7 Biggest Mistakes Venue Managers make when they book live music gigs

Are you a venue manager? Are you trying to book your first show? Here’s a list of the 7 Biggest...

Are you a venue manager? Are you trying to book your first show? Here’s a list of the 7 Biggest Mistakes Venue Managers make when they book live music gigs


As everybody knows, organizing and book live music shows is not as simple as it looks.

It’s a hard job; it takes a lot of time, sweat and often it doesn’t pay as well as it should.

That’s all true, but sometimes we don’t realize that most of the problems we come up against are actually issues caused by our own actions.

Or rather, it would be better to knock out a few bad habits when we book shows.

Below we’ve drawn up an index with the worst habits that music promoters should cross out from his/her own personal to-do list.

We hope these few tips will help make your job easier and so you will great book live music gigs!

book live music gigs with singer screaming on top of the crowd from the stage


1. My audiences love the bands I like

No, that’s wrong!

Your tastes are not the same as your audience.

We are not asking you to book shows for bands who make you want to vomit, but it’s really important to understand the huge difference between organize concerts and try to convert people to your music tastes.

Organizing concerts is a profession that could pay your rent: converting people to your music tastes is a suicidal mission.

People go to concerts for 3 main reasons:

  1. to be captured & engaged
  2. to experience good moments, and
  3. to have their lives changed in some way.

The events you organize should aim to offer something special to the audience you choose to involve.

Keep this concept clear in your mind next time you are choosing to host bands on your stage: choose them for what they can give to your audience and your audience will become the best promotion channel for your next event.

2. Don’t join the “competitors” concerts

Well… someone organized a concert, but you choose not to go because you don’t wanna give money to them.

Do you really think other bands or promoters are your competitors?

That’s all wrong.

First of all, you are wasting an important occasion to gather information.

Most bands do not have exclusivity contracts with live music promoters or venues.

If you have seen them performing live, you know what kind of relationship exists between them and their public.

It will provide you with concrete information that is useful for when you will need a band to play in the future.

Whether they played as supporters or as the main act.

Secondly, nobody likes war.

Going to other people’s concerts (and not only to your close friends’ ones) will help you meet other members of your live music community!

You can be an active member of the live music community and that means knowing people who attend the concerts, who will remind you next time!

Being friends with people involved in the live music organization will always be incredibly helpful when you invite people to your events.

crowd of heavy metals people with a heavy metal coat

3. Don’t read the press of your industry

Yeah, in high school you probably went to a NOFX concert and you’ve got Ok Computer at home.

That’s all beautiful!

But it’s 2019 and as far as the NOFX or the Radiohead are two bands everybody adores, the world has changed and there are a lot of new bands around.

What you call ‘competition’ every morning gets up and reads at least 5 different music websites.

If you do not, it means you will be less prepared in your industry than people who do: for this reason you’ll probably organize less effective concerts than others.

Become an expert in your scene and magically you will be the person who organizes the finest concerts in your city.


4. Don’t tell anyone how cool your events are

People love stories.

Nothing is more powerful than stories.

Keep in mind: your event will not work just because you have a good name on the poster.

You are not just organizing a concert, you are giving your audience the opportunity to be part of a unique and unrepeatable event.

Post the backstage photos, show your followers the event’s fresh printed posters, take a picture of the bands that just arrived with you at the venue, post the correct schedules for the evening, tell your fans why the band’s last record is going to play at the gig excited you so much or why they should come to see also the opening band.

Quality is important -just as much as explaining to the people why they should come to your event.

During the concert, take some photos and start posting it on the Facebook event and on your Instagram channel.

If people who did not come to your concert see them, they will feel they have lost something and they will be the first to come to your next concert. Same thing the day after the event.

Say thanks to those who took part in the event: name somebody specifically and explaining why it was special to meet her/him at your concert.

People love to feel part of something worth telling.

guitarist playing on top of people from stage


5. Don’t pay attention to the details

Quality is basic.

Before the concert, talk to your peers, send the links of the bands who are gonna play at the show, ask them if there is anything extra you can do to improve your event.

An insignificant detail for you could make a difference for the audience.

Changing something on your stage to adjust the atmosphere of your concert could make your evening unforgettable, even with just one small detail.

Maybe your sound engineer might do a better job if she/he knows the songs before the show and people could go home telling how the acoustics were so perfect.

Proper timing management and respect of the scheduled time helps you to avoid annoying the audience and will make you happier because everything went according to plan… and nobody likes bad surprises.

If you are booking your first show, you’ve still got a long way to go. If you have already organized several gigs -as you know there is still a lot to do.

Some things will only make a difference after a while. Rome wasn’t built in a day and that’s true for you: a good reputation needs time to be built, concert by concert!

PS: that’s also an important rule to apply to your alcohol supplies. If you only sell the worst discounted shit, people will realize it. Make sure the terrible headache caused by the cheapest Gin bottle at the bar is not the only thing you remember about your concert. No one likes to feel bad!


6. Don’t treat the bands as your mate (even if sometimes they are)

The bands are the fulcrum of your show: don’t treat them how you treat all the other people working with you.

They are not your mates! Nobody likes to work with assholes. If you put the bands at ease they will do their best, your audience will see their best live show ever and your name is among the organizers… all this has its weight.

If you treat them badly, it will affect their performance and then your show.

Take care of them: give them a decent dinner and something more than a can of beer ahead.

Add a bottle of rum in their fridge and a cooked meal instead of the classic pizza!

It will have a direct and positive impact on your evening… and above all, it will cost you a little bit more in economic terms and time!

Some extra advice?

If the arrangements provided are for a fixed cachet, pay the band before the concert.

Just this tiny detail will literally let the band explode on stage. And your audience will talk about your show for a long time afterwards…

7. Don’t learn from your mistake

Going straight to the point: if you go to a restaurant for dinner and the owner or even just the waiter acts like a total asshole with you, what will your reaction be?

Would you be willing to come back?

That’s exactly what happens at concerts.

Don’t be a poser with your audience.

You are a venue promoter, you’re not the rockstar and your audience is not there for you, but for the bands.

Greeting, thanking and smiling at all will make sure to everyone comes home with a pleasant memory of the organization.

Don’t use irritating modes, it’s a bad business card for your activity.

People want to have fun.

If the staff is the first person to be in a negative mood, how do you think the event will evolve?

In addition, do not be afraid to admit to having done something wrong. Your last mistake is your best teacher.

Put your work under constant analysis and ask each time what you could do better.

Nobody is perfect: give yourself the opportunity to improve and try to do your best!


8. It’s all about music, not about the marketing

The first we take away this idea from the head, the sooner our concerts become professional events.

If it’s just about music, then tell me why bands like Nickelback are millionaires.

Whatever you do is marketing.

Unfortunately, however, most of the people think that marketing is a legal way of lying to people.

It’s not like this!

Marketing means to say the right thing to the right people in the right way and at the right time.

And today that’s a fundamental and indispensable process in every field.

Especially in a market where your survival is due to the fact that people speak well of your concerts and work.

No, it’s not just the music.

Count on what people say about you and your concerts.

Having a good band on the poster often doesn’t make the difference.

Telling why a band is great on Facebook or Instagram, on your website or on your blog, that’s what makes the difference.

Do not be afraid to take pictures behind the scenes, make small videos with your cell phone.

When you promote your concert don’t think there is a limit to the information you can share.

It’s not like this: the more you tell about your concerts, the more the people will want to take part.

Find the right band to propose to the right audience with the most appropriate message and people will line up to be on the stage.

Are you ready?

Let us know what you think about these great tips from our Gio and leave a message.

We’ll reply as soon as possible!