A question for traveling, gigging musicians

Greetings –
I was just visiting my (I blush to admit) neglected sonicbids account. Yeah, I’m writing, recording and gigging locally. BUT- I plan to stretch out to a wider region for gigging.
A statistic that was tossed up by Panos on the site stated that “on average, it takes 9-10 submissions to get a gig“. Yikes! It never occurred to me that artists would receive only a 10% positive return on submissions, but yeah, that does make sense. HOWEVER – it leaves me in a quandary…

I’d really like to make my first “mini-tours” as efficient as possible in terms of dates and gas mileage. So my question is:
Given the anticipated rate of positive outcomes (bookings), is it better to submit my EPK to a lot more opportunities and then back out if I have to because of overlapping commitments? –OR- should I submit only when it looks like I can ABSOLUTELY make it to the gig? I’m not trying to shotgun here, but if I submit to a distant venue and it does come through then I may be looking at some serious monetary output for gas and food in order to make that one gig happen.

How do you road-weary, experienced troubadores deal with this scheduling snafu? I’d love to hear from you, thanks! ~Tom~

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2 thoughts on “A question for traveling, gigging musicians

  1. Hey Tom,

    I mostly tour in Germany and the Netherlands but also all over Europe. Have done some US gigs & festivals.
    My strategy is to try to secure one or two gigs that’ll make me some money and then try to book more gigs along the way, turning a long weekend into maybe a week, maybe include another weekend so that I may be able to stretch it into a ten or twelve-day trip.
    In my experience, if you contact a venue with a specific date or time frame in mind, they’re more likely to answer than if it’s just a vague inquiry.
    No matter how long the trip, you need to make sure there are some gigs along the way that you know are going to work money-wise and fun-wise. And then there’ll be some gigs you’ll book just for the fact that it’s better to get accommodation & food than have an off-day.
    If often enjoy hooking up with another writer. I’ve had Swedish songwriters travel through Germany/Netherlands with me and in turn I’ve been able to tour in Sweden/Denmark with them.

    Hope this makes some sense and helps,
    Markus

    • Hi Markus – thanks for the comment! That makes a lot of sense- I especially like the idea of hooking up with other writers/performers along the way. Thanks again! ~TH~

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