Live Music & Events

There are a number of ways to find artists to suit your venue. As a starting point, get the word out to the music community. Go to shows at other venues and talk to artists that perform in your area. Organise meetings with booking agents, managers, representatives from your local state music organisation and companies that hire out production and backline. Show them around the venue, explain your plan and discuss how you can work together.

Think about how you want to operate as a venue. Do you want to specialise in a particular genre or host genre-based nights? Do you want to book the music yourself or contract someone else to do it? Most venues do a combination of the following:

Venue-promoted shows: the venue sources and books the artists and is responsible for running the show and paying the artist.

‘Venue for Hire’ shows: a promoter or artist pays the venue to use the space for music. The hire fee includes the venue’s staff and facilities. So the venue is not responsible for booking the artists, managing the show or paying the artist.

You may also consider hiring venue booker to source and curate the music for your venue. These individuals have the finger on the pulse of the music scene. They manage all the business aspects of live music and liaise directly with artists, managers and booking agents on the venue’s behalf.

As a live music venue, it’s essential you build a good relationship with booking agents and agencies. They represent a roster of reputable artists and can be a great way to find music. They also manage the business and fee negotiations on behalf of the artists they represent.

Once you’ve decided how to operate, make it public. Update your website or Facebook page with details of how you book artists that perform at your venue. Outline the process of how artists can get a gig. Whether it’s sending in demos, links to music online or a phone call, it’s much easier for the artists if they know how you like to work in advance.