3 Reasons Why Musicians Should Throw Their Own Shows

Traditional venues are usually thought of as being the best place to host shows, but musicians miss big opportunities to share their music on their own terms when they rely only on venues to perform live. From intimate house shows to locally curated festivals, shows take on a whole new meaning when the performing musicians are the ones throwing them. Here’s three reasons why musicians should consider setting up their own shows:

More control of the feel and intimacy of the show

Concerts often fall flat for unestablished bands through no fault of their own. When bills are mismatched or not promoted enough, shows can go poorly no matter how well the bands play. Throwing your own concerts gives you complete control of everything from selection of the lineup and venue to promotion to the sound setup. Yes, it’s loads more work than simply showing up and playing a normal show, but putting together your own shows lets you have everything happen on your own terms. Intimacy is something that’s often lost in translation when shows happen at venues, but bands can salvage it when they put shows together on their own.

More earnings

More venue is tantamount to more problems when it comes to trying to earn a living playing music. Bands often jump at the chance to play large venues only to find that there’s little money to be made after the venue takes its cut. Door staff, bartenders, sound engineers––traditional venues often have a big staff to pay. If you have the space, equipment, and expertise, planning and executing shows yourself will allow you and other performing artists to recoup all of the money you pull in for self-produced shows. Most venues obviously offer things lots of bands won’t have, but if you’re looking to earn a little money and perform an intimate night of music, going your own way is a great option.

If you need a venue to host your own show, Gig Finder can help get you in contact with them.

You’ll get a new perspective on show production

It’s good for bands to put their own shows together to get a taste of what things are like from a venue’s perspective. Booking bands, running sound, getting everyone paid, keeping a show on a tight schedule––these are challenges every venue faces that bands don’t often think about. Building your own show is a good chance to see how the other half lives when it comes to show production and promotion. What you learn will not only help you put on better shows in the future, but can show you how to be a more professional band in the eyes of a venue.

Throwing your own shows isn’t the same thing as making music, but it’s something that can absolutely help your career. Many artists often sit back and wonder why they aren’t being chosen for opportunities to help further their careers when they’d be better off creating the opportunities themselves. If you feel stuck waiting for great things to happen to your music career, making things happen on your own terms is always an option.

Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician, and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.

Tyler3 Reasons Why Musicians Should Throw Their Own Shows


Join the conversation
  • Joe - September 4, 2019 reply

    Yes. I have endorsed this idea for years and I am currently in the process of moving to a 100% house concert model going forward.

    Bojan - October 23, 2019 reply

    by “house” concert model what kinda of place do u mean?to book a local bar for a saturday night live gig for free…or?Can u be more specific? Please….

  • Paul - September 4, 2019 reply

    Great article. I have been running a local jam session in Kendall, Florida, on Wednesdays for over 3 years, and it is growing in the community. Now other bands want to participate. Every musician should learn how to do this.

  • Lori Lynn - September 4, 2019 reply

    It is a great idea. I have some experience in high school and college on stage crew and my husband roadied for bands. I also used to book bands for my college. It has been very valuable experience and has helped us develop our sound, record our music, and perform more professionally.

  • Xan - September 4, 2019 reply

    We used to do this all the time when we started playing. Booking a hall & PA system. Doing all the poster runs..organising for someone on the door to take the money etc. It was fun at first, but it got kind of old when you realise you are also responsible for cleaning up the hall at the end! Especially when some band members skive off on the post aspects of the show!

    Nowadays it’s even more difficult. The noise laws are stricter, many community halls are now in areas where it’s been developed around them and you can’t just let people BYO there own alcohol anymore.

  • Sidnei Falanga - September 5, 2019 reply

    Sim acho uma excelente ideia, pois o artista que planeja, executa e faz tudo por si só, gastará e lucrará muito mais, e o melhor é que não fica subordinado a ninguém, a não ser a si mesmo, suas ideias e suas vontades!
    Valeu, esse é o caminho, parar de engordar só as contas dos outros, e começar a engordar a conta de de quem é o dono do negócio!

  • Maria SOprano/Olmec Arts - September 25, 2019 reply

    Yes! Brilliant article indeed thank you. We should plan, book, create our own shows. there are no middlemen everyone is moving by or await for your direction and no disrespect to people who do stage directing and stage building we NEED and appreciate you (let people do their work and then pay them!) still but I just believe the artist should be the one to create their own show with everyone working off the Musician’s style and DNA so to speak without a doubt it will be customized to that Band your Group, Musician.
    We can really give a better light on the legendary character of the Artist with complete confidence that their individuality and creative touch is secure to will shine through the entire show! Promote 2-3 weeks Doing a press junket right before the show with music products,signoff posters with inks,business cards banners, available ,band rehearsed up or show disc ready, light and projector working, Sound Check microphone and amps all instrument sound off with clarity, dancers ready, singers ready or if you’re doing a spotlight show just me,(Which I do)
    either way, the show will be perfect because you step out planned, prayed and just set it up yourself and then slay! Done Successful show I know it’s easier said than done but at least take the 1st step and Name and plan your 1st show write out a blueprint and prayer it will seem like the show put itself together watch!!! peace best wishes –
    Maria SOprano/Olmec Arts
    This is one of the strongest ways to build your brand because people see that you are willing to invest your own time and money into your own projects to get moving forward with forward-thinking/futuristic. They’ll say “must be a sign of good faith” and begin to partner with you and buy more products from your particular brand it’s more of a sure thing yeah? Hey with that energy you can begin closing better bigger deals and opening up international projects the possibilities are endless in the world of entrepreneurship !!

  • Chuck Fresh - September 30, 2019 reply

    YESSSSS! We arranged and promoted IndieCon 2019 in Central Florida ourselves and had a killer response! Totally agree – you can and should DIY.

  • Heather Dawn - October 1, 2019 reply

    Our Artist the John-Paul Jones Group almost exclusively producing and promoting his own outdoor concerts. They have mobile stage lighting sound hired a crew and have the vehicles to pull all the trailers. Now they are attracting larger sponsors and dollars for their events. The future for their independent career is this business model and not playing the festivals and multiband events.

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