We’re a band, starting out, and we need help and advice on where we go next – getting more gigs, raising our profile etc?

If you’re in the early stages of your career, then there is certain amount of groundwork you’ll need to do yourself in raising the profile...

If you’re in the early stages of your career, then there is certain amount of groundwork you’ll need to do yourself in raising the profile of your band and your work. Getting more performance opportunities will help with profile raising – through support slots with other bands, or seeking out the names of smaller venues and promoters that support new music. You can speak to the Scottish Music Centre for some info on sourcing those contacts. Additionally if look at new music blogs and find out where bands are playing and who’s putting on new music, then get in touch with them….as well as sending out your music to blogs and to promoters, you should start to get some feedback. If you are unsure of where to start The Popcop has produced a handy listing of Scottish music blogs.

Musician and broadcaster Tom Robinson produces some really useful tips, contacts and advice on new bands taking their first steps into the industry via a website called Fresh on the Net.

The Scottish Music Centre also runs a couple of projects (supported by Creative Scotland) to help young and upcoming bands get into the music industry and prepare for all aspects of the life it brings. You should check out their Music Plus and Hit the Road projects.

Also BBC Introducing is a scheme which produces guides on starting out in music, and provides new artists with the opportunity to get their music heard by BBC producers and DJ’s and potentially get it played on the radio.

If you’re in need of developing better contacts and building awareness of the band then, in addition to the Scottish Music Centre, the Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO) do offer support/advice on developing your musical career – and they have specific specialists in music who might be worth speaking to. For more info go to the CEO website.

You should also touch base with Wide Days – an initiative we’ve funded to support young bands with their first steps into the industry. Additionally they run a series of ‘Off The Record’ and ‘Born To Be Wide’ events, which help those looking for more industry advice, networking opportunities and contacts – they regularly get key industry speakers along to present.  Alongside this the Scottish Music Industry Association keep a useful ‘Whats Happening’ section of their site which outlines key industry activity and events upcoming.

You should probably be aware of goNORTH – Scotland’s leading creative industries festival – which, amongst the many other things it does, acts as a platform for the music industry in the north of Scotland and holds a yearly showcase and free events programme.

One final contact for you (if you’re under 25) is a project called Music for Youth which supports performance opportunities for young people. They can also offer advice and connections to performance opportunities.