites - By having profiles on the gig booking sites that we're suggesting, it will only increase your exposure and generate more leads to your websites and portfolios. This will ultimately increase the chance of landing a gig or next performance opportunity.
To make sure that you land good-paying gigs to perform at decent venues, we've made a list of the best booking websites that will actually help you make a career out of music. Below you will find 7 platforms that are all professional, vetted, widely popular and commonly used in the music industry. Let's take a look at some of them below:
ShowSlinger is a very high-quality booking and ticketing website. This all-in-one platform can be used to book live music, DJs, comedians, and more. If you're an artist or a band, you can create a free account on their website and begin finding and applying for different venues and gigs listed in your area.
Over 105,000 artists worldwide use SoundSlinger to find performance opportunities at both large and small venues and events. Aside from just finding gigs, SoundSlinger has features that allow musicians to book and manage all aspects of their shows including tech requirements, contracts, riders, payments, ticketing, payouts & more.
The website is extremely user-friendly and they even have a mobile app which makes everything on the platform even easier to navigate. SoundSlinger offers so much to artists, booking agents, and venues. Artists can also take advantage of their integrated promo tools to share their event on their website, social media, and other landing pages.
Get rid of your spreadsheets, Google Calendars, emails, texts and everything else. ShowSlinger is the only thing you need from now on. And it's 100% free. Plus, artists and bands get paid one day after the gig has been completed through PayPal. So, this gig-booking platform is definitely one worth checking out.
ReverbNation has long been a pillar in the music industry and community. They offer numerous features for artists, bands, promoters, booking agents, managers, A&R, and fans alike. The gig-booking feature is something they are well-known and highly praised for.
With over 600,000 event listings, you will get customized and timely results based on the best fit for your band. They are able to provide you gig opportunities based on information regarding your particular location, genre, capacity requirements, and more.
They have a free gig-finder option that anyone is able to use on their website. They also have a Basic and Premium account subscription that will provide artists with many more great features aside from just finding gigs.
Some of their amazing paid features include industry opportunities, electronic press kits, a website with domain, digital distribution, and more. If you are on a tight budget, the free gig-finder is a great place to start when looking for show opportunities. However if you have a little extra money to spare, the Basic Plan for $12.95/month or their Premium Plan at $19.95/month will prove to be a great asset to your music career.
This professional event booking website has been disrupting the traditional method of music booking since it’s start. On Gigmor, artists can easily find local and national gigs and touring opportunities along with opportunities to play private events and weddings.
This platform can be used by artists and talent buyers both. Artists simply create a Gigmor profile and then are placed in front of thousands of interested venues and buyers. Venues and booking agents can also post their available events so artists can reach out and submit to the shows they want to play. Overall, Gigmor streamlines the booking process by minimizing irrelevant submissions, dramatically reducing inbox clutter.
The structure of navigation of the website is very simple and it has a lot to offer from both the artist's and the host's standpoint. They even provide their users with a gigScore so your music, gigging history and fan base metrics can be viewed at a glance. Gigmor offers three plans for artists: Basic, Premium and Pro:
The Basic Plan is free and allows you to have an artist profile where you can upload your music, gigging history, photos, etc., and use it as an EPK to help you get gigs.
The Premium Plan ($9.99/month or $99/annually) has all the benefits of a Basic membership and allows members to apply for up to 5 gigs per monthly subscription period.
The Pro Plan ($19.99/month or $199/annually) has all the benefits of the Basic and Premium packages and allows members to apply for unlimited gigs per month during the subscription period.
Indie on the Move is one of the most popular and long-lasting websites used for booking gigs. There are a couple of different paid options, but most anything you would need for finding local gigs can be done for free. With the Show Availabilities feature on the website, artists can search for open show listings and reply to the ones you’re interested in. These are typically a mix of venues looking to fill open spots, as well as touring bands looking for local support.
