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blog - Musician Tips


How to Start Playing At Music Festivals

posted 05/24/22 22:54:25   Category » Musician Tips
How to Start Playing At Music Festivals

A recent survey done by Gallup found that 54% of households have someone that plays a musical instrument or sings. If you're one of those people, you might know that this fun hobby can turn into a real passion and a way of expressing yourself with live music. If you want to start your career in the music industry, then a small music festival could be the ideal informal place to do this. It gives you the opportunity to network with other artists in the music scene. There are a plethora of great venues to choose from. You can book a slot on stage or sign up for an open mic session and start playing to an audience that really appreciates your music. 

Practice and submissions

If you want to get a place on one of the smaller stages at a local festival, you will probably have to make a submission to them online. Choose festivals that are a good fit with your music and you are more likely to get in. Practice your stage routine regularly in its entirety and make a decent video of it.


You should also prepare an artist bio and professional-looking photos. Upload these to your social media platform too - this will show festival bookers that you already have an online following. Consider carefully the instruments you are using for your festival set. If you're making a submission to a folk festival, choosing a good acoustic guitar may be your best option. You will only need a simple set up with an acoustic guitar, and they are easy to transport. You may need pickups or a microphone for guitar, but larger festivals will have a PA set up. 

Start small and don't pay to play

Getting booked to play shows for a small, local music festival is a great place to begin your career in the music industry. It will also allow you to work on your performances and perfect your stage act in front of a live audience. Make sure you video your performances, and you can upload these to your social media platforms and get people following you and talking about your music. Don't forget that the more performances you can get under your belt, the more likely it is that festival promoters will book you for bigger gigs. Be wary of paying to play at a music festival, especially if the organizers want you to buy tickets to resell. This is not putting value into your music. 

Keep a festival calendar and be persistent

It is a very competitive world out there for musicians, all trying to make a name for themselves. You will need to have perseverance and be persistent with your submissions. Keep a note on your calendar of all the festivals you want to make a submission for over the year and apply to all of them. Make sure that you don't miss the deadlines for the ones that you really want to play at.  Getting far AHEAD of the deadline is imperative because many festivals book up before their posted deadlines. With the FestivalNet Pro Membership, you can search by DEADLINE month and thus get ahead of deadlines. 

If you want to start playing at music festivals, you've got to make the effort to put yourself out there and apply. Start small and play open mike sessions, and you will soon find that you gain a following and new fans who love your music. 

Choose FestivalNet

FesitvalNet is the perfect place to get official updates on upcoming music festivals at any of your local venues you may want to perform at. If you are in need of assistance and want to find the right festival to start performing, apply here today!



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