live music gig calendar

7 Days of Live Music: How To Fill Out Your Gig Calendar

Kavina Kumar
Kavina Kumar

In celebration of the Rise of the Pub Gig; Muso’s biggest initiative yet, we thought it was the optimal time to chat about how you can fill your venue with live music, every day of the week.  

Through the Rise of the Pub Gig, we’re bringing 500 shows to 100 venues across Australia between mid-June to mid-August in the hopes of infusing our culture with epic local entertainment, because live music doesn’t need any days off.

Let us show you to get creative with your music schedule by giving diverse local musos a chance to play, breathe life into your quieter nights and maximise your venue’s offerings on its busiest nights. 

Something for everyone, every day – here we go! 

The Monday to Wednesday slot – a.k.a the “quiet nights”

Venues look at the start of the week and either start to panic because the silence is so deafening, or feel a major reprieve from the weekend shenanigans. What we see is plenty of room for activities, and a chance to bring out your many alter-egos. 

MONDAY:

Sure, some venues consider Monday the designated “hospo night off”, but there’s no written rule for when you can host live music. Where some see lights out, you could see an opportunity to pick up the slack and put on some music for the hospo and weekend workers who look forward to a start-of-the-week party.

Thought characteristically quiet, Mondays are an opportunity to experiment with live music before implementing it on your busier nights. The stakes are low because you’re already quiet, and it’ll help you find your feet if you’re new to throwing live events. 

First-timer gigs

  • Everyone has to start somewhere, and you could be the venue that eases them into the scene by giving new artists their first chance to perform. Worst case, you’re a rehearsal space for the new Beatles, best case, you make heaps of new friends and start the hottest showcase this side of town. 
  • New acts won’t have a large following yet so they will bring in a lot of their friends and family.
  • Team up with new event promoters and let them schedule your Monday entertainment

Bartending and hospo events 

  • Bartending competitions and mix-offs
  • Hosting different venues mixologists
  • A house tasting from your liquor and brewery distributors
  • Hospo worker specials

All of these things need music, how convenient.  

Anything goes 

  • Boardgames and bands
  • Open-to-the-public mic & DJ night
  • Live music trivia

TUESDAY:

We’ve made it through the wire – a.k.a Monday, and now we’ve reached the awkward part of the week. It’s day 2, or the beginning of pt.2. We’re starting to recover from the weekend, and we may feel like we deserve a night off from cooking. 

Tuesdays are a hive of specials, and what nights like “Taco Tuesday” have proven to us is that people love a good theme, especially when paired with a good deal. 

Themed Events

  • Team up your taco Tuesday with a full-blown salsa night 
  • Consult the hospo calendar for inspo – World Daiquiri Day, or French Fry Day are food and beverage offerings just waiting to be paired with live music.  
  • Charity-themed events where proceeds towards supporting a cause
  • DJ-education night: Taking the audience on a journey through themed sets from different decades, movie genres, or moods. 

WEDNESDAY – HUMP DAY:

The party is officially ON. Wednesdays bring hope! Half the week is gone, and half the glass is looking pretty full now! Out-of-town gigs and locals with a larger following are keen for a Wednesday night slot, and musicians from all over town are keen to fill their weeknight spots, or go and see their mates play.  

Turn up the volume, and the energy put the spotlight on local music

  • Out-of-town bands 
  • Music comps like a battle of the bands
  • A “resident artists and friends” night
  • Get a DJ mix-off going where DJs share the decks the whole night
  • Start an open-mic
  • Poetry and lyric slams
  • Acoustic night where bands bust out the grass-roots version of their tunes
  • Karaoke 
  • Donate proceeds to music funds
  • Sell band merch or highlight a specific artist for the night

The Thursday to Sunday gig slot – a.k.a “go time!” 

Filling up your gig roster at the start of the week is honestly the hardest part of hosting live music because it can be daunting to compete with a quiet room or an empty one. But the end of the week comes with its own set of challenges, like knowing when to pull back and when to go in, all bands blazing! 

If you’ve made it this far then congratulations! The weekend is a guaranteed winner for gigs because everyone is itching to get out and socialise, so it takes very little coercion. 

