An independent band is ready to market themselves by touring after: putting a core band together, rehearsing new music, and recording music for a CD, or an EP. Selling products during a tour such as t-shirts, CD’s, stickers and other marketable products are essential for a band to do to fund the project.
Booking shows can be an impossible thing for an indie band to do if the band do not know the best way to grab a club promoter’s attention. Promoters and club owners generally book in advance, so it is imperative that a band contacts them months, maybe a year before touring.
Bands need to create flyers/postcards, and send them out constantly. Not just to different promoters, but repeatedly to the same promoters. Sending a flyer to the same promoter should be done every month or so to let them know you are serious about the opportunity, and to get them to remember your band.
A high quality color flyer does make a difference when promoting your band. Obviously, it receives more interest with solid content listed on the flyer.
1. Performance based photo
2. The genre of music your band plays
3. Contact information in bold
4. The band’s price range to do a show
5. A couple lines of reviews from media outlets who covered past shows
Besides clubs, colleges are another alternative venue for bands to play their music live.
The popular way to grab a college representative’s attention is by sending your flyer/postcard with a CD, and placing phones calls to the student activity director who handles live entertainment.
Sending your CD and press release to college radio stations and newspapers is also a good way to make your name known on various campuses. Getting early recognition could help your chances of the student activity director hearing about your band before you inquire about doing shows.
An alternative way to book shows at colleges is by performing at the National Association for Campus Activities Showcase.
Each February NACA hosts the National Convention which brings together artists, music agencies and university entertainment buyers. The National Convention allows college representatives to see live showcases and organize co-op buying with neighboring universities.
Bands such as Dave Matthews Band and O.A.R. have been success stories through the association.
Performing at the convention may be costly, but can be worth it in the long run for the band. In order to be on the showcase, a band must first become a member of the association. Several other costs come into play in order to buy a booth, register and then submit the band. An acceptance fee is also charged if your band is chosen to play.
Networking is key for indie bands even if they do not get chosen to play college shows at the conference. There are other businesses such as bar owners, entertainment venue promoters and organizations in attendance at the showcase.
Social networks can also be key to landing gigs for a band. My suggestion is to check out what venues are popular within the indie band world. Check other indie bands’ pages and see what venues they are playing at in certain cities.
Send them a message and ask about the promoter of a certain venue, or just utilize the print marketing that was previously mentioned.
Visit naca.org to view more information about the association and their fees.
Archive for February, 2010
You’ve brought together three or four of the best musicians in town, and they are jamming to your tunes. You have spent days and nights writing and rewriting lyrics, and you have been working hard to perfect your sound. Finally, after many months of practice, you are ready to reap the benefits of your hard work. But how do you begin?
As a new band, the idea of booking your first gig could prove to be a daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple steps, you can turn a seemingly overwhelming process into a productive one.
Making sure that the members of the band are all on the same page is an essential first step in the booking process. Agree on a number of gigs per month that everyone will play. Put together a set of your best songs and make a demo. Your demo should not include full-length songs; a few short snippets of your strongest material will showcase your band’s strengths and will sell your band to potential venues with little or no effort. With your demo, include a photo of the band, a short statement about the music or genre that the band plays, and your contact information, including the band’s website. Decide what venues you are interested in playing and how much you will charge them for playing, if anything. Getting these details out of the way early will establish good communication among the band members, thus avoiding misunderstandings in the future.
Next, do your research. Scope out the local scene; find out who your competition is, which bands play where, what venues cater to your particular sound, and who your target audience is. Talk to seasoned local acts; oftentimes, your fellow musicians will be your best sources of information. Getting to know your competition, your audience and your local scene will prove to be an indispensable tool when you are selling yourself to club owners and booking agents. Also, be open to anything. Limiting yourself to clubs and bars will hinder your chances of booking your band. Find out about open-mic nights in your area, offer to open for other bands for free and find out about local fairs and festivals where your band can get some exposure.
When you’re out and about checking out potential venues, ask for the names of the people responsible for booking bands at that location. Get their contact information and keep track. Use all of your contacts and, when calling them, be brief and to the point. Ask them if they have time to talk, and if not, when it would be a good time to contact them. Ask for permission before submitting your demo. Be persistent, but not pushy, and realize that it will take some time to get that job. Once you do get the gig, be sure to discuss payment, if any, as well as what you will need to bring as opposed to what the venue will provide. Be professional and be honest.
With determination, a little know-how, and some clever self-promotion, you could land that first gig and be on your way to success in no time.
Performing to a huge crowd, making them love and appreciate your music is not that easy. There are many choices, but you can always do something to expose them wisely and it is by means swapping your audience with other bands. First, you have to find an artist that you really like and can work well along with you and have to make sure that he or she is talented enough and has a great sense of charisma. Suggest to your artist that you will promote one of their gigs to your own list of markets. This is a very great strategy for it can save your time and effort and it will be your stepping stone.