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Booking Shows As An Opening Act

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

It's not always easy booking shows as an opener but we're here to help!

Ok so you've been in the lab, have spent countless hours in the studio and your music is ready to be shared on the live stage - what's next?

There's no simple road map but similar to all the hard work in the studio, you'll need a plan of attack to land some shows. I've outlined some important factors that will help you become a more appealing opening act for a headlining artist, check it out below:

1) Have a clean EPK

An electronic press kit (EPK) is crucial when pitching your name to promoters, managers, and agents. Ideally it should be a pdf that includes your bio, social links, digital assets, notable streaming numbers, and anything else you think would be important for someone across the table to know. Most importantly it should be direct and a complete package of what you have to offer.

2) Create a plan to improve ticket sales

At the end of the day, it boils down to ticket sales. The more people through the door means more money made at the bar and potentially more for the headliner at the merch booth. Look at your geo analytics and ask yourself; Which market is my music best suited for? Where am I worth 10, 20, or 50 extra tickets? Having those numbers handy will show you mean business and have the headliners interest in mind.

3) Start small

Yes, opening for the biggest names would be amazing but you have to ask yourself - are you ready for that and is it what's most beneficial for you right now? Organic growth can't be emphasized enough, building a foundation of super fans sometimes only happens when you're performing in the most intimate style of venues. Target artists that you'd feel comfortable opening for and gradually build that performance portfolio, that way when the opportunity arises to open for a big headliner, you'll have a much better track record to show.

4) Think solution-based

Managers and agents are all incredibly busy and sometimes filling out a lineup isn't at the top of their to-do list. The sooner you can be the solution to their problem, the easier it will be for you to land the gig. It's important to be flexible, so be prepared to shorten or extend your set length in advance. If you're in a band, providing the option to perform acoustically or with a stripped-down setup will only help your odds. Above all else, be direct and to the point of how you can help be a positive impact for their show, best of luck!

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