Being able to draw in your local area is something to be proud of, as it is difficult in this industry to get recognition. However, if that is all you do, then you will go nowhere in the larger picture. The problem that I see with most bands is that they feel that since they can draw locally; they believe they will draw outside of the area. The other factor is that they feel that they deserve better shows outside their immediate area, but they haven’t even been to those areas.
Obviously the costs of touring can be extensive, and this isn’t something that should be overlooked. Wanting to play quality shows outside your immediate area is something a band should want as well. There in lies the ‘Catch-22’… You want and even feel you deserve to play better shows, but you need to show touring bands, booking agents, and promoters that you can draw.
If you ever look at the Facebook pages of the bands in your local area, that have not played many shows outside your area, they are usually around 1000 likes or less. The reason why? You are all being followed by the roughly 1500-2000 metalheads in your area (depending on the size of your area). If you want to break out of that curse, you must start playing in other locations. Even if you just take weekend trips to other cities to build on your fan base, this can start to push you past this local limit.
Booking Agents take 10-20% of the guarantee when they book a tour for their bands, and if you don’t have a resume of drawing outside your area, they have no need for you. It is like going into a job interview with no work experience. Going on the road also lets you know who in the band is really down for the long haul and brutality of being a touring musician.
If you want to succeed, you have to get the fuck outta town!