To make a living solely from performing, you would need to play and tour a lot. Performing concerts and gigs is not that profitable and it can be tiresome and costly. At the same time, it can be extremely exciting to see new places, meet new people and get your work out there. An artist starting out can expect to make anything up to £150 for a gig. Fees are often divided between members of a group, so expect less if there are more members in the group. When touring, make sure promoters have arranged any accommodation, visas, venue, food, technical equipment requirements you may have.


Ensure you are clear on the following details for each performance:

  • Artist fee
  • Contact details of the promoter
  • Address and map of venue
  • Time of load-in and sound check
  • Technical specs
  • Guest list (if any)

Getting Gigs

To get gigs, talk to promoters, organisers and venues to see if they will put you on the bill. Look at other artists playing similar music and see where they play and try contacting the venue or promoters listed on their tour. Go online and look for key contacts within venues and organisations and email them. Explain to them the kind of music you play that is similar to what they are promoting. Give them a link to your work and ask for a gig. Getting opportunities to play can be done easily through the internet. Get recommendations from friends, or see where others find their opportunities.

Organising a gig or tour takes a lot of planning and preparation. It may be better to get a manager or agent to manage your tour. Get recommendations from others to play in other cities. Try to find out which promoters and venues support the work that you do.

For more information on venues and gigs, check out: Visiting Arts, tips for approaching music producers and presenters in the UK:

BBC introducing…: Playing Live
Provides videos with industry professionals on playing live and getting gigs in your local area to advice on working with promoters.

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