How to Organize Your First Gig

If you have been to any gigs, then you will know how exciting it can be and how much better music is when it’s live. If you find that there aren’t that many gigs near to you, then why not think about hosting your own? It means you can have the music you want, and you can make some money at the same time. If it is popular, it might be something that becomes a regular event. If you have never hosted a gig before, then here are a few pointers to help you.

Go to a Gig

To make the best of your gig, you need to know what goes on at one. There can be big differences between major gigs and the smaller ones, so it makes sense to know how they are run before you start your own. Next, it’s a good idea to get to know some of the people that are there, you might pick up some useful contacts that you can use later. Facilities are another good thing to look at, see who provides food, toilets, and security at the gig and take their details. You can then take them away and contact them later to see if they can attend your gig. Another option is to help out on some of the gigs, you can do this for free, and they will make you part of the roadie group. Not only will it give you free access to the gigs, it will also help you to make more contacts.

Looking for a Venue

Most of the things you will be doing are based on the size and location of your venue, so it is a good idea to look at those first. You can hire school halls, theaters, and community centers, and they will usually give you a good rate. You need to have a meeting with the venue holders early on to let them know what you are planning. It will give you a chance to ask them questions, and it will also allow them to tell you if they have the right permits for live music and alcohol. If they don’t, then it might be easier and cheaper to find a venue that does. The best venues are usually theaters as they have all the permits as well as a lot of the equipment you need. Lighting and a PA system are two of the most important things, along with a sound desk which most theaters have. Once you have found the venue that you want, be sure to book it at least one month ahead of the proposed gig date. It will give you plenty of time to organize the gig and set up the promotion.

Standing or Seating?

Many people like to stand at a gig, especially if it’s a heavy metal gig, but that can be subject to your venue. Some venues allow standing, and some theaters can remove seats so that you can have a standing area. You also need to think about the admission, whether it will be assigned seats or general admission. For a theater venue, you can offer standard rate for the lower half, and perhaps a lower rate for the high areas at the back as viewing can be limited.

Security and Medical

Here is the time to use those contacts, email or call some local security companies and see if they have experience of gig security, most will have, but it is best to ask first. You can also speak to them about the venue, so they can come up with a plan of how to keep people safe and secure. Another company you need to contact is a medical team, they can be vital for anyone that is hurt or taken ill during the performance. Some venues will have a dedicated first aid room, if not, you will need to locate a private room or tent if its an outside gig.


Insurance is a vital part of the event, you don’t want to be liable for a lawsuit if something happens. What you need is public liability insurance or PLI. The venue itself sometimes has this already, if not, you will need to arrange it yourself. You need to shop around for your insurance and not just take the first one that you see, you should also check to make sure it covers everything that will be happening at the gig.

Hire Equipment and Staff

You now need to think about hiring the equipment and staff you need for the event. When it comes to equipment, it depends on what they already have at the venue, but you will probably need a sound system and some backline equipment. There are companies that can let you hire instruments and other equipment and you can find out more about them online. You also need to hire a host for the gig, a sound editor, and backstage staff to help manage the acts.

Altogether, there is a lot to think about when starting your own gig. However, there are also many things to look forward to, such as the music, the atmosphere and the look on the audience faces when their favorite bands play.

Getting Bands

Now it’s time for the main event, which bands you want at the gig. It can be a personal choice for you as it’s your gig but be aware that you need to cater for a lot of people. If you make the choices too obscure, you might not get many people to attend. Contact the agents or managers of the bands you would like and see if they are available. They will also tell you how much they are for a certain length of time on stage. It is always a good idea to have at least one new band in the line-up. They will usually be on first to warm up the audience, plus it also gives you another contact.

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