Open for National Touring.
For an independent artist, kickstarting the career is mostly about nailing big opportunities. Having a video go viral or falling under the graces of someone who has made it big in the industry. One more potent weapon in fighting your way up the ladder is getting your name out to a larger audience of new listeners by opening for a national touring act.
I see a lot of you whining. Yes, most indie artists think this is an impossible task. With no manager or booking agent, and no contacts in the industry, how do you open for national touring? Well, here are some excellent tips to make it happen.
Seek and you shall find. Period! If you haven’t found it yet, means you haven’t asked enough. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. If you think you will be perfect for a role, you are probably right. Be it an opener for a band coming through your town, or an urgent requirement for a drummer. Just type a crisp email (make sure it is grammatically correct) and send. Or hit up the venue. Carry a demo version of your work to present your case. Get on the web and find pointers on how to pitch yourself. You will never know if you don’t try, for booking and for everything else in life.
If a major artist is touring your state, don’t try to open with them in another city. Wait until they are in your city. Organizers prefer local artist openers, because they are well aware of the fact that you are famous in your city (through your professional bio that you send to them). They need you to draw your fans to the show These fans will warm up the rest of the crowd for the main performance. In return they give you stage time in front of a huge audience. If you’ve been able to win the hearts of people in your own city, then you stand a good chance to bag being the opener.
As I have written in my blog Music Festivals, at the beginning of your career, mark important places around you on a map that can be beneficial to you for a performance. In the music festival season, aim at getting a festival gig in these places and give your best at those performances. If you are really good, there is a high chance that you will grab an offer at one of these performances. Otherwise, you will at least become famous locally, which is the first step forward in your career as an indie artist. However, if you have already built a fan base in nearby cities as well, there is no harm in asking to be the opener in all of those cities.
Your band is your identity and you don’t want to go wrong with it. Make absolutely sure that you form a good band.; and a strong one. If you don’t have a professional bio, don’t waste your time trying to book with big artists. Know that a good professional bio, which is a specific type of bio, is much more important than you currently think. You can learn about it online. Don’t try to get an opener spot if you don’t have a website. As I have written in my blog Tips and Tricks, in this age of computers, having your own website is an absolute necessity. Your website establishes your authenticity as a professional musician and is in most cases your first impression to potential bookers. While it sounds like rocket science to create and manage a website, there are companies like HyperEffects that can help you connect with your target audience efficiently. Hyper Effects is one stop for your website, marketing and cyber development requirements. It helps you to create a website to display your talent or sell your indie music or indie art. Their websites are easy to navigate. All you need to do is to make sure you have a bio, up-to-date images and videos and probably a link to your music when you contact them. So get a website for yourself and make sure your email to bookers has a link to this. You cannot afford to not be taken seriously. Just like you need the instruments and lyrics, you also need the marketing material for your band.
I am going to share some more important points to bag an offer to open for a national touring act. Do share your experiences in the comments section and I will add them in my future posts.