How Will Covid Affect Unsigned Musicians’ Ability To Play Live

Finally, live music venues are going to be allowed to re-open in the coming months and the buzz amongst musicians has already started at the thought of being able to play live again. However, is it going to be that simple to get a gig anymore? 

Now let’s be realistic, every band or solo artist will be after the same gigs, at the same venues, looking to make up for lost time. It is no doubt going to become a real dogfight to fill up the diary.

Venues need to make money fast to recover financially and that requires maximising ticket and bar sales. Who can blame them?  Furthermore, we are likely to see reduced capacities across the board in venues and the smaller capacity venues in greater demand from promoters of more established artists, looking to minimise risk. As a result, any new artists and bands who don’t have the best possible recordings, a solid plan and decent fanbase, will likely be out in the cold. 

Every artist or band I have ever worked with a) wants a record deal and b) to play live gigs. However, the first thing a label A&R, promoter or literally anyone in the industry will request is to hear your music. This is why you need the very best recordings possible, especially now, more than ever.

Put yourself in the promoter’s shoes whereby he is inundated with requests for gigs from artists and bands. Who is he going to choose? – The ones who have invested in the best possible recordings with a professional looking presentation comprising great photos, a well written biog and a fanbase of 1000+ social media followers, OR the one with a home or inferior studio demo and 100 Facebook friends? – It’s a no brainer!

Every town or city has music venues to play, but it just takes a little time and research to select the right ones. Always start local and spread outwards to build your following, because if a promoter sees you have played somewhere nearby, it will give them confidence to put you on. Forget rushing into wanting to do a sea of ten gigs in a row around the country calling it a ‘Tour’. It is better to aim to get in the diary a gig a week, every 2 weeks etc, so if someone from a label shows interest in you and asks to see you live perform, you can instantly direct them to a date and venue.

There is nothing worse than when an A&R rep wants to see you and you have nothing in the diary. By the time you have managed to source a new gig, they will likely have lost interest and signed someone else. Trust me, this really does happen!

One solution to getting gigs might be to act as your own or co-promoter, and together with other artists and bands you know, try to put on your own gigs, sharing venue hire costs. For certain no-one knows what is going to happen and while it’s likely things will eventually settle down and the live scene may return to normal, the indications are that promoters appear to be proceeding very cautiously. 

So, getting yourselves into the studio to create new or refresh old material will increase your chances of success, and get you your fair share of and better-quality gigs. If you can devise a plan and campaign around an EP or album to gather media support and airplay for your release, and drive online sales and streaming, then it will only strengthen your case and the gigs and interest from A&R will come!  


Why not contact us to discuss how we can help you take your musical ambitions off pause and create a package and plan that stands out from the crowd!


Tel 0161 280 0908

Email [email protected]


Photo by Glenn van de Wiel