If you’re starting out, it makes sense to look for every performance opportunity available. Every chance to play in front of people brims with the promise of experience – whether it’s the open mic night at your local coffee shop or opening for another band. However, there will come a time when developing artists have racked up the experience required to put on great shows. At this stage, saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way could hurt your career instead.

Finding the sweet spot for accepting local shows

A delicate balance has to be struck for artists who want to get the most out of playing locally. Committing to as many shows as possible could get your name out there. However, what if doing so can diminish your momentum and perceived value of your music? If you think of your shows in economic terms, local audiences won’t be swarming to see your shows if they know you play in town a few times a month. On the other hand, only playing locally once a year will be disastrous for you if you’re not a massive artist. Attention spans are fleeting in local music scenes. If you hardly ever play live, you may not build enough momentum for your music.

Play a limited number of high quality shows to win over local audiences

The trick is to seek out the best show opportunities and stick to one local show every few months. You want to build a reputation for being a solid go-to choice for venues looking for local openers that can sell tickets and deliver stellar performances. You will not be able to draw audiences if you play too much or too little locally. But, more importantly, you won’t be able to build the local support and attention you need to build your career with. Quality local shows build the foundation you’ll need to get listeners, music promoters, and labels excited about your music.

The internet has given bands an equal chance to be heard. However, playing in your home town is a great launchpad, especially since the majority of artists don’t experience overnight success. The financial and emotional support you get from your local scene can make the difference between a lasting career.

Choosing quality shows means waiting for the best opportunities to come along and being selective about your choices. Remember, audiences won’t see your work as valuable if you don’t believe it yourself. Don’t be afraid to seek out the best shows possible with confidence.

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