How to Become a Rock Star in Cairo Part Four: Booking & Playing Gigs
Now that we’ve established how to pick and buy your instrument, where and how to hone your skills, jam and record a demo, this article will look at the places and venues that will give you a shot at playing a gig on their stage.
Playing live gives you the best opportunity for more exposure and finding your audience; there are venues that will give you a chance even if it’s your first gig, but with others you’ll have to have a few under your belt before they can lend you their stage.
So here are the venues that will give you a shot if they see potential in you:
The Tap Maadi and The Tap East are widely considered nightlife hotspots and hubs for rising artists and musicians, the latter offering one of the physically bigger stages across Cairo bars.
El Sawy Culturewheel in Zamalek may not be the coolest venue in town, but it has have given many underground bands and musicians their start, so it’s a must check out for anyone wanting to start their musical path, offering a big audience space.
In Garden City, ROOM Art Space and café don’t just offer courses on music, but they also offer a stage to showcase that music to people, and give you even more exposure since it has a very intimate setting.
A small and cosy venue in the heart of Zamalek, 3elbt Alwan gives a sense that you’re sitting in a living room – one with quirky antiques everywhere. It’s a great place to start your path and gives you an alternative crowd to play to.
Balcon lounge offers the potential of much more intimate performance thanks to its small size and is versatile in that it has hosted all different kinds of musicians and artists over the years – everything from acoustic to electronic and beyond.
Dry-nights aside, Cairo Jazz Club hosts artists and musicians every single night of the week. As one of Cairo’s most popular bars, they’re bookings comprise of both local and international artists, but they’ve never been afraid to take a shot on someone.
Event organiser, Nacelle, are responsible for some of the biggest parties in Egypt, with Funk N Pop having emerged as one of the most popular music events we’ve seen in some time. Though DJs rule in other parties like the annual SANDBOX and the perennial midweek B-Side, FNP has seen Nacelle book a wide variety of performers, ranging from the established, to the relative unknown.
Now that we’ve pointed you to the right direction, it’s up to you to take the steps you need to get on stage. Most of these venues will have a particular person who deals with bookings, so seek them out, have recorded material ready and don’t stop sending your music out there to see what sticks.