Ok so you booked a gig. Now what? Well you get to play your music of course! But that's just half of the gig. Yes that's just half of the gig.
It's important to give yourself ample time to set up your equipment for the gig. The venue may have a sound system which could cut set up time in half. But what if the sound system is something you have never used before? What if the system kinda sucks and you prefer to set up your own? What if this is the first time you have played this venue and you don't even know where to set up?
Look, anything can happen so you need to be ready for anything! First and foremost, I always allow myself an hour before show time to work out any issues. The hard truth is that most musicians are lazy. In my experience anyway. Not my current band of talented mofos but other bands I have seen and some people in my older bands. When you show up an hour before you are telling the venue you care. You are telling the audience you care. You are telling yourself you care.
Go in the venue and introduce yourself to every staff member you can. Ask questions about set up. They will direct you to the person who knows the most and is in charge, They want to help you because essentially you are helping them. It's a give and take scenario. More give though. Im serious. Give them your attention, show empathy if there seems to be a situation not so ideal for you. (Like no bar tab, no tip jar allowed, etc). Trust me, showing up an hour early means you get to work out the kinks, and guess what? You are set up early now and you have time to grab a drink or even a quick bite to eat. Remember, you booked this gig and you want to make sure there is another gig in your future. Show them who you are. A professional.