Top 7 Cover Band Gigs

Freelance Advice, What We DoSuzy WimbourneComment

These are our top 7 gigs to perform as a covers band (in no particular order)

1. Self promoted

If you think you can get enough people to come and watch you perform, why not put on your own gig! It might take a little organisation and you might want to invite a couple of other bands you know to vary the line up, but this can be a really fun way to show off your passion. 

Unless you have a large fan base or target market you shouldn’t expect to make much or any money from this type of gigging but what it does do is it gives you artistic license to curate your own show. Unlike most of the other types of gigs listed here, by putting on your own gig you know people are primarily coming to watch you!

Recommended for:
Tribute bands
Cover/ Originals bands
High School - University bands

2. Charity Gigs

Gigging for charity can be a great way to support a worthy cause. You can organise your own charity gig and more often than not you will find support from your chosen gig venue and suppliers. By giving your time and expertise as support for a charity you can encourage donations as a direct result. 

When an events organiser contacts you to perform at a Charity event they are putting on they may want you to perform for free. Sometimes the events organiser may even ask for your fee, have a set fee in mind or offer expenses only. It differs from gig to gig.

You may have came across an organiser asking for your services for free in exchange for “great publicity” and “exposure”. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they intend to do this for you. 

An event’s organiser for for JD Sports who had seen us perform elsewhere got in contact for us to perform at their Charity Ball. It was a high profile event, all in aid for Christies charity. We were asked for our fee with the knowledge that it was a charity event and so we decided to ask for expenses only. The gig was 2 x 30 minute sets in a VIP room whilst cocktails were being served and all of our backline was provided. They featured us in their event guide which was presented to all guests and they even gave us goody bags before we left. This, in our opinion, is an example of a charity gig most definitely worth doing where mutual respect was given and appreciated. 

Recommended for:

3. Pub/ Bar/ Restaurant Gigs

I’ve grouped all of these venues together because they are few and far between. All of them. No two venues are the same and clientele differs from place to place. 
Some audiences are rowdy and demanding and others are happy to sit back and enjoy. It all depends on what type of band you are and where you fit best on the circuit. 
For us, as an acoustic duo, we are better suited to bars and restaurants where we perform as light entertainment with a clear sound. 

How to get these gigs
- agency

- contact the venue directly

4. Residencies

Much like Pubs, Bars and Restaurant gigs, instead of one-offs or infrequent gigs at the same venue, as the title suggests, these are residency gigs as often as once a week at the same or chained venues. 

Spanish resorts and hotels in Dubai - you get the idea. These are gigs arranged through an agency or with the resort/ hotel directly. They involve a number of sets a day, usually 6 or more days a week for long periods of time (months), performing for guests and patrons. At the trade-off of missing out on home life you can expect to make a reasonable salary whilst living with dramatically reduced living costs. 

5. Weddings

There are so many parts of the wedding day that music can be used to create and enhance an atmosphere. This makes for weddings being a really rewarding gig to do. Although the pressure is on to make each moment perfect, audiences are there willing to enjoy, dance and be entertained.  

6. Corporate Gigs

Think weddings, but less pressure. The expectations are high but at least you have full control over set lists. The corporate gig may be for a special event or as part of a promotion and sometimes an events production company may be used to book you. 
The great thing about corporate gigs, especially when a production company is involved is that you will have a team behind you on the day making you sound and look great. It’s one less pressure off your mind and you are left to do what you do best, which is to perform. 
7. Cruise Ships

With similar sets to overseas residency gigs but with the addition of travelling from place to place, the draw is that you get to see the world as you work. The covers band gig for cruise ships varies from duos to trios and sometimes larger. With limited spaces available it can be a great gig to get and similar to residencies - performing every day will make a better musician out of you. In order to get these gigs you will most definitely have to go through an agency and it will involve an audition.