When you’re a young band just starting out, it can be hard to imagine breaking into the Toronto scene with any effectiveness. Basically every other person you meet in the city is an artist of some kind, and a good chunk of those are aspiring musicians. Talent seems to leak from the city’s sidewalk cracks and competition is steep. Add to that the abundance of different and diverse music scenes, and it can be hard to know where to even start.
Fortunately, we’ve gathered two local experts to pick their brains about how to successfully book gigs in Toronto. Matt Black is the booking manager at Coalition, a venue that caters to the heavier side of the city’s music scene. Coalition has only been around for a year or so, but it’s already gaining a really positive reputation around town – and it's no wonder, considering how long Matt has been putting on shows around Toronto. Craig Lasky is part owner and talent buyer at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern. He’s also part owner of Collective Concerts, which books shows at most of the city’s biggest venues, including The Drake, Opera House, Mod Club, Phoenix, Danforth Music Hall, Massey Hall, and occasionally the Air Canada Centre. This August will mark his second decade booking shows in Toronto.