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Local Band Booking FAQ

How can we play a local showcase at the National?

Step one is letting us know more about you and/or your band. The only way to do that is by filling out the forms here. Even if you have sent us information in the past or have played at The National hundreds of times, you now must resubmit your info.

How do we know when dates are available for showcases?

We typically will post open dates on our Facebook Page that is made just for local bands. Be sure to “like” us in order to be up to date on any openings that may come up. The link is http://facebook.com/nationallocalbands.

What if we just want to open a local showcase but not headline?

Local headliners are typically given first choice of who they would prefer to open the show. If they do not have any suggestions then, once again, we will go to the National Local Bands FB page and our Twitter to send out a blast.

Do we have to pay to play?

NO. We have never and will never require local bands to pay us in order to play. This is a common misconception and is simply not true.

However, The National is much larger than most venues that host local bands. Due to this, there are significant overhead costs incurred just by us simply having the building open and staffed. There is no built in revenue like a typical bar would have. For example, no one decides “Hey, let’s go hang out at The National tonight and get some drinks” in the same way they would do so at a local bar.

The bands are the driving force behind people choosing to come to the venue. So while we do not ask anyone to pay to play, we do ask local bands to pre-sell tickets. This ensures that we will cover enough of the costs to simply break even that night. It also ensures there will be people there to see you, because what’s the point of playing if no one is there to hear you, right?

Tickets for local shows are sold for $10 each. We strongly suggest local bands who are headlining to pre-sell 80 tickets and 40 tickets for each opening band. Once your band has confirmed to play you will need to come by the National to pick up your tickets to sell. We will print out a batch that is loaned to you for pre-sale. You do not have to pay us for these tickets. When the day of the show arrives, you will turn in any tickets you have not sold and $$ from the tickets you have sold to The National Box Office.

To repeat - you do NOT have to pay to play at The National. However, we are trusting that if you are agreeing to play a show at our venue that you are confident you will be able to bring in enough people to make the show worth our time as well as yours. If you cannot do this then we encourage you to keep playing around the area, build up your fanbase, and then when you are ready get back in touch with us. 

Do we get paid?

Headliners will receive $1 per ticket sold starting at ticket #1 – #100. Tickets #101 and up will earn $2 each.

Openers will receive $1 per ticket once they have sold 40 tickets. They will receive credit for the first 40 tickets sold at that point. So for example, if only 39 tickets are sold then no money will be made, but if 41 tickets are sold then $41 will be made.

How can we open up for a national touring act?

Local support is only added to national touring acts when it is requested by the artist themselves. We cannot submit local bands for approval unless it is first requested by the artists management. When the artist does request local support we look at past performances at our local showcases when deciding who to select. In other words, if you want to open for a national touring act, one of the first steps is playing a local showcase and proving you've got what it takes. We reward hard working bands whenever we have the opprotunity to do so.

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