How to organise a music show at a bar?

How to organise a music show at a bar?

Are you ready to play in front of an audi­ence? It’s time to organ­ise a live show to gath­er your fans, friends, fam­i­ly and more. A very good idea that requires a few key ele­ments to suc­ceed.

For a first music show, a bar is a perfect location.

It is only nat­ur­al to think of a bar that you may already be famil­iar with, per­haps where you are used to going or whose atmos­phere or loca­tion you like. The goal is to feel com­fort­able in a famil­iar set­ting but also to find a place where it will be easy to ask for pri­vati­sa­tion of the venue because you will already know the own­er or the man­ag­er of the place. You can also pick the bar for its atmos­phere if it is in line with your uni­verse or what you want to show your audi­ence. Don’t for­get about the num­ber of peo­ple you expect or want to invite – it’s usu­al­ly bet­ter to opt for a small­er venue that will be filled rather than a large space that may look a bit emp­ty.

Once you have a loca­tion in mind, you will need per­mis­sion from the bar own­er or event man­ag­er. Think about the length of your show and how late you can play to avoid breach­ing noise lim­its and dis­turb­ing the neigh­bours. Take this care­ful­ly into account when the venue is locat­ed in a res­i­den­tial area as there are strict noise lim­its estab­lished by local coun­cils. Ask if the venue you have in mind has the nec­es­sary equip­ment to mon­i­tor noise lev­els.

When you make your request for quote, expect to receive a pro­pos­al for dry hire or a pack­age sys­tem, such as a fixed fee includ­ing drinks and staff hire. It is up to you to nego­ti­ate and decide depend­ing on your bud­get.

Apply for licences and permissions ahead of time.

As an artist, if you would like to sing oth­er people’s songs, it is impor­tant to have per­mis­sion to do so from the song­writ­ers. How? You’ll need to get in touch with the local music col­lect­ing soci­ety (e.g. PRS for music).

Don’t for­get to get insur­ance either! It is manda­to­ry for any event organ­is­er to have pub­lic lia­bil­i­ty insur­ance to cov­er poten­tial prop­er­ty or equip­ment dam­age or injuries to mem­bers of the audi­ence. The insur­ance con­tract must spec­i­fy what is cov­ered in terms of pro­tec­tion of the audi­ence and any prop­er­ty or goods. Ahead of your event, get in touch with your insur­ance com­pa­ny as they can advise you on any addi­tion­al option to get in order to be ful­ly cov­ered.

In terms of safe­ty, if you organ­ise your music show in a small venue, it will not be manda­to­ry to have a first aid cov­er on loca­tion but do think about mak­ing a list of emer­gency num­bers and a first-aid kit avail­able to the own­er or venue man­ag­er.

Planning audience and accesses

You have your venue, you have ensured you are pro­tect­ed and have every­thing you need to organ­ise your music show, now all that’s left to do is get peo­ple to attend!

Sim­i­lar to oth­er events, you should plan to com­mu­ni­cate to your net­work. For a small show, your inner cir­cle is eas­i­ly and quick­ly informed. Set the date depend­ing on the avail­abil­i­ty of the peo­ple that you would like to invite. It can be inter­est­ing to check out the dates of sim­i­lar or “not-to-be-missed” events that could clash with yours.

If you want to organ­ise some­thing big­ger, you can cre­ate an event on social media, invite your friends and ask them to invite their net­work and so on. Find out how to be reg­is­tered as an event on local event cal­en­dars, in the media, etc. or hand out fly­ers.

Nat­u­ral­ly, all these com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools should be planned and sched­uled depend­ing on the scope of the event you have in mind.

The ben­e­fit of organ­is­ing a music show at a bar is that a crowd of reg­u­lars may be there for your show, ensur­ing an audi­ence of peo­ple who may have an inter­est. Also, think about adver­tis­ing your show at the bar!

Don’t hes­i­tate to set up an online tick­et­ing or reg­is­tra­tion – free or not – as this will enable you to have an idea of the size of the audi­ence in advance and check if you are turn­ing a prof­it or not (if peo­ple pay for tick­ets) as well as lim­it the num­ber of tick­ets so as not to cre­ate too big a crowd for the venue. This last part can be man­aged in two ways:

  • lim­it the num­ber of tick­ets using a quo­ta
  • warn in all your com­mu­ni­ca­tions that the num­ber of tick­ets is lim­it­ed. There­fore, peo­ple will know they need to be there ear­ly to have a seat.

In order not to go over the max­i­mum num­ber of peo­ple the bar can wel­come, you can con­trol tick­ets at the entrance using a list and stamp­ing the hand of peo­ple com­ing in so that they can come and go as they please (to get some air, smoke, etc.) and use a peo­ple counter to mon­i­tor the num­ber of peo­ple in the bar at any moment. Alter­na­tive­ly, using tick­et scans for any entry or exit, the con­trol device or app you use will enable you to mon­i­tor in real time the num­ber of peo­ple in the room and know if your max­i­mum has been reached. This can all be man­aged by the safe­ty man­ag­er, a key mem­ber of your team who will ensure the smooth oper­a­tion of your event.

Fol­low these steps to organ­ise any music show and remem­ber, pri­vatis­ing a bar will give you sev­er­al ben­e­fits as well as a spe­cial atmos­phere. Now it’s your turn to shine:

Plan a con­cert

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