For decades, San Francisco bands have catered to the full range of musical tastes across the City by the Bay, playing in clubs, big concert halls and stadiums, and intimate dive bars.
It’s a thrilling, intense, and creative scene encompassing everything from local acts to global names every night of the week. If you’re hunting for the next big thing in music to play at your next event, it’s easier than you might think. Below are some suggestions for finding the hottest San Francisco bands.
Get to know the local music scene online, and make the most of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Most bands in San Francisco have a social media presence, or you can also follow venues and bars to stay up to to date on the music scene. You could also post a call-out via social media asking if anyone has recently heard a great band play in the city that’s available to book.
Alternatively, there are plenty of blogs, like SFCritic, that review live shows and document the local music scene, attending scores of gigs so you don’t have to, and featuring band interviews and song downloads.
You can typically use social media to contact San Francisco bands and musicians, or search for their official website, where they’ll usually list out booking details.
Read All About It
In addition to blogs and social media, there are many websites and magazines devoted to San Francisco bands and music, from the SF Weekly to the Bay Bridged, a leading source of information for the city’s indie music vibes. Use these sources to learn more about local bands before you make your decision, and also check online to listen to samples of their music. Remember – the music can make or break your event, so you want to make sure it’s a good fit!
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! While listening to downloads or streamed songs online are a good way to eliminate bands you won’t want to hire, there’s no substitute for seeing your candidates in action. Go check out as many bands in the city as you can; that way, you are effectively auditioning them before approaching them.
To book bands directly, try a classified listing website, such as the Craigslist page for the Bay Area, or a city guide like SF Station, which has been around for 18 years and carries extensive listings and reviews. The city’s version of Gig Masters also carries details of bands for hire, with specific sections dedicated to jazz and wedding bands. The website Back Page is another excellent place to find advertisements from local musicians available to play at events.
Finally, try to meet the performers in person, if you can. Have all your questions ready for all the San Francisco bands you are trying out, from what drinks and food they expect to be included in the deal, how song requests will be handled, and how long they will play. Once you have the details you need, planning your event and entertaining your guests with great live music will be a breeze!
Photo by jan hobbel