How We Prepare For A Gig

Since we have lots of gigs planned for the next few months we thought it would be a good idea to share with you how we prepare for a gig…


  • Identify Your Audience

Firstly we have to know the audience we are selling to and who is going to like the artist. Once we know this information we have to target this market. In order to do this we get the whole team to listen to and know the band/artist we are thinking of booking.

  • Listening To The Artist

Everyone will listen to the artist and get an idea of their sound. This is to make sure that when selling tickets and promoting the gig, we are promoting to the correct audience who will enjoy that artist’s music. 

  • Booking The Artist

Once everyone has listened to the artist and committed to selling and promoting the gig, we will send an email to the artist asking if they will come and perform at The Music Hub. An email will follow this sort of pattern: 


  • Apply For A Licence

If we plan to have alcohol at the gig we will need to apply for a licence so that we can legally sell alcoholic beverages.

  • Advertise On Local Radio

Once the gig has been organised we will create an advert which can be sent to local radio sessions to be advertised on them. We sometimes will arrange for artists to appear and perform on the radio in order to get local people aware of our upcoming gig. 

  • Make And Distribute Flyers And Posters

We have to start to get the word out early about the gig by making posters and flyers. These will include the necessary information about that gig, which will be handmade and photocopied. These will then get distributed around the school, all around Penicuik such as the library, local supermarkets, surrounding towns where show posters and flyers for other events are displayed. This will be kept up to date in the run-up to the gig so there is constant adverts around. The information on these posters include:

– Who is playing

– Venue

– Cost

– Time the doors open

– Where tickets can be purchased

– Links for Burnt Out Records

– Links for the headlining act

  • Making The Contacts

With all this material in place, we will build a promo package to send out to local papers and radio stations that advertise local gigs. This will include information about Burnt Out Records and what it is, the where’s and when’s of the show and ticket price, as well as information about the artists performing. 

  • Contacting The Press

We will let the local papers and radio stations know about our gig. We will try and get previews in the local paper and radio sessions in the run-up to the gig. It is important for us to give the press plenty of notice and follow-up with them to see if they are willing to give our show some coverage. We will also sometimes see if local colleges/university students who are studying journalism would be interested in doing a piece on our gig. 

  • Get The Word Out

Using social media to get the word out is very important. A Facebook event is usually created with all the appropriate information on this event. It is also important to post an update on the Burnt Out Facebook page. Twitter is used to regularly tweet about the gig and retweet other tweets to keep the word going. Using Instagram to post photos and videos of the artist is posted so that our audience can see what sort of music they play. 


  • Tech Spec

This is the time to find out what the musicians need, and come up with a plan to have everything everyone needs in place the night of the gig. It is best to do this in advance, so we can chase down anything that is required, and then confirm again closer to the time. This is so we don’t get any surprises on the night of the gig and so everything (hopefully) runs smoothly. 

  • Gathering The Materials

Listen to the artist that has been booked. Before we can start promoting, we need to have the right materials in place. We will gather these in advance so we are ready to go:

– Soundcloud/Facebook etc links for the artist

– Band bio’s and photos

– Posters for the show (these can be generic posters from the band or ones that have specifically made for the gig)

– Press release for the gig

We will also take the time to build a database of local media contacts (email, fax, phone and street address), as well as publication deadlines for local papers. 

  • Do The Legwork

This is not a very fun part of promoting the gig but it can’t be helped and has to be done. Head out to the gig venue and every place in town that allows people to hang posters, and place our gig posters right in the front. We will also send posters in the post asking places to hang them for you, which can’t always be reliable as we don’t know if they will actually put up our posters, which is why it’s better for us to go out and pysically hang them ourselves.  


  • Follow-ups, Follow-ups!

As the gig draws closer, keeping lines of communication with the press open and regular. We will send out a few emails to our mailing list reminding them of the gig. We will also make some phone calls and see if we can get local journalists to come along. It is also very important to tweet regularly to keep the promotion high. 

  • Extend Invitations

A great way to increase coverage of the gigs is to offer some guest list places to journalists. By convincing them to run a preview or review of the show in exchange for a spot on the list can really benefit Burnt Out Records. This will encourage local journalists to get involved and perhaps do a piece on Burnt Out Records. 

  • Supporting Acts

We need to choose what artists are going to support the headline act. This will usually be decided by choosing artists that have never supported or artists that are really keen to support. They will then have a few weeks to come up with a set list and practise. 


  • After School Prep

On the day of the gig we have most of the team come to The Hub after school to turn the classroom into a venue for the gig! We have to start by putting the tables away and the teachers desk, these are put into practise rooms and the studio. We then draw the curtain round to hide away all the computers. At this point we have to hoover the carpet to make it look even tidier, whilst somebody is hoovering the others start to bring the chairs down from the stage ready to be laid out for guests. These are set up in rows with a gap in the middle, there are around 6 or seven chairs in each row. A table is set out at the door with the money tin for tickets, and another table on the other side is set up with drinks and sometimes the bake sale. Alcoholic drinks are sold at the back of The Hub.

  • Sound Check

After everything is set up the team either head home for tea, go out for some food or eat in The Hub, this is the opportunity for our supporting artists to sound check to make sure everything is going smoothly. Around 5.45/6ish the headlining artist usually arrives, they are introduced to the team and they get set up for sound check.

  • The Gig Itself

The doors open at 7pm with our two presenters welcoming everyone in whilst everyone gets seated. The gig begins around 7.30 with the supporting acts. There is a 15/20 minute interval half way through where guests can enjoy a cold drink and some home baking. We usually have around 10 helpers on the night each assigned with their own job:

– Tickets and lights

– Stage Lighting

– Sound

– Presenters and doors

– Runners for artists and artist interviewers 

– Refreshments and bake sale 

– Photography

Our gigs will also be documented on snapchat throughout the gig so if people cannot make the gig, they are not missing out on anything. Gigs usually finish around 9/9.30pm.


  • Tidying Up

After all our guests leave it is important that we get everything tidied up so everyone can get home quickly. Drinks and money boxes are put away for the next gig. If there is some home baking left it usually gets eaten, or somebody takes it home. The leads on the stage are tidied away into tubs and mic’s and mic stands put away. Chairs are stacked and put neatly into piles on the stage. The curtain is drawn so that the computers are on show again and the tables and teachers desk is brought back out. This only takes about 30/40 minutes because we all work together. The Hub is now a classroom again and everyone goes home after a successful evening!

  • Social Media 

After the gig it is important for us to tweet about our gig and thank the artist that has just performed. We will also send out a thank you email to the artist. A blog will be written about the gig and the interview we did on the night, and add some photos for people who may have missed it. Videos from all acts will also be added to our YouTube channel.
This is how we organise each gig, which has to be planned months in advance as you can see. By following all these steps, our gigs can run smoothly. 


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