Among the post-event questions I received after speaking at this month’s Musicians Marketing Workshop event, was if I had any tips for getting gigs at wineries. I suppose I have a few tips to offer here, many of which apply for any gig.
Get familiar with the wineries that are hosting live music, and make it part of your ongoing list of venues. It also helps to know who’s playing these venues, and equally important, what styles of music are said wineries booking. Each winery, the same as any venue, has it’s niche where hosting live music is concerned.
Next, visit the winery to find out who’s responsible for booking. Something discussed during my talk was the importance of relationships as it applies to venues. A visit to the venue helps start the necessary relationship. It’s a good idea to also visit during an actual music performance. Going to other musician’s gigs is always helpful in getting gigs, and learning more about a specific venue. Note that I’m talking about more relationship building.
By doing this recommended research, you’ll start to get an idea as to whether or not your band or act fits in with particular wineries. Again, wineries each have their own music series niche, each one looking for particular types of music, as well as different levels of quality. Knowing where your particular act fits will go a long way in properly positioning yourself from a marketing perspective. There’s no point in trying to sell a five-piece electric blues rock band to a venue that only books three piece acoustic acts, for example.
A final thought on pursuing gigs for wineries is that many of them book seasonally, so it’s important to know when those seasons occur. And like any venue, things are always changing. Stay in touch so that you know what’s happening and who to talk to about bookings for the upcoming season.