by Jesse Austin, with thanks to Tearaway.

Now that you are all practiced up, you need to get your sound out there! Other than recording your songs, the other way to do this is to play live.

Playing live is essential to the success of any band. If you are starting out, it is a great way to get your name out there. If you are a well-seasoned artist, it is an opportunity to reach out to your fan base and give them something personal. Either way, playing live shows and touring is something that you are going to have to think about.

Have your set ready 

Make sure your songs are well-polished before looking for gigs. You want to win the audience over, so make sure the songs are tight, your stage presence is smooth and you know what you are doing. If anything can go wrong, it will most likely happen while you are performing, so make sure you know the ins and outs of your show, to deal with the problems quickly and precisely.

IMG_0147Just ask 

There is some great gigging culture in New Zealand, with lots of cool underage venues. The best thing about them is that they are super keen to give young musicians a chance to perform. Send them an email or a message on their Facebook page, letting them know who you are and that you are keen to play at a show sometime. The worst they can say is no, and you very well could get your first gig this way!

Promote it 

If you have a show coming up, make sure to let all your fans know on social media. Make the posts interesting so that they grab people’s attention. Make sure your friends are all coming along. The more people you can get along, the more fun you will have.


You might feel super comfortable sticking to your own local gig community, but if you want to branch out, touring may be the option. This may take a bit more planning, as you need to work out where you are going to stay, how you will get there, who you will play with, etc, but once that is all done, getting the gigs is very similar to the way you usually would in your own town.

Gabriel Everett of the Smokefreerockquest national finalists The Moots stresses that “touring and playing shows is one of, if not the most important thing to do as a band. It’s much easier to ‘make it’ in the industry when you know people – and one of the best ways to meet them is to constantly play shows, get involved in your local scene or even just help out the band that’s playing your town on their tour. New Zealand is small enough so that the person you just played a show with might be a talent scout for a major label – but you’ll never meet them if you don’t get out there!”


Smokefree Pacifica Beats:

The Moots:”