The best way to contact venues for gigs has changed over the years.

In the past, you had a couple of choices. You could call or just show up at the club and try to connect with the booking agent.

I did both, a LOT!

The first time you called always ended up being the “get good info” call.

You’d almost never get the person who books gigs and it was almost always at the wrong time.

So, you’d leave a message, get the name of the person who books the gigs and the best time to call them back.

Then you’d call back again and again… and again.

It was a nightmare. Believe me. I lived it and booked hundreds of gigs doing it.

If you think booking agents don’t work their tails off trying to book you gigs then you need to do it yourself for a while.

Luckily almost all venues prefer that you contact them through email now.

It takes about the same amount of time as a quick phone call and you have to follow the same procedure.

Instead of a cold call, you’re sending a cold email to someone that doesn’t know you or particularly care to receive an email from you.

Follow these 3 tips to contact venues for gigs.

3 Tips When Contacting Venues For Gigs

  1. Contact Venues with Email – Unless the venue requests to be called always use email to reach out to them.
  2. Send to the Person who Books the Gigs – Send your email to the person in charge of booking. You may need to dig around and do some research to get good contact information.
  3. Contact the Venue at the Right Time – Figure out when the booking agent of the venue is more apt to reading and responding to your email. Then send your email so that it’s at the top of their inbox at that time.

BONUS TIP: Always follow up! If you don’t follow up you will almost always be forgotten. Don’t waste your time with 1 email. Follow up.

Contacting venues for gigs has changed over the years. Venues booking agents prefer that you email them instead of calling.

Although it’s easy to email someone, it still takes time. You need to say the right things, email at the right times and follow up several times after the initial email. It’s easy work but very time consuming.

How GigFaster Can Help

We created GigFaster to do just that – email venues with the right words, at the best times and follow up as necessary automatically. It’s easy and saves you tons of time. We have verified venue contact information.

We have a built-in network of over 6,000 venues, music promoters, and record labels. We can help you distribute your press kit and book gigs in cities all around the country.

Start for free today.

Remember, if you want to succeed, never quit!


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Craig Kelley

About Craig Kelley

Craig helps indie artists book more gigs, promote their music and submit to record labels @ GigFaster and GigFaster University . His latest release is his 7th album, Not So Blue. His band has supported Grammy artists including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rick Derringer, Gary Hoey, Joan Jett, Fuel and many more. He is also the host of The 5 Minute Podcast For Musicians.


  • I guess it may be more time consuming and so for some it may not be worth it. But out of the 115 paid gigs I got in the last two years, the vast majority(around 90%) of them were from phone calls, not emails and I don’t think I spent more than 40-60hrs in the whole year working on booking( ave around 15-30minutes per gig to book) . I wasn’t really focusing on booking much more than that as I had two albums and an email list automation etc etc. etc. that I was focusing on setting up. Ugghh. Not the fun stuff. The gigs were not amazing pay but still around the union average rate in my area per gig and I was completely unknown in my area as my music business wasn’t officially started until 3 years ago even though I’ve been performing for many years in other areas. I usually sent an email and then called and let them know I sent it and talked to them if they were not busy. Sometimes I followed up later with a call until I got hold of someone. If it was taking more than a few attempts, I moved on to the next venue. I play classical music so sometimes I think it is just something different that they hadn’t thought of trying, but I’ve been asked back by everyone who hired me and often took the next gigs(sometimes many of them) if they could pay me an ok rate. Email is ok to contact venues, but if they don’t know you, they often will ignore an email especially if you sound like your no different than everyone else when they read it, if they read it at all. They might not answer a call, but if they do, a charismatic conversation filled with kindness and confidence can often make the difference. But first you have to get good enough at what you do to be able to seem sincerely confident that you can deliver. I’ve not expanded into alot of different venue types which is probably a mistake through being too busy with other stuff, but there are tons of non traditional venues out there and many pay way better than restaurants, bars, and clubs pay bands (per member of the band). With a five member band you would have to make at least 600per gig without paying a booking agent, manager, or anyone else to make the average I make at my gigs cold calling as an unknown act. So if you can go solo, even if you also play with a band, then that is worth considering as there is way less scheduling, personality, equipment set up, travel and other issues with just one person. And once they know your good, your band will have an easy time getting a gig there.

  • Craig Kelley says:

    Great job David! The bottom line is you never stopped and you followed the advice I preach every day.. you have to follow-up. Keep it up!

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