Friday, August 20, 2010

Selling Out Your Shows Every Time

By Mike Venti @ The Wayward Musician

A sold out show is a day that every artist looks forward to. Nothing’s better than a packed house where the energy emanates from the audience to the stage and back again.

Unfortunately, many artists don’t get to experience sold out shows that often, if at all. Perhaps, only at the occasional CD release show, or a coveted opening spot for a more established act.

Thankfully, there is an easy way for you to change this and begin playing sold out shows more often. It’s quite simple in fact.

The key is to play in venues you can sell out.

The typical artist wants to play the best venue in town, regardless of their draw. The club where you have to play Tuesday nights for months, until the booker notices you and maybe bumps you up to a Thursday. It doesn’t matter that the venue has a 500 person capacity and you can only bring out 50 people.

A show is a show, right?


The atypical artist sees this situation and thinks differently.

Instead of spreading out the fans you do have in a cavernous room, start booking your own shows in smaller venues. Really small venues if you have to.

Do you have a city where you routinely draw 50 people? Then book a venue with a capacity of 40. If you can bring out 250 people, play a 200 capacity club.

The benefits to this are numerous.

1. Capacity Crowd

The gigs will feel bigger. Those 50 people who would have been spread out all over the cavernous club are now in a much smaller space, giving the overall show a “full” feeling, and  a better vibe as a result.

2. An Experience

You’re providing a better concert experience for both the fans and yourself by creating a full house of audience members who are there solely to hear your music.

3. Building Buzz

Having the words “sold out” posted on your website, and the venue’s marquee, will help create buzz around you and your music. And, having a line up to get into a club never hurts your credibility.

Get started!

Start making a list of smaller venues you know that you can sell out. Contact the promoters of those venues and start developing a relationship with them. If you routinely pack their space, you will be invited back.

Keep in mind…

You don’t need to rely on promoters to book smaller shows. Take control. Rent out a venue and book your own shows. Many cities have smaller art spaces available, take a look around for any place you can transform into an atypical music venue.

Advertise your sold out shows to the world.

After the show has been sold out, don’t stop there. Start spreading the word. Announce the sold out dates on your social networking sites. Doing so will help build buzz and entice more people to come check you out, where you can hopefully covert them into fans.


Routinely selling out your shows is as much up to you as it is your fans. By booking proper sized venues to showcase your music you can work towards the goal of making every gig a sold out show.

Have you played a sold out show? How was the experience any different from a regular gig?
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