There are a few things to consider for your busiest timeslots:

  • Make sure the music complements your offering. There’s no point delivering a sophisticated 7-course meal alongside a banging full band set when jazz would set a nice groove and give guests the space to interact. 
  • Likewise, consider any special occasions being hosted at your venue over the weekend so music tastes aren’t clashing.
  •  Building up your energy from cocktail hour to peak time. 

*Pro-tip: There’s no need to overdo it because the general excitement from the room will lend a lot to your venue’s ambiance. Keep your volume in check, add more bass and volume gradually throughout the evening, as you dim the lights, etc.  

THURSDAY:

Thursdays are a great night to get more hands-on and encourage audience participation. Mates are coming together for pre-weekend celebrations, trivia, and games nights are in full swing, and your people are feeling rejuvenated and curious.  

Time to get adventurous by adding something extra

  • Jazz night 
  • Big band
  • Genre-dedicated evenings
  • Music from different nations e.g. K-pop, Bollywood
  • Local dance troupe showcases
  • Dinner and live entertainment pairings
  • Roving singers and performers 

LET’S DANCE a.k.a throw a party with dancing

Why do dance classes get to see all the fun when you have a dancefloor of your own for your audience to get some IRL practise on? 

All you need is an instructor, and a band or DJ to provide the backing tracks, and you’re off! This is a great time to record some content at your venue. 

Most people feel too intimidated to take on a dance class, this way they get some liquid courage, can take in the tutorial, and find some camaraderie with other beginners who aren’t taking themselves too seriously. And think about all the epic music! 

Ps. All costumes and cowboy boots should be encouraged. 

  • Line-dancing and square-dancing
  • Bellydancing 
  • Ballroom
  • African dance
  • Disco
  • Classic pop
  • Salsa
  • Swing
  • Bollywood
  • Hip-hop
  • Old-school funk
  • Bounce 
  • Zydeco

Name a style, and tell me it won’t work. No moshing though. Just no. Unless it’s a yes. 

FRIDAY:

Everyone is clocking off and letting out a big sigh of relief that they made it through the week. The first place they’re headed is to their local for a knock-off. 

Fridays start around 4 pm, as the work crew starts heading in, and depending on the vibe of the venue, can turn into one drink that lasts all night long. For that reason, some venues go crazier on a Friday than they do on a Saturday because school is out and the people have no place they need to be! 

This is a prime opportunity for restaurants to entice patrons to come in for cocktails, stick around after dinner service, then transform the restaurant into an after-hours dance party. 

All things knock-off, and a stellar lineup 

  • A full DJ roster, building up from 4 pm cocktail hour and deep house music to a full-on rave.
  • A lineup of the best bands in town and your most beloved and trusted music residents to ring in the weekend. 

Game on.

SATURDAY:

The biggest night of your week and your time to shine. 

Depending on whether your venue is a cocktail lounge, dinner venue, or relaxed-style pub, Saturdays could look a little different for everyone. There is a more diverse group to cater to, from families to events held for special occasions, and for most venues, everyone is here for the long haul.

The big one

  • Everything we discussed, but with the most EXTRA pizzazz. This one’s up to you. From a consistent and steady stream of live music throughout the evening;
  • entertainers and dancers; 
  • to an extra special out-of-town performer

Special occasions

  • DJs & musicians may cater to different tastes from parties attending on the night. 
  • The special-request hotline may be open for one night only.
  • Commercial and nostalgic music to cater to a wide age group.

SUNDAY:

Sundays are all about making it through to the end of the weekend and making it through with enthusiasm. Adding a wholesome spin to a ratchet weekend, and the subtle art of keeping the party going while slowly winding down… OR NOT.  

Sunday is a great day to experiment with day parties, by offering people a chance to enjoy their time in the sun while giving them the excuse to come and chill at your venue.

The art of the Sunday session:

The vibe is optimism, vitamins C & D, and mood-lifting beats, so get ready to deliver. 

  • Sunday Brunches
  • Afternoon tastings
  • Courtyard BBQs and beats
  • Acoustic acts
  • DJ’s and instrument accompanists e.g. Sax and Wax Sundays
  • Day parties
  • Sunset sounds

And there you have it, 7 Days of non-stop live music events. Next up, 100 gigs, to infinity and beyond. 

 

Joining the next generation of venues taking local music to the forefront of Australia’s entertainment scene? Check out our Complete Live Music Rundown for Venues to help you get started. 

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