Many bands hate the idea of a weeknight gig. It’s harder to pack a room on a Wednesday than it is on a Friday or Saturday night, unfortunately, and it’s even harder to get everyone completely into what you’re doing.
However, a weeknight gig doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world, and if you completely avoid them, you’re missing out on playing music 5/7s of the week–I’m not mathematician, but that’s, like, 50% of the week, isn’t it? Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your band or solo gig on a night that isn’t Friday or Saturday.
Promote early. The best advice is to start promoting your gig as early as is humanly possible. Hit Facebook or Myspace and set up an event, and invite the people that you know will come out. Send them each a private message and explain that you really need their help in promoting. If other bands are playing the weeknight gig with you, get them to do the same.
Make sure that you’re working with accurate information when you’re promoting. The more info that your fans have, the better the chance that they’ll show up. Try to come up with a unique reason why the people should come to this exact gig. Don’t say “we rock, come see our band.” Say something like, “the bar’s offering $1 beers, and our bassist just got pregnant.” Even if/especially if your bassist is a dude.
Promote your show in a way that would get you there. That’s really all that it takes. Start early, and be consistent in your promotion.
Plug your merchandise. Even if you did a great job promoting, there’s a good chance that you won’t be playing to a capacity crowd. Then again, you might, so be optimistic.
Regardless, you’ll need to plug your merch to get paid, because bars and other venues don’t pay bands or solo acts that well during the non-weekend nights of the week. Mention your band’s merch several times, more than you would with a non-weeknight gig. Don’t be a shill, but really explain to the crowd that at the very least, you want them to leave with an album. They’ll respond.
Be nice to the venue. You might want a weekend gig sometime, so this is a good time to mention that you should always be nice to the venue, even when they’re not treating your band too well. What goes around comes around, and if you’re nice, you’ll have a better chance of that second and third gig.
Play like it’s Friday night. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing on a Sunday or a Wednesday or Christmas or the Pope’s birthday, play hard. There might be someone in the crowd that can help your music career out. Never ignore that fact.
Do you have any other tips for playing gigs on a weeknight? Post in our comments section below.