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Steps To Succeeding As An Opening Act For Major Artists

The dream for any artist is to share music with an audience that identifies with them and can’t stop jamming to their songs. As an emerging musician playing a show to a crowd of dedicated fans can still be a journey. Yet, opening for a major band or singer can help move from playing small rooms to sold-out shows. It’s nearly guaranteed that they (you’ll) gain new fans after being a show-stopping opening act.

When major acts are touring and playing multiple shows per city or state, it is beneficial for them to have fresh new openers wherever they go. This helps to keep their shows relevant and entertaining, creating an opportunity for artists like you. Therefore, booking agents are looking for different talent to fit their bill. After you’ve read all about how to communicate with promoters and booking agents and booked your spot as an opening act, you’ll still need to know a few success tips.

Media Promotion

Once it’s agreed you’ll be opening at a big show or on a tour, make sure to be added to the dates in time for media promotion. Being mentioned on posters and flyers will help build your reputation and strengthen your platform, especially with fans outside of your hometown. Sharing the promotional content on your social media and website will not only get followers aware of your next show, but it will help audiences you encounter in other place keep track of you.

Issuing press releases and have your music ready to give out should you need it will help along the tour route as well. You can gather all you need to know about making a press it that will help you gain more fans and audio streams.

Bring Your Merch

Depending on the budget of the main headliner or venue, getting the most bang for your buck can be difficult. Sometimes opening acts can get paid a low fee yet merchandise sales can help make up the difference. Having your own merchandise can get 100% of profit into your pocket. Having t-shirts, buttons, hats or other items can be a way for new audiences to connect with you as well.


Photo Via Pexels

Introductions & Stage Etiquette

If you have built up a rapport with the main act you’re opening for, try to set up a welcoming intro. It may seem small but a nice introduction can help boost your audience participation during the show. If as an artist to remember and respect. Familiarity and a good word are always beneficial to an emerging artist, you’ll naturally become an artist to watch. Your great performance will drive this home as well. Therefore if the main act or someone introducing you can mention how great you and/or your music is, it can go a long way.

Additionally, once you’ve been introduced, be sure to stay conscious of your time on stage. Figuring out a strong set list of songs and times to start and end your performance is key. You don’t want to overstay your time slot on stage. It’s a matter of respect to both the main act and audience since it is better for people to want more rather than to want to see you go. 

Leave A Great Impression

As an emerging artist, you want to build bridges even after you’ve gotten the great spot. Earning an opportunity is just as important as sharing your talent. There is nothing wrong with being gracious and kind to as many people helping you perform. If you play a great show and be personable with both the main act and their crew of booking agents and more, you could open new doors. People in the music industry will often share the names of those they feel are personable, passionate and fitting to perform. Your music can speak for itself with a stand out performance and also a great impression from start to finish, on and off stage can help you reach more opening slots.

Check out our post on maintaining music industry relationships for more helpful details.