Approaching a venue is one of the key steps in getting an event off the ground. Our process for this was as follows
- What requirements did we have for our space?
- Venue Research
- Approaching venues for costs and availability
As described in the developing the concept article, our initial plan was to host the event in a club space with the following requirements:
- Has to be able to host a DJ event with at least 250 people
- Has to have hire fees below £500
- Ideally able to open between 11pm-3am
- Ideally has wheelchair access
We made a google sheets table that looked like the following:
You can see some of the research in the above table but we are hoping we should be able to publish a much larger venue research document soon that has much more information about nearly all venues in Glasgow.
The resident advisor events listings are a good way to get a feel for what is out there. Other sites such as What’s on can also be useful. Otherwise it’s best to just go to as many events as you are able to! Keep an ear out for what's coming up especially if it's in a new or unusual venue - think bowling clubs, skate parks or swimming pools. Its good for finding out what can be possible.
We then began contacting venues to find out their availability. Our general email template for approaching the venues was as follows:
We’re just getting in touch to find out the availability and hire fees for a club night event (11pm-3am) at [Insert Venue Name] in the month of [insert].
We are particularly keen on Friday/Saturday availability - ideally 24th/25th June.
Our event GUTS, funded by a collaboration between the record label Numbers and the charity Youth Music, will be a forward-thinking and thoughtful event that aims to act as an educational tool for how events are assembled.
Let us know if there is any other information that you might need.
Heléna [H3L3NA] + Tom [Subcity Radio/Body Parts]
Be polite and most of all clear with what you are after. Venues receive a lot of emails so make it really clear how they can help you.
There is always some back and forth when working out with artists and venues on a date that suits everyone. It is also really common for venues to not get back right away - don’t be afraid to nudge if needed (but don’t harass).
Approaching venues can be difficult at first if you don’t have prior experience to demonstrate that your event will be successful. This is when venue research is important - some venues (especially cheaper ones) will have much lower requirements for renting the space than others and are great for getting some experience. It can be worth reaching out to other promoters that have put on similar events in a space that you would like to use and seeing who is the right person to talk to and what they expect of you.
Not all venues are born equal and everywhere will operate in a slightly different way. Some will include equipment and lighting/sound tech when you hire while others will expect you to source your own. Most (but sadly not all) venues will have a spec document that will list the available equipment, hire fees, venue layout. This can be a good way to establish communication with a venue by asking for this document.
As always this is not a definitive guide or a list of best practice guidelines. This is how we reached out and found our venue. Best of luck finding yours!