How to Produce Local Music Shows in Dallas
While it may not have the notoriety of Austin when it comes to live music, Dallas is still a great place to see live music. As a fan of almost any genre of music, chances are pretty good you’ll be able to find a show at some point during any given week. But maybe you want to put on your own live, showcase, or even festival–here’s how to produce local music shows in Dallas.
As a musician, you may be used to contacting venues or booking agents to see when/or if you can take the stage. As someone producing local music shows in Dallas, the process is a little bit different. Not only do you need to seek out venues, but you’ll also need to find the talent to fill out the schedule.
The more venues you incorporate, the more acts you secure, and the longer the show, the more you’ll have to think about. Securing permits, insurance, licenses, and other legal matters are all part of putting together a live show when you act as the producer. You need to be able to protect the artists, the staff, the fans, and yourself.
How to Produce Local Music Shows in Dallas
When producing a live show, a lot depends on the kind of show you want to put on. Is this a showcase for a single artist or a three-day weekend affair jam-packed with wall-to-wall shows? That will go a long way in deciding what needs to be done before, during, and after the show.
Start by thinking about the music genres, styles, and artists you are passionate about and have knowledge of, and let that guide your choice. Or you may be approached by artists to help them put on a live music show beyond the usual Tuesday-night gig. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Dallas music scene–go to concerts, scout venues, and the audience you want to target.
Once you have a show in mind, start penciling out your budget. How much money you need to spend obviously depends on the scope of the event. Smaller, intimate shows may be more budget-friendly, while larger events require a higher financial investment. Make sure you budget for venue rental, equipment, personnel, promotion, and other essentials.
A big part of producing is securing the funds to pay for everything. Keep that in the back of your mind as you start to look at venues and the different acts you’ll be booking. You’ll need to have an idea of what the show will be before looking for investors.
Choosing Your Venue
Once you have an idea of how much money you have to work with, start looking at different venues that will work best for your live music show in Dallas. You can choose by size, notoriety, genre, sound systems, and dance floors–there are any number of things to look at when choosing a facility.
If it’s an outdoor show, consider the logistics of setting up stages, installing speakers, soundboards, and lights, and how you’ll get enough power to the location to make sure everyone has the juice they need. From there, consider facilities like parking, ticket booths, fencing or security gates, food and beverage options (if any), and restroom access.
How to Produce Local Music Shows in Dallas: Book the Talent
Reaching out to local artists in Dallas when producing a live music show involves effective communication, networking, and showcasing your event’s potential value to the artists. Identify artists in Dallas by attending other local music events and checking out online platforms like social media, music streaming services, and local music directories.
You can send a professional email or even call the artists or their representation to Introduce yourself, briefly explain your event and its concept, and express your interest in collaborating on the live music show in Dallas. Be clear about what you’re offering and what you expect from the artists.
Communicate the benefits of participating in your show, such as exposure to a new audience, potential payment or compensation, promotional opportunities, or networking possibilities. Include relevant event details like the date, time, venue, expected audience, and any other pertinent information. This helps artists evaluate their availability and interest in your show.
If you don’t receive a response after your initial outreach, make sure to send a follow-up note after a week or two. And make sure to give the artists plenty of time to decide–you should have your rosters of musicians set well before you announce the event itself.
When reaching out to local artists, it’s essential to demonstrate professionalism, respect, and the value your event can offer them. By showcasing your event’s unique appeal and demonstrating a genuine interest in their work, you’re more likely to engage local artists for your live music show in Dallas.
Permitting, Insurance, and other Legalities
When producing a live music show in Dallas, there are several legal documents and permits you may need to secure for a smooth and lawful event. The specific requirements can vary based on the nature and scale of the event, the venue, and local regulations. Obtain an event permit or special events permit from the City of Dallas or the relevant local government authorities.
