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Top 6 Venues to Play in Toronto if You're Trying to Break Into the Scene

Image via Wikimedia Commons

This article is about Toronto, Ontario, Canada, so please forgive me if an innocent "eh" falls out here and there, or a "u" happens to slip into words like "humour" or "colour." Anyway, Toronto and the surrounding municipalities have provided the world with many great artists. Recently, Toronto-born artists topped out three of the top four spots on the Billboard Hot 100. The Weeknd took spots one and three with his tracks "The Hills" and "Can't Feel My Face," respectively, while Drake's "Hotline Bling" took number four. The number-two spot was filled by nearby Stratford, Ontario's Justin Bieber and his song "What Do You Mean?" It's the first time in history the top four spots have been taken up by Canadian recording artists.

All of that is to say that in recent years, Toronto has become a hotbed for musical talent. Aspiring musicians come from around the country to try and hack it in the Big Smoke (as the city is known to anyone living outside of it). There are a plethora of venues across the city that have played host to some of the world's biggest musicians, but those can be a little difficult to crack into if you’re just starting out or your new band is still trying to find its footing. The good news, though, is that there a lot of decent venues where up-and-coming bands can cut their teeth around the city. Here are six in no particular order.

Nashville's Bluebird Cafe: How to Play There and What to Expect

Nashville's Bluebird Cafe may look small, but big things happen inside. (Image via flickr.com)

Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift were unknowns when they first performed at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. Now, they're superstars who both credit the club as the place where it all started for them.

In business since 1982, The Bluebird has arguably become one of Music City's most famous clubs and one of the most renowned listening rooms in the country. It's a place where connections are made, stars are born, and careers are catapulted. But most importantly, it's where the craft of songwriting is revered. The club has even taken its own turn in the spotlight as a primary location in movies and on TV, most recently in ABC's hit show Nashville.

5 Awesome Austin Venues Currently Booking DIY Bands for Summer 2015

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The "Live Music Capital of the World" is, unsurprisingly, home to a ton of incredible and often historic venues. But with that stellar reputation also comes exceptionally high demand, so last-minute booking in Austin can be quite difficult. If you're looking to play next week, for example, opportunities are a bit limited. There are, however, some great stages that still have openings for summer gigs. Here are five of our favorite Austin spots with nights to fill through August – and how to book 'em!

What No One Tells You About Booking Gigs in Austin

Image via prevueonline.net

By now, it's likely that you know Austin, TX, for its live music reputation, whether hosting SXSW or just a normal night filled with eclectic music venues. The city is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," and it's not hard to understand why. There are more than 250 live music venues – more per capita than anywhere else in the nation – supporting everything from rock and blues to country and jazz each and every night of the week.

With such a remarkable footprint in the music world, musicians from all over are gravitating toward Austin. But if there's so much live music, how do you stand out to get the gig? How do you make sure you're going to make the best of the market? We asked Tripler Pell of Peachy USA, an expert on the Austin music scene who's currently booking indie bands to play a summer series at Swan Dive, to dish on what up-and-coming bands really need to do to book shows in this music mecca.

8 Things You Didn't Know About Playing the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville

Image via bluebirdcafe.com

If you've ever been to Nashville (or even seen the show Nashville on ABC), chances are you've been to or heard of the famous Bluebird Cafe, since it's one of the world's most distinguished listening rooms around. It has a worldwide reputation for being not only a performance space for songwriters, but also a venue where chart-topping artists got their footing in the industry.

If you're a songwriter looking to get involved in the Nashville music scene, the Bluebird Cafe has probably been on your to-play list since you wrote your first melody. Now, Sonicbids has your chance to play the revered space, but before you jump over to submit your application, check out these eight facts you may not have known about the Bluebird! (Thanks to Sonicbids contributor and musician Blake Guthrie for the great insight.)