Man, some of these people couldn't see the glass as half full if they were the kid from the movie Signs!
It's true that bands rarely sell out large venues in today's industry, but making money is definitely possible if you have the hustle and the talent (in that order).
It would be easier to answer the question if I knew more about the stage you were at inyour career. I assume you already have the band. The music sounds great. You are ready to perform the show of a lifetime. Everything is set to go, but what do you do about giving your career a bit of a quick start? I've worked with bands and promoters before, and here are some of the things I've seen work:
Behind every great band is a great leader, and this person should have control over every aspect of the band. You want to know everything about your members, their families and what makes them tick. You also want to ask questions from guys already steadily in the business. Performing bands can give you the ins and outs of what to expect and even help you get set up with your first gigs.
If your budget allows for it, hire a manager. An industry professional will help you navigate the ins and outs of venues, booking, logistics and communications. His or her credibility and connections will get you booked far more than you alone can do. If circumstances don’t allow for that yet, you will have to learn how to wear the manager and musician hat. See this article “The Artist Manager
Booking your gigs
Many venues are constantly looking for quality performers. With a little bit of hustle and some Google magic, you should be able to dig some up. Don’t be too proud to take smaller gigs when starting out. Scouts will frequent small, underground venues looking for fresh talent. Booking a large venue and only half filling the seating will look bad to your client as opposed to booking a smaller venue and filling up the place. If you can wow senior venue management, you may land a recurring invitation to play (a steady paycheck in this industry? It’s not impossible!)
Okay, you landed your show. Now you have to get yourself, your band, and the equipment to the stage. Coordinate with the event staff to make sure that you understand where to go and what you need to provide. Medium and large venues will have in-built sound systems you can take advantage of, but in many instances you will be responsible for bringing your own amps, cords, etc. Make sure when transporting instruments and sound equipment, you have proper road cases
to protect them. Arrive early for setup and sound check. It always takes longer than you think it will!
Promote the show
Remember Chinese Democracy? Neither does anybody else. Axl Rose was quick to blame the label, the executives, the manager, and everybody else for the album’s initial failure. But Axl forgot that the first rule of event promotion is that it’s the band and their hustle that drives concert attendance. Selling out is tough in today’s music industry, so making an impact is going to take a lot of sweat equity on your part. Check out this article on “Strategies vs Tactics: Which is best for growing your audience?
When managing your gigs, it is important to know how to handle every aspect. You want to make sure to advertise whenever you can. Social media is a great outlet for this. And again, hustle and hard work is the key to drumming up the work. Most of all, do what you do best by showing the crowd how much you love creating music.