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The fan conundrum: Getting better gig opportunities without a large fan base

Here’s a quick question for this week, something that I’m really struggling to get my head around.

My band and I find ourselves in a very difficult position. In our local area, live music venues are few and far between, and as such are extremely difficult to get into. We have to travel to the larger cities to play so we’re effectively “outsiders” and whatever fans we have aren’t willing to travel with us.

Those venues that offer us performance slots are great, but the slots are free showcase slots that are poorly attended and the audience, beyond our own personal entourage, amounts to little more than the sound tech and maybe some members of another band on after us.

There are other venues and promoters out there who offer better opportunities - exposure to bigger crowds and followers of other bands in a similar genre. But they require a guarantee of bringing in a crowd of followers with us before they’ll look at us. Understandably for them it’s a financial pursuit, but it’s that age old problem of “I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience because I can’t get a job…” and so on.

How do we get around this? How do other bands get around this?

I’m genuinely curious to know.

Feel free to comment here or over on my blog.

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