Here are some things you can do to put yourself in that position. There are no hard and fast rules to this, but the following tips if applied with diligence, can help you network yourself into some performance opportunities.
MAKE BOLD CONTACT: This might sound rather bold and crazy, but life is built on taking chances and in this business, if you want to help yourself, you just gotta be willing to take a chance on the unimaginable. That said, one thing you can do is, select the particular established or popular artiste(s) you will like to open for. If you're not close to the artiste in question, and you don't know someone who knows someone, the next step is to contact the artiste's management.
Once you reach management, tell them you are interested in being considered for an opener or support act. Let them know you are very familiar with the artiste's works and why you think you would be a good addition to the show. Offer to send your EPK, your latest songs, and other relevant materials. You also need to realize that you won't be the only one trying to get the attention of the management, so you need to market yourself very well.
Before you go flying off the handle, you also need to realize that this approach does not necessarily guarantee immediate results, so you have to be determined and dogged. Keep in touch with your contact, update them on everything you're doing, send your new recordings, make sure they know about your online fan base and be sure to send any press review or mentions you get. Bottom line, be patient, for the result is totally worth the wait.
STALK THE SOCIAL NETWORKS: Wait! Did I just say stalk? Don't be alarmed. What I mean is, make sure you make it your business to know what's happening in the industry by following everybody that mattered on all the social networks. That way, you will be informed of events, sometimes even before the promo starts on radio or TV. For example, if you follow established artistes, their managers, show promoters, entertainment companies or publicists on twitter, they will always tweet about what is going on. Don't be afraid to ask for help and don't be too proud to famz. After all, you're the one who needs help right?
DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH MEDIA PEOPLE: The truth of the matter is that, relationship is everything in this industry. Do you know that some the media people who have helped in promoting your songs can also help you with performance opportunities? Don't just focus on getting airplays and interviews and walk away when your job is done. Build a relationship and don't be ashamed to ask for help. They can connect you with show promoters if they think your music is good enough. Even the online music promoters can help, so never underestimate anyone.
STOP FOCUSING ON THE MONEY: The truth is bitter, but you've got to realize that as an upcoming act, making money is a long term goal and not a short term one. Your major focus is getting noticed by the right people and getting your music and your face out there. It will take a while before you get paid shows and you might even have to pay your way into some gigs but you have to focus on the ultimate prize here, which is getting to perform as regularly as possible.
Last word, while selecting an artiste to open for, like I discussed in the first tip, you should select an artiste that is in your own genre of music, someone who is at least two steps ahead of you in the industry and if you are given a chance, please be wise and use the opportunity judiciously. This is not the end of this article, there's so much to talk about on this subject so please consider this just a beginning.