8 steps to becoming a live music venue

Live music can do some great things for your business. Increases in foot-traffic and the development of a regular group of live music consumers, lead to increased patronage and sales. Plus you get to know you’re developing creative culture in your area by supporting local artists.

But before dipping your toe in the water, it can be good to map out exactly what you want to achieve with live music and how you are going to get there! So here are our 8 points to get you moving toward hosting your first gig.

1. Understand the audience you want to attract


The first step is understanding what you want to achieve with live music. You want to attract an audience, but what type of audience? Will music be a background to set the mood, or do you want the musician to be the centre of attention? Different audiences will come with different consumption habits – so a group of patrons chilling out with tunes while they eat will be different from a bunch of party-goers singing along to covers. Think about what you want to attract.

2. Have the appropriate license


As a venue, you are legally required to hold a licence from APRA AMCOS to play any recorded or live music. Information for bars and clubs, and restaurants and cafes can be found on the APRA AMCOS website. Licensing isn’t a massive barrier, there has been a huge amount of work done in last few years to streamline the process and the costs have come down significantly to try to encourage live music.

3. Know your space


It may sound obvious, but you need to understand where the band or artist will fit in your venue. At is most basic, this means will they have enough space to fit themselves, their mic stand, their instruments, and a PA if required. So be prepared to let the band know if you have a PA, and the type of space they will be filling, as well as their orientation to the audience.

4. Find the right artist


This can be a challenge! Once you know the type of artist you want for your venue, you need to find them. This is where a platform like Six8 can be very helpful. Simply do a search in your area and be presented with a list of options. Oh and don’t hesitate to contact us, we can give you a helping hand and also offer some handy discounts if you intend to book more than once!

5. Promote your event


Once you’ve booked your artist it’s time to make the most of it – that means a little promotion. You should leverage your own social media (Facebook and Instagram), as well as your venue website. Don’t forget to tag the artist in your posts, and link through to their Six8 profile or personal webpage. Also, ask the artist if they could share and promote the event on their social media to really leverage their following and get some extra feet through the door.

6. Setting up your space


On the day of the event, make sure the spot you’ve ear-marked for the artist is good to go, and all the equipment you are providing (such as any house sound equipment) has been tested and is ready to go. Allocate the artist some time to setup and soundcheck, they want to give you the best performance possible, so help them to help you. Finally, shout the artists a beer – a little bit of hospitality will pay back dividends!

7. Make the most of the musician


A musician can be an exceptionally potent addition to your venue. They can captivate and audience and if you build the right relationship with them over the event, they can help shape the night into directions you desire. Let them know if you want to move the energy in a certain direction, or if you have any announcements you would like put out to your patrons. Don’t forget to also take some pictures or video of the evening to push out through your social media channels. This let’s the world know that you are a live music venue and will help build a regular patronage.

8. Track your improvement


It’s important that, as you continue to create more live music events, you track the increases in both your audiences and engagement with your social platforms. Live music is an investment. By tracking the numbers you will be able to identify the tangible payback on your investment.


As always, we are here to help. If you need some more support in making your venue a live music hub, contact us at communitydev@six8.com.au