Many performers might be tempted to skip booking local gigs at the start of their careers in favor of going on a larger tour. After all, traveling around the country or even the world is often more exciting than staying at home. However, it is important to build a brand reputation and accumulate resources before casting such a wide net. Local gigs offer major advantages that more involved tours do not.
When booking local gigs, performers don’t need to worry about any costs associated with touring, such as transportation costs, hotel costs, meal costs and other expenses that can stretch a likely small budget beyond its limit. Taking on these expenses before a performer is ready could be devastating financially if the tour is not particularly successful, and it can destroy motivation and confidence as well. Local gigs can be much more profitable.
Perfect An Act
No performer starts out perfect. Local gigs are a great way to improve confidence, timing, the logistics of holding a gig and the general quality of the performance itself, to name a few key areas. Taking the time to hone an act in front of a smaller, local audience sets performers up with a greater chance of success when they start branching out. They will then be prepared to put on their best act possible for larger audiences where it really counts.
Big recording labels or prestigious performing venues are not the only contacts valuable to performers, especially when they are just starting out. Starting out locally will help performers build their networks with venue owners, media contacts and other important professionals who can help them slowly build their brand, buzz, and reputation. Performers who start out at the local level will also have a chance to practice and hone their business skills when booking venues, managing finances, getting helpers such as stagehands and more.
A larger tour isn’t going to be especially successful unless it is well-promoted in advance. Local gigs help performers learn how to market both in-person and online, all through familiar channels such as local radio stations. Performers will also become familiar with deciding what merchandise to have for sale at gigs, getting it ordered and providing customer service both at merchandise and ticket booths.