If you are planning a tour and looking to fill specific dates in a certain city, you can use the Band Availabilities feature and create your own listing, hoping that a venue will reply to your post. Among the many great things about Indie on the Move, the most valuable for gig-seeking musicians is the fact that they have the largest database of venues and opportunities across the country.
Navigating the website is a breeze — Just choose your location based on the city and state and they will provide you with a list of venues in that area that host live music. When you select one, you’re taken to the venue’s profile page where you’ll find information such as the genres of music they prefer, room capacity, the days of the week they host live music, and most importantly, the talent buyer’s contact info.
Indie on the Move is a completely legit platform and has helped thousands of musicians book shows and get paid. The gigs and opportunities you will find on the website are also high-quality and in many cases, very well paying. With that being said, many of the talent-seekers are looking for strong performers who are active both on and off stage. So make sure you are doing your part online and social media to show potential talent buyers that you are engaged with your fans.
SonicBids is one of the oldest gig-booking websites and they’ve been around long enough to know what works and what doesn’t work for artists and promoters. They’ve been trusted by thousands of reputable venues, festivals, and musicians worldwide due to their efficient and streamlined booking system.
Artists can create an account and simply search for gigs using the band opening finder feature. Results can be narrowed by keyword, location, and role type. These smart filters allow musicians to find gigs based on their specific niches. So, if you are a solo instrumentalist, you are able to search for gigs based on just that.
If you want to actually apply to any of these shows, you have to have their Gig Seeker Pro plan, which costs $19.99/month. On top of that, some of their gigs have an additional cost of up to $55, just to apply.
Their paid account comes with a bunch of other features including pro marks, portfolio building, better ranking in searches, and the ability to apply to memorable gigs as well. If you have a reasonable budget, it’s worth it to invest in building a SonicBids account for epic gig-booking services.
If you're a newer performer or artist who's looking for a potential festival gig, there's no better option than Festival Net. There are tons of festivals happening all the time, all over North America, and they are almost all listed on Festival Net’s website.
As an artist, you can search for festivals using their advanced searching tool and even specify what kind of festivals you're looking to play. You can also perform a search based on compensation, type of music presented, and more. Contact information is not available with the free version but if you have a few minutes, you can do some outside research based on the information available and find the contact information yourself.
Their 'One Click Connect' system allows you to contact and apply for shows easily with a single button. With Festival Net, you can expose your music and services to over 1,300,000+ visitors a month.
Doodeo is a platform made for entertainers and entertainment seekers that offers a wide range of talent and opportunities throughout their network. This gig-booking website aims to help its users connect and build sustaining relationships within their surrounding music community.
You can post gigs here, build artist accounts, and search for job opportunities. If you're looking for analytics to make your profile and gig perform better, they also offer helpful insights such as audience engagement, popular content, and monthly reports.
Doodeo helps you become a better communicator because that's a talent you're definitely going to need, along with your excellent music skills. The interface is easy to use and straightforward. With Doodeo, you're going to easily land good paying gigs and build an excellent reputation as a performing musician within your local music scene.
This application is completely free to use and it also provides artists with many other benefits like their information based blogs and news for artists and entertainers. Sign up with Doodeo today so you can begin finding paid gigs like the thousands of other artists who have through their website.
Getting gigs as an independent musician or a struggling band can be difficult nowadays. Luckily, with the help of these 7 high-quality gig booking sites mentioned, you'll be able to land gigs much easier and accelerate your music career.
Although these websites are great for displaying live music gigs and performance opportunities, you can not solely count on these services to carry you alone. It is still extremely important for musicians to uphold a strong digital presence and regularly engage with their fans online. If and when a talent buyer comes across your music page and considers booking you or not — the first place they are likely to turn to make their decision is your social channels.
Gig booking websites are great tools for finding opportunities, but they will not land you the opportunity. As an artist, you are responsible for making yourself marketable and building a strong digital presence to better your chances of actually getting booked.
We hope that you find amazing benefits and opportunities from the websites mentioned above. If you know of any artists or bands struggling to find and book gigs, don’t hesitate to share this article with them!
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© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.