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Finding gigs out of town and getting booked - by Chris Standring
"One of the advantages of performing with another act is that you can steal their audience!"
If your street team is not yet in place in cities other than the one you live, you will need to research some of the venues if you want to play out of town. Check out the Galaris Musician's Directory. Firstly, I think it is important to mention that you must develop a good local following first. If you can become a big fish in a little pond you will be positioned well to start venturing elsewhere. It is a good idea to venture into other towns not too far away from where you live, and develop new fans there. You want to kind of test the water, but don't forget you have new challenges the minute you head out of town. Your local following will not be with you and it is important to make sure you still fill your new club!
Decide on a venue out of town and approach them with a plan. When you speak to the booker, convince him that you are big on your home turf and you are sure you can bring him some business. Try to get a night where you are opening for another band (a situation you will probably be offered anyway) so the whole world is not on your shoulders. If the venue is not too far away, either you or your street team members need to take a visit to the club on a busy night and pass out sampler CDs. If you know people who live in that city, you should approach them and ask to help you gather up some folks for the gig. You could put them on the guest list and give them a CD to return the favor.

When you play your first gig in this new city, you must capitalize on everyone who is at that show. Furthermore, you must capitalize on the headliner's fan base. One of the advantages of performing with another act is that you can steal their audience! Have a street teamer walk around with a clipboard handing out sampler CDs in exchange for people's contact info. Collect their names and e-mail addresses and before you know it you have 30 new people on your subscriber list. If you did a good show and everyone enjoyed it you can expect another booking. Don't be in any hurry to headline as you can still take advantage of the next two performances, collecting data from another band's fans. Before you know it, you have a fanbase in your new city.

One thing to mention here. This all takes time. Unless you are 19 years old and need a big fat record deal before you're too old to compete, there really is no hurry. This is the wonderful thing about being an independent artist. You can be touring in your 40's and 50's if the band is slamming. Providing you are taking care of business and packing in the houses, you might as well just enjoy the ride. So don't be in a hurry to gather a huge fanbase in a new city. It might take five years before you are turning fans away at club doors. Providing you are working hard in lots of venues, in five years time you might have a very profitable business.

About Street Team
"System X" is a street marketing strategy for independent artists designed by Chris Standring. It is an amalgamation of online and offline techniques, both of which Chris discusses in depth in his e-book "STREET TEAM". It's a step-by-step "blueprint" that shows you everything from start to finish on how to set up your own community of volunteers and have them literally pack your venues for you!

For more info and to order "Street Team" By Chris Standring go to:
http://www.aandronline.com/street-team/index.html

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Chris Standring is the CEO and founder of A&R Online ( www.aandronline.com). He is also a contemporary jazz guitarist presently signed to Mesa/Bluemoon Records. The music is marketed at NAC and Urban AC radio. For more info on Chris' recording career go to his personal website at www.chrisstandring.com


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