Words by Kavina.
The wedding and corporate gig circuit is a whole league of its own when it comes to live music entertainment. Besides being opportunities to earn some big dollars, they offer a seasonal benefit which allows them to slot in quite easily with your regular gig calendar. Between the summer wedding season and corporate events in the winter months you could be busy gigging it up, saving up for those recording sessions and levelling up your performance game by vibing with a whole range of different crowds. You’re definitely going to need a tie though.
If you’re game to take on the world of event planners, baller company Christmas parties, and super yacht weddings (what, one can dream?) then read closely about how to get your ins into the world of corporate and wedding gigs.
Hint* It starts with your 30’s ready to tie the knot mates.
Firstly though, a friendly warning that these gigs are not about you
Excuse us… but you’re Melbourne royalty on the local gig circuit, basically about to earn your triple J Unearthed stripes. We hear you, we love you and we are so here for it, but when it comes to wedding and corporate events, think about it like that question in a job interview: “What is it that you can do for us?”
The truth here will set you free, and allow you to nail these gigs with a tenacity which will set you up for seasons to come. “See ya at next year’s christmas bash Marge!”
The reason these gigs pay so well is because companies want guaranteed entertainment for their clients and employees, and the term “wedding of the season” gets thrown around. Your number one responsibility is to put the FUN into Function. And no, I didn’t see that pun/one coming.
Since we all know what weddings are, how do we define corporate events?
It’s not all super yachts and company retreats, but your next epic gig could be one fresh perspective away from levelling up a work lunch with live music. If you really break down the term ‘corporate event’, it can include things like team-building days, networking conferences, end of year drinks, entertaining out of town clients… basically anything work related that has a social element.
So much room for activities!
Go and get 'em!
Now that you know exactly where you could slot in your turntables and liven up next week's networking drinks, don’t be afraid to get out there and do some research into the kinds of companies you could potentially play for. Event planners, or venues, even sound hire stores would be able to point you in the right direction. You don't need to go in and meet them in person, but just sending through a cheery email with your press kit and an idea for the kinds of gigs you could accomplish together could do the trick.
It’ll be Helen from reception who gets your email, and she’ll definitely want to have fun, so she’ll be sure to flag your details! What have you got to lose?
Hit up your maaaaaaaates weddings…
This is a real thing, weddings are the new band showcase. If you want a chance to play, and hit the local wedding singer scene, start with your inner circle and hone in on your mates who look like they're about to tie the knot. Best gig… sorry, *wedding I went to last year was where all our friends played, from the entrance song to the Rolling Stones tributes, to DJ sets all night long.
The best thing about helping your mates with their weddings is that they’ll tell all their soon to be married couple friends, and so on and so on… you’re set for the next five years.
Let them come to you
Besides your straight up magnetism, there are directories for stuff like this now, where people can literally put a location and genre into a booking app and be greeted with talented professionals like yourself. Holla to your mates at Muso App and let them take care of your profile, so that hirers can figure out exactly what they’re looking for and approach you. Yeah we know, sounds idyllic and simple. How do they find those directories and booking apps though?
Well it’s up to the companies themselves to spread the word, so our guys at Muso for example, have collaborations all over Australia with venues, hirers and other industry pro’s who spread the word for us. All you need to do is register and see where it leads you!
Diversify your sound and go with the flow
The first thing people will want to know before hiring you is, whether you can play a bit of everything… no pressure. You need to be able to drop the hits, backtrack to that one obscure Tom Waits song (which one?) then hit them with the gangnam style because how can they possibly still remember that?! Because that’s why they pay you the big bucks. Know your crowd before you put yourself in a situation, so that you can deliver the best experience for their aural pleasure, which may not be yours.
By all means, showcase your originals, but have an impressive repertoire of covers because people love to sing along, maybe run it by your mom, your grandpa, your mates, your favourite bartender and the guys at work if you’re a little corporate on the side of your music career. Or better yet, if you need any advice, we’re always here to help at Muso.
Have a gimmick
People love a good theme, and if you’re looking for a way to stand out amongst the talent, this is a great way to do it. If you know how to play any specialty instruments or have a banjo lying around, we’re thinking rustic country vibes or the saxophone and Bossa Nova to bring the Rio coastline in Australia. Creating a destination through music is how we escape to our own little worlds, even for a short time, so keep that in mind and think about how you can add to the slice of heaven that people are trying to create for their events.
Have an impressive corporate event based EPK to smash it out of the park
Your artist EPK is going to look quite different to your corporate and event EPK. While some bands like to separate the two with different band names and music offerings to stop the confusion between their niche performance genres and diverse event entertainment portfolios, it's a matter of preference based on what you’d like to offer.
While your artistic pics can be saved for your stage persona, your wedding and corporate shots need to show an honest representation of your music and how it will fit into a gig setting. Instead of artist closeups, focus on showcasing your live performances, so that your live energy can be captured for hirers.
Make sure to list all your relevant skills, genres and even obscure instruments just in case your hirer see’s something that will bring a unique element to their live event. Also, don’t forget to include what kinds of gigs you can play, past experience and any live filming of gigs played. Unlike your original music, in which you are trying to show the world your niche, in the corporate world, you are showing personality, relatability and your ability to be crowd favourites.
If you stick with all of this, you should be able to find your foot in the door quite quickly, shout out to your mates for making the first move and hiring you for their upcoming weddings! In the meantime, if you’d like to see what all the fuss is about with these online booking apps, Muso App is here to show you how to simplify your corporate and wedding bookings, and manage that alternating gig calendar. Go forth and prosper young entertainers!