Sign a formal agreement or contract with the venue(s) where the event will take place. This document should outline the terms, responsibilities, rental fees, and any specifics about the event space. Acquire liability insurance to protect against unforeseen incidents and to cover potential damages or accidents that might occur during the event. This may be in addition to any insurance the venue already has.
Prepare contracts with the performing artists that specify the terms of their performance, including payment, duration, technical requirements, and any additional arrangements. Depending on the size and sound amplification of your event, you might need a sound permit or amplified sound permit to ensure compliance with noise ordinances.
If you’re working with vendors for services like food, beverage, merchandise sales, or equipment rentals, have vendor agreements that outline terms, commissions, and responsibilities. Serving alcohol? Get the necessary alcohol permits and licenses from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) or other relevant authorities.
Consider having attendees sign a release of liability or waiver form to protect your event against any legal claims resulting from their participation. Prepare emergency plans and obtain relevant permits that address safety and emergency protocols, including fire safety, emergency exits, and medical aid.
Promoting a live music show in Dallas effectively involves a strategic approach that utilizes various marketing channels to reach potential attendees. Advertise the event through various channels—social media, local event listings, radio, flyers, and partnerships with local businesses or music-related outlets in Dallas.
Use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to create event pages, share engaging content, behind-the-scenes glimpses, artist announcements, and PPC advertising to target local music enthusiasts. List your event on popular local event websites, community forums, music-related apps, and entertainment guides in Dallas to reach a broader audience.
Once you have your artists, venues, and even some vendors lined up, they will more than likely help with promotion by posting on their own social platforms or websites. Partner with local influencers, music bloggers, or vloggers who have a following in the Dallas area. Their endorsements or coverage can significantly boost event visibility.
Deploy a street team to distribute flyers, posters, or handbills in high-traffic areas, music venues, coffee shops, record stores, and college campuses–legally of course. Collaborate with local radio stations, music-focused podcasts, and local publications in Dallas to run advertisements, interviews, or promotions related to your event.
Also, make it as easy as possible for your audience to actually acquire tickets. There are several online ticketing platforms to choose from, and venues may have their own systems as well. Make sure they all match up so you don’t overbook the event. Combining multiple marketing strategies and reaching out through diverse channels can help maximize the visibility and success of your live music show in Dallas.
How to Produce Local Music Shows: The Day of the Event
Today’s the day! You’ve spent months planning your live music show, now it’s time to wind it up and let it go. But, no matter how much you’ve prepared and no matter how organized you are, something is bound to go wrong. If you’re organized, however, these issues will be mere speedbumps on the road to a great event.
Ensure the venue is ready for the event: check that the stage, sound system, and lighting are set up properly and in working order. Conduct soundchecks and technical rehearsals to ensure the equipment is functioning well and that the sound and lighting levels are appropriate. Meet with all staff members–sound technicians, stage managers, security personnel, and so on–to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Coordinate with the artists or bands performing. Make sure they have what they need, such as any specific technical requirements, backstage facilities, and schedule information. Stress how important it is to stick to the planned schedule: keep track of set times for each act and ensure smooth transitions between performances.
Focus on the audience experience by making sure seating, if applicable, is arranged properly and that any amenities or facilities (restrooms, food and beverage stands) are easily accessible. Be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. Have contingency plans in place for technical failures, medical emergencies, or any other unexpected issues that may arise. With enough experience in producing live music shows in Dallas, all of this will become second nature.
Then let ‘er rip!
After the Show
Manage post-event responsibilities such as equipment breakdown, settling payments with performers and staff, and gathering feedback for future improvements. Keeping these considerations in mind will help ensure a successful and well-executed live music show. How did you handle those little issues during the show and what could be better for the next show?
Then it’s time to start producing your next show or event. Learn from past shows to make upcoming shows that much better. Experience is the only way to truly understand how all the moving parts work together to give the audience something they’ll never forget while ensuring the acts, roadies, crew members, and everyone else working behind the scenes can’t wait to do it all again.