We contract with the vendor to provide music that will satisfy their anticipated audience! We play acoustic rock. As such, we don't go after or seek out gigs and/or venues/events where our music wouldn't "fit". The vendor hires us, but a positive crowd response gets us a return invitation! This business model has worked for us for over 29 years!

In music contracts (signing to a label), music companies usually look for groups or artists who have established a following before the signing. That means you first do the work that once upon a time was the job of the label's marketing department. Today you have Spotify, Apple store, ... ... many ways to promote your own music. Still radio play requires labels for air time. Record companies are resigned to this new music formula an expect the artist to market, establish an identity and gain a following. So your audience is who you play and market to. They buy your goods, and CDs, they pay to see you. The venue is much like a record company, they look at the draw power (numbers) and figure out the sales of a packed house. They give you and your audience a safe place to enjoy and grow. So in the marketing scheme of relationships it is like peanut butter and jelly.  You can't have peanut butter and jelly by exclusion of one or the other. It is a symbiotic relationship.

As with other responses, I agree that neither are mutually exclusive. Ultimately the venue hires you in hopes that customers will come see you, whether they are following you to that gig or whether they have just come to appreciate the quality entertainment found at that venue. While that makes the venue your customer, the customers have to *like* you, so that makes the customer your customer as well, since if they don't, they won't come see you elsewhere and won't be back at that same venue the next time you play there.

I do like the idea of asking the venues if there is something they'd like you to "push" (drink or meal specials, etc). I imagine that doing so would certainly endear you to the management, as it shows that you understand that customers buying stuff is their bread and butter...or chicken and fish as it were

Jeff

We play at a local fine dining-on-one-side bar-on-the-other-side venue quite often.  Have played there almost 100 times.  No two evenings are the same.  We have it worked out with the bar manager, who also books the bands.  If there are business meetings going on and they are selling a lot of food in the restaurant and the bar is relatively quiet, we pull the volume way back,.   Some evenings, we pack the bar and it turns into a concert.  If we are the reason they came, we crank it up as loud as we need to to be heard, no more.  The folks over in the restaurant have to sort of suck it up at that point.  It is that happy medium we are going for.  Our Bose L1 M2 W/b2 IS THE PERFECT TOOL FOR THE JOB.  Cheers.

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