Here's Why You Never Get Booked as an Opening Act
This doesn't mean your music is bad; it just means your concert attendance draw from your fanbase is pretty nonexistent and your actual performance isn't money in the bank yet either. We've all been there, and it takes time to work the kinks out. The least you can do in this scenario is promote the show to everyone possible -- tell your friends, family, Uncles, Cousins, etc. The more bodies in the building during your set, the more memorable your act will be. Especially if the show is out of town, this is common sense -- we all have to crawl before we walk. You're not going to hit a totally brand new city like a lighting bolt, you just need to make sure your performance is as proper as it can be. This will be your calling card to come back and rock future shows in this city. The truth is, too many opening acts add absolutely nothing to the bill.
As a promoter, if I can't feel the impact you'll add to the bill, I seriously don't need you on the show. So many artists approach me and say "Hey you gotta put me on one of these shows." Well heres a secret -- you don't need me, you can hop on Google and find the venue's booking phone number, call the owner, email the owner, book the venue, call a graphic designer, pay for the flyer graphics, log onto Facebook, hit the streets and start promoting the show. I have always booked myself. If I accept a booking from someone else they need to pay me for my efforts, because without them I can book my own shows and score the money I think I'm worth for my time onstage.
For the love of God, I don't understand why more local artists don't do this. I don't own the Gramophone -- you can call them with ease and arrange a show. This is a business, so have your goals outlined in advance if you hope to be taken seriously. What are you bringing to the overall value of the show? Why does Jay-Z need Tef Poe as an opening act when his concerts will sell out regardless? If I am added to a show of this magnitude, the least I can do is promote it with class and attempt to draw more than 20-30 people. If I can't get on this bill as an opener that's fine because I'll book my own shows and continually expand my fanbase until my time to shine comes. If I am somehow selected to be an opener on a show of this magnitude then I need to bring everything I have to the table and leave the highest impression possible on the promoter and the audience.
Long story short, no one wants to book a part-time rapper as the opening act for an important concert. If you're committed to the craft it will show, and the right people will begin to take heed. If they don't notice then you need to be proactive and do it yourself.