Over 300 gigging musicians came out on a hot, sunny afternoon on Saturday, July 19, at the University of Toronto for the “How to Get Gigs that Pay Real Money” seminar, which was presented by Canadian Musician (CM) and sponsored by GigSalad. The three-hour panel discussion and Q&A saw CM publisher Jim Norris moderate a panel that included GigSalad founder Mark Steiner, corporate event planner Roni Feldman (Roni Feldman & Associates), and Mia and Benjamin Hackett of the duo Azalea.
The focus of the discussion was about performing musicians thinking beyond the typical, low-paying pub gig and thinking outside the box about unique opportunities that often pay better but get ignored by musicians. One example came from Mia and Benjamin of Azalea, who gave an anecdote about a gentleman who found them through GigSalad and paid them very good money to play one song in a private setting while he proposed to his girlfriend. The duo of Azalea also talked about the importance of visual presentation, even when busking, saying that when they began busking, just in jeans and t-shirts, they didn’t attract very much attention or money, but when they began presenting a distinct, coordinated look with their attire that meshed with their music, they began attracting crowds and making much more money than they thought possible by busking.