Gig Checklist

Got a show coming up? Whether your handling gig promotion duties for yourself or you are a promoter putting on a show, this gig checklist will help you make sure everything falls into place.

Book the Venue

guitarist tuning on stage before gig
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First things first - just where exactly is this event going to take place? Be sure to book the venue far enough in advance so you can promote the show, and do a check of the local music calendar to make sure your gig won't be competing with any major musical event. The link above will tell you what you need to know about nailing down your venue. More

Make and Distribute Flyers and Posters

Start getting the word about the show by making up posters and flyers. These don't have to be fancy - as long as they include the necessary information about your show, you can hand make and photocopy them. Give some to the venue and put them in all of the usual places in your town where show poster and flyers are displayed. You may want to do a few rounds of this in the run-up to your show. The information to include on your promo materials is:

  • Who is playing
  • Venue
  • Cost
  • Time doors open

If tickets are available in advance, also include info about where they can be purchased. You may also want to include the relevant websites/social networking profiles for the musicians involved in the show.

Contact the Press

Let the local papers and radio stations know about your show. Angle for previews in the local paper and radio sessions in the run-up to your show - college radio can be a real friend here. Be sure to give the press plenty of notice and follow-up with them to see if they are willing to give your show some coverage. If you can, offer guest list spots to the media and radio. The link above will help you write your press release for your show. More

Technical Arrangements

Between the venue and musicians playing, you're going to need to work out questions like backline and who is running the sound desk (if anyone). Find out what the venue has, find out what the musicians need, and come up with a plan to have everything everyone needs in place the night of the show. It is best to do this in advance, so you can chase down anything that is required, and then confirm again closer to the show so that you don't get any surprises on the show night.

Set the Times

You will need to decide load-in, soundcheck and stage times for the night of the show. The venue will decide the load-in time, but the promoter/musicians can work out the soundcheck and stage times. Remember to take into account when the show has to end, how long everyone wants to play and how long the change over will take between sets when coming up with your schedule. Also, remember, headliners soundcheck first. The link above will help you figure out what happens on the night of the show. More

Advance Your Show

Think of advancing your show as a last minute check that everything in order. Is the gear all set? Does everyone know when to show up? Is there someone to work the door? Is the guest list set? Be sure you do your final check with enough time left to take care of those inevitable last minute emergencies. More

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