Book a Gig

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How To Book a Gig at Smith’s

The main method of obtaining a booking at Smith’s is by emailing us at [email protected]. Please include links to your online assets (web site, social media, videos and recordings) and all other relevant info (please include a phone number). Besides email, you can call us or come in and have a chat, or if you really want to stand out, send a letter to Smith’s, 76 Alinga St, Canberra City, 2601.

We host mainly door deal shows and some ‘open mic’ style shows (see below).

For door deal shows, you want to be confident, and be able to convince us, that you have the ability to draw a good number of paying customers (min. entry $10) to your show. The capacity of Smith’s auditorium is 100 seated. Artists are welcome to have a reasonable guest list, but for sale tickets have to be reduced accordingly.

Touring bands should not book a show at another Canberra venue (incl. Queanbeyan) on their trip without first consulting with us. Failure to do so can result in cancellation without notice.

All shows should be scheduled with intermissions of roughly 10 minutes per hour (eg.a two hour show should be two sets with a 20 minute break).

Performers should arrive for sound check an hour before a show. Unless permission is granted prior, shows should finish on time (ie. last song ends five minutes before the time if an encore might be expected).

Youth Bands

We want to encourage young musicians and we’re really happy to provide a place for you to play. You are the future of the industry and we want you to hone your skills here. But… We are a licensed establishment and underaged patrons can not attend unless accompanied by their own parents or legal guardians, It can be quite stressful telling hopeful young kids they can’t come and watch their friends play. So please, work with us. If we book a gig for you, make sure your young friends know they can only come accompanied. Being underage can be as frustrating as fuck, but in a few short years you’ll all be adults. In the meantime, let’s have some fun, play some great gigs and let’s try to avoid us having those horrible conversations at the door.

About The Money

The standard deal at Smith’s is a door deal, 70/30 (post GST – see below) in the artist’s favour, with production, door service and on-line ticketing provided. For shows that don’t require a dedicated AV tech, an 80/20 split can apply.

Open Mic Shows

Some of our shows are ‘open mic’ in the sense that we are providing an opportunity for performers who can’t yet draw a crowd to play on a good stage for a listening audience. For soloists, we hold the famous Bang Beng Bing Bong Bung shows on some Tuesday evenings. We don’t pay performers in such instances and charge $5 entry. We also host occasional open mic shows for bands – the Band Beng Bing Bong Bung, where we sell up to 50 tickets for each band at $10 each and the bands keep 70% of the funds from those sales.

Ticketing/Pricing

Smith’s has its own ticketing system via our website and we insist that it be used. This is provided free to artists (we absorb the financial transaction fee) with no booking fee for customers.

Smith’s does not engage in manipulative marketing techniques like offering cheaper ‘early bird’ or on-line tickets. We do not hold back tickets for sale at the door. 

Tech/Staging Info

Our auditorium has a beautiful little stage, roughly 5x3 metres, with a nice p.a., lighting, projector and screen and an upright piano in situ. We also have a good drum kit and amps for bass and guitar available for use. Our main AV tech, Bevan Noble, is the best in the business. In the event Bevan is not available, we have a small stable of dedicated audio engineers to call on. At worst, the venue owner is a capable audio engineer and often does sound at open mic or spoken word style events.

Our p.a. is controlled by the 32 channel ipad operated Mackie DL32R. We have an extensive range of mics and DI’s sufficient for most situations. If you think your needs might exceed our capabilities, let us know and we’ll scrounge up what’s required.

We have a digital projector in situ with a screen mounted at the back of the stage. Inputs include HDMI, mac mini, lightning and USB-C.

Smith’s has 100+ sqr metres of outdoor seating area and we occasionally run outdoor gigs with a portable p.a. able to be brought in if required.

Front of House
2 x EV ETX12P Full range speakers (L+R)
1 X EV ETX10P (audience sidefill - required due to shape of the room)
1 x EV ETX15SP Subwoofer

Monitors
4 x PowerWorks ARTEMIS 10" Powered Monitors - 250W RMS
2 x Yamaha MSR400 12" Powered Speakers (drum monitors)

Backline

Bands, touring or otherwise, are welcome to use the backline. Assisting with setting it up and pulling it down is part of the deal.

The house drum kit consists of
- Sonor 22" kick drum plus two rack toms
- Variety of kick pedals
- Pearl floor tom
- Yamaha snare drum
Plus a range of cymbals and hihat and cymbal stands

There are three guitar amps:
- EB Fullerton 22  - a single 12" combo with a VALVETONE amplifier module - 22watts, hand made, all valve, point to point wiring – NOTE- Currently out of action sorry.
- Line 6 30w combo - a pretty decent backup amp
- Fender Acoustronic - primarily an acoustic amp, but it also has some effects and amp models

The bass amp is a vintage Roland SuperCube Bass 60, which we always run through the mixer for front of house.

Yamaha M5 piano, regularly tuned, on wheels.

And we have a variety of incidental instruments people might want to play in a pinch:

trumpet
piano accordion
double bass (no pick-up)
violins
ukuleles
bass ukulele
banjo
electric bass
electric guitar

POST GST, what does that mean?

In May ‘23, we changed our previous financial deal to a post GST 70/30 split. This means we'll extract the GST (1/11th of gross) before the split so artists will actually be receiving 70% of the net which translates to 63.63% of the gross. If artists are registered for GST, they should add the GST component on top of the artist fee. Please note that we still cover the cost of ticketing, which amounts to approximately 3% of on-line ticket sales, with no booking fee for customers either. For nearly eight years, we've been covering the GST from other revenue and our actual percentage of revenue from ticket sales, after GST and ticket fees, was closer to 18%.

We hope you think this arrangement is fair and reasonable.