When you first start out as a music act, you usually don’t have yourj pick of places to play. You usually have to play any place that will take you. Maybe even some places you normally wouldn’t go near. But it’s not the end of the world.
As a gigging musician, I’ve played in a number of places. Some great, some terrible and many falling somewhere in between. Usually when you start out, you don’t have much of a choice as to where you can play. Often you have to settle for what you can get and that’s pretty much just looking for anyone willing to give you a shot. Venue owners take a risk every time they try someone new. Many look for bands that are playing all over because they feel they have the experience, a following and if they are already playing out somewhere else, they must be doing something right.
Maybe there is that place that’s just down the road from you that is not really the nicest place to play. Maybe you don’t even go there yourself because it is such a dump. Well, I hate to have to break it to you but maybe that’s the first place you should try to get a gig. You have to look at your long term goal. If you really want to be playing out a lot, you have to start somewhere and many of those type of places are easier to get into because some bands will start out in places like that but drop them after they get better places to play. That leaves openings for newer bands.
I used to play this one bar that had a dirt floor. It was pitched downward towards the area where the bands would play. Whenever it rained, water would come in from the parking lot and run down towards where the band would be playing and there was a sump pump there to pump out the water. I used to get a steady monthly gig there. The place, in spite of its condition, was always packed. So I always had a nice sized crowd to play for. There were no other bars within a 10 mile radius, so most of the locals came there.
Since the place was always crowded, they could afford to pay their bands fairly well. I was an acoustic solo act at the time and that place was one of the ones where I was paid the best. The crowd was always very receptive and I always got a great response from them. So it was a steady gig, for good money with a large and very appreciative audience. It was just not the prettiest building to look at.