You asked and here we are to answer all your questions!
Q: Should I take my band with on tour?
A: If you a multi millionaire then maybe…But realistically, NO. If it is your first tour then I would recommend not going as more than three people (even if you are a multi millionaire). If you are touring independently and it is your first time travelling to the destination then this is your DRY RUN. That means that you probably aren’t going to make loads of money and you can’t be 100% sure that you are taking your band on the tour of a lifetime. Don’t risk debt and losing your band! Give yourself some leeway to test out the venues and see which venues pay best and where there is affordable accommodation. Your wallet and your band will thank you for it.
Q: I’m new to the Cape Town Music scene. How do I book gigs?
A: You attend gigs first! Going to venues enables you to see what sound does and doesn’t fit a place. You can also observe the types of audiences and decide which venues would suit your style and offer the kind of listener that you need. Go for quality over quantity! The second pro of attending gigs (and this is the golden one) is that you meet other artists. The music community has no blue print so watching other artists and learning from them is how we all take our cues in Cape Town. Be friendly and who knows- they might book a gig with you!
Q: Any venues that are good for starting out?
A: The first step is nailing open mics! I’d recommend House of Machines’ Tuesday night open mic and The Rust Jam Sessions in Obs on a Wednesday (hosted by Alanna Joy). Most open mics are show up and play. After that you should move to booking slots in prearranged shows. You aren’t part of the Cape Town music scene if you haven’t played a gig at The Barleycorn in Claremont (Monday nights) or The Alma Cafe (Wednesday Nights). You can book to play at The Barleycorn through one of the hosts (I recommend sending Celine a message on her music facebook page) and The Alma Cafe’s email is email@example.com -make sure to checkout Hatchetman on Spotify while you type your email!
Q: How do I book my first 45 min set?
A: Four words- Sit The Folk Down! Drop them a message on Facebook saying you’re interested in the Unknown Legend Series. It runs every Wednesday at two venues and features three artists each playing a 45 minute set.
Q: When approaching places to get gigs what is the standard protocol? Like do we need to submit a cv, just an email or more details like social media stuffs?
A: If you’re anything like us you’ll be completely thrown off when you first hear the words “EPK”. The earlier you find out what it is and get yourself one, the sooner you can book the quality shows. In essence, an EPK is a CV for musicians. It needs to include your social media as hyperlinks, a bio, some high quality press photos, a link to a live performance and also some prior gig history. It’s also super important to update your EPK as often as possible- it shows whoever is looking at it that you mean business and take yourself seriously. Now that that’s out the way……..
Booking gigs can happen in so many different ways! If you are wanting to play somewhere I recommend messaging someone who recently played there to find out who to contact- often it’s tough to find the right contact. Also please READ THIS IN BOLD: no response does not mean no; it means call/email/message/show up at the venue. Only no means no so don’t be deterred!
Q: Any tips for an artist starting out 😋💛
A: Once you’ve played open mics and short sets at prearranged shows you have earned the right to be paid. Don’t settle for anything less- it does the entire industry a disservice. Also…if someone mentions the word exposure calmly exit the building. Just kidding- the exposure unicorn is something that we have all fallen for. Is it worth it? There is one occasion that I will always recommend taking whatever exposure you can get and that is the opportunity to open for a well established act that has a similar target audience to you. It looks great on an EPK and can actually expose you to possible fans.
Thank you so much for sending your questions! I hope this helped. If your question wasn’t here we promise it will be answered in one of our next posts x Remember to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org