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Can I Play With You?

September 18, 2012

Chances are that once a show is announced, going to the promoter and asking if you can be on the bill is futile for a multitude of reasons. Most likely the show is already set in stone and can’t be changed. It is also highly likely that a dozen other bands or more have asked the same questions. While it’s not always a waste of time – sometimes other bands drop off or set times are shortened – getting gigs by asking to be on an already announced bill is difficult.

Most shows that are properly done are rarely announced without a full lineup of bands and poster already designed and soon to be printed. What this means is that by the time you are asking there is already in an investment in graphic design and other costs. On bigger shows that are announced months in advance before posters are truly finalized and printed there may be a chance to be added but often these kinds of concerts do not have openers/locals.

For a touring band knowing set times and what form of gear sharing is occurring is a very important thing. Because of this, large or mid level ones have these set in stone (or a contract). Asking to be added to an already announced show can sometimes be impossible because there is no additional time to place another band on. It also adds more trouble for a promoter so unless there is an obvious gain for them, chances are they will not want to put in all the effort.

It is possible that you can be added to a show but it is best to be professional in your approach and realize that it is not likely you will be added. Nobody likes getting a poorly written message from someone they don’t know expecting to be added with no details in the message. Keep in mind that even if there is a chance for a band to added to the show most promoters will already have a preferred band in mind and asking by no means guarantees you this spot.

While there is a chance for you to be added to a show make sure that you use the right approach and have realistic expectations. The best way to get onto any show to ask a promoter before they announce anything if you can be added or at least considered for any future shows. The best chance you have is to be actionary and not reactionary when it comes to shows.


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