If you’re wanting to be a full time producer and DJ, obviously you need to know how to book EDM gigs. However, getting booked can seem daunting and impossible.
The truth is that it’s actually quite easy. But, how do you get booked?
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how to get your first gig, how to work toward a support gig, and then how to get that headliner slot.
For you beginners, the first question to really ask is, when should you try to get booked? If you’re interested in more information about getting booked, check out this episode of my podcast! Electronic Dance Money Episode 020 – What Local EDM Promoters Look for When Booking Artists
When to Look for Bookings
Honestly, any time is a great time! It’ll take years for you to build up a big enough fanbase for you to actually start getting booked outside of your state. At that point, you should already be producing and releasing tunes.
I’m sure most of the people reading this are already producing music. The short answer to the headline above is simple, NOW!
You should already be working on how to book EDM gigs.
If you’re not comfortable with playing in front of 50-100 people yet, then you need to work on your DJing skills. If you want to play a live set, then you need to perfect the live set and all of the gear that you will be using.
So if you should be working to get booked right now, then how do you nail that first gig?
How to Book EDM Gigs: Getting Your First Gig
Support is everything in your local scene. If you’ve been following these blogs, then you know how important it is to build a strong network.
The same case is made for getting your first gig.
If you’re one of the guys that messages your local promoter after seeing them post that your favorite producer is coming to town, and you want to open up for them; STOP!
That is the fastest way to get blacklisted, you’ll never play a show for that promoter!
Trust me, I did this and looking back on it now, it was the worst mistake ever!
No one takes those guys seriously. And let’s be honest, are you REALLY ready to open up for someone like that if it’s your first gig? Don’t say yes to that, because you’re not.
What you need to do is start small, local gigs, with other local DJ’s and producers. Not only will you be able to actually get a gig at these kinds of shows, but it gives you an opportunity to support and network with the people in your local scene.
Those are going to be the people that also help support you and further your career.
First, go to those shows. Once you’re there, it’s just about introducing yourself, bringing people to the show, and buying drinks.
When a DJ is done playing 90% of the time, they get off stage and hangout with their friends in the crowd. Go up to them, introduce yourself, and start a conversation. If you want to know more about how you should be talking to people you want to network with, check out the networking blog.
Strike an interesting conversation with them, get their number, or add them on Facebook. Do this with as many people as possible!
Keep supporting them, go to their shows, share their stuff, and work on getting introduced to the promoter throwing those shows.
Most of the time, the DJ’s playing the shows are also the ones throwing them, so this part can be much easier.
Once you find out who the promoter is, then do the same thing you did with the DJ’s and everything I talked about in the networking blog.
Eventually, you will have built up a strong enough relationship with this person and they will either ask for you to play a show, or you will have a chance to finally ask if they have any shows you can get booked on.
Keep in mind, if you’ve built a strong relationship with this person for a couple of months, then it’s ok to finally ask if they have any open slots for you to play in the future.
If you’ve already played your first gig and you’re wanting to advance to a support slot, but you haven’t done the mentioned above, start to.
What I’m talking about here, and in the networking blog, is VITAL to getting that support slot!
How to Book EDM Gigs: Getting Your First Support Slot
Moving to a support slot is actually a lot easier than it may seem. If you’re already getting your first few gigs, keep working at it.
Support more of those local promoters, and keep going to shows.
The important part about building up to your support slot is just constant support. Bring as many people to any shows you go to as possible. But, don’t just bring them, bring them and try to keep them there.
When you’re working to get your support slot, you want to show the people running the show that you can bring people. Again, not just bring people, but keep them there.
These promoters want packed shows, and the bar wants people to spend money. If the show looks more packed because of your friends, and if people are spending more money because of you, you look better. If you look better, you’re going to get a better slot.
Honestly, this is pretty much it when you’re trying to get your first support slot.
However, bringing people and keeping people at the show, isn’t just for you to get a support slot. Bringing people, and keeping people has more to do with getting that headliner slot.
How to Book EDM Gigs: Getting Your First Headlining Gig
If you’ve now gotten your own support slot, you’ll probably be immediately wanting that headliner slot.
However, are you ready for it?
The headliner slot is about 1 thing and 1 thing only. How many heads can you bring in the door?
You need to bring in AT LEAST 50 – 100 people (depending on the size of the venue) before you can start headlining shows.
Now you see why working on getting your support slot plays right into the headliner slot. If you’re constantly working to bring more people in and keeping them there, then you’ll get to the headliner slot a lot easier.
At this point, you should definitely start producing tracks. Having great tracks that stand up to others, is a great way to stand out from the rest.
If you’re starting to release tracks, try running social media ads within your area promoting your tracks. Once you can tap into the right target market, promote within the area you want to play, get those people listening to you, it’ll be much easier to fill up support shows.
When promoters notice that people are coming for you in the support slot, you’ll be bumped up to that headliner slot much faster!
When it comes to all of these different slots, it really comes down to 1 thing. Supporting local artists in your scene. These will be the people that help you and support you, so do the same for them. Work hard, and grow your local scene. The more the local area grows, the more you grow with it.
If you want to learn more about booking shows, check out this episode of my podcast – Electronic Dance Money Episode 020 – What Local EDM Promoters Look for When Booking Artists