Finding a music gig when you are an independent artist or unsigned band is not always the easiest task. The competition for musician jobs is endless and the industry is cutthroat. There is also the fact that many of the smaller gigs, which are where indie musicians tend to have the best luck when just starting out, do not have the budget to do extensive advertising, so it is often hard to learn about the opportunities. Getting a paying gig early in your music career often comes down to being at the right place at the right time or talking to the right person who can help you secure the show.
The search for musician gig opportunities will probably require a fairly significant time commitment on your part until you or your band develops a solid fan base and are booking regular shows. There are few ways around this, unless you count really good luck. It helps, though, to make the music gig search go quicker and more smoothly, if you have a list of places to find musician opportunities collected in one place. This way you can just pull out the list each week or whenever you devote time to this research, click on one link after another, browse the sites to look for gigs, and then be done with it. The list also helps minimize the time spent weeding through search engine results.
This article is designed to get you started in creating your list of music gig resources. Below are 7 websites where you can find music gigs, with opportunities ranging from wedding entertainment jobs to large national music festivals to bars/venues seeking bands to perform live. Depending on your needs and interests, you will prefer some resources over others.
Gig Finder does require you to register in order to post and find gigs, but signing up is free, and worth the few minutes it will take you to create a basic profile. Once registered, you can access the forum to find gig opportunities; relevant threads include Bands/Musicians/Performers Wanted (posted by venues), Event Gigs (entertainment needed for weddings and other related events), and Promote Yourself (list info about what your band offers). There is also a section on the site titled “Events” where you can read about immediate calls for musicians to fill gigs coming up in the near future.
The Mode offers free musician’s classified ads, helping musicians find gigs and providing networking opportunities for artists. The Mode lets you search by area code to find local music gigs. You can search by country as well.
Rent my Band
Event coordinators, venues, or other groups looking for a live band, post their calls for musicians on Rentmyband.com, with details offered free regarding pay range, event date and event location. Any user can respond to a listing through the RentMyBand.com online form. Joining Rent My Band as a paid member is not required to access the paying gigs but it does allow you to list your band in the database for event planners to find you, in addition to many other benefits; this optional service is under $2.99/month.
Explore Talent functions primarily as an auditions and casting website for actors, models and other entertainment industry talent, but more than 50% of the gigs listed are for music jobs. The site is an excellent resource for finding gigs for musicians, as there are thousands of opportunities posted for locations all over the U.S. and internationally. Unfortunately, you do have to sign up as a paid member to contact the owners of the gig listings, but Explore Talent allows you to see basic search results in any given category so you can get an idea of what you would be paying for before you commit to doing so. Subscriptions to the paid portion of ExploreTalent.com (aka pro membership) are from $16.63/month to $29.95/month, depending on the length of membership.
Get Gigs is less convenient to navigate than some of the other gig finding websites, as there is no search component or ways to filter gig listings by location or other criteria. There are also no dates available for the listings so it is questionable whether the ads are up to date. Despite all this, GetGigs.com is at least worth skimming over every now and then, as there are many ads looking for musicians. Browse the section titled “Bands Wanted” to search for gigs. You can also list your band’s profile to be posted under the “Bands Available” section and let the gigs come to you. Get Gigs allows you to list band description, website link, and contact information for anyone to view free of charge.
Gig Masters is an entertainment directory where event planners and party hosts can find entertainment to hire for their special events. It is a bit pricey to get a listing on GigMasters.com, but the website has a lot to offer its musician members. Gig Masters allows you to list an extensive profile for your band, including audio and video samples and you can be listed under several categories. When event planners become interested in you, they can request a free quote to receive your contact information and a detailed price quote for their event proposal. Prices for a GigMasters.com membership vary according to time commitment and type of membership, with amounts ranging from 3 months/$59 (basic membership) to 12 months/$249 (gold membership). See more options.