I have repeatedly posted this bulletin. If you think I don't know what I talking about. Then you don't know what you're talking about! Please use this Info, take it to heart. To be a working Musician this is the best advice you could ever get. This old hippie is just trying to get an important point across. To Print This: Would Do You Find: Post It At Your Band Practice Place!
1. - If you're band is playing a show, get there early and stay late to support all the bands on the bill. If you guys don't support each other, then how can you expect anyone else to? Don't sit in your van until it's time to play your set, then race out with your gear immediately after.
2. - If your band only draws 3 people paid on the door. Don't ask for a guest list. As much as we're in this for the right reasons. We still have to consider this is a business. Usually the sound person is paid off of the door split, so you can't think everyone can come in for free. The more people you want to come in for free, the more money that has to come out of the venue's pocket. When a venue consistently loses money on shows. The shows stop!
3. - Promote The Shows and get people out to see your band. It's difficult as a promoter to convince people to come out and listen to local original music. We're in a day and age where people are more content to listen to cover bands because it's music they know. The best person to promote your band is you, first and foremost. As a promoter, we push your music, we convince bars to allow you to play your music, and we get the bar to run drink specials to help bring in people. That's all we can do. The rest is up to you to spread the word, make some friends, and get a good crowd for yourself.
4. - You need to bring people out for your shows. Friends, family, people you don't even really like. It doesn't matter. There are very few places that allow original musicians to play. It's hard enough to convince a bar owner to allow original bands to play. The only way it can continue is to show the bar that it's working and the bands are bringing people out for it. All a bar owner sees is if this is making them money in order to stay in business. If they don't make money, then they close their doors, and another venue closes for good. This is their livelihood and the way they feed their family. If original music isn't working. They're not gonna continue it.
5. - If your band doesn't have a show scheduled one night, but a couple bands you know of are playing. Come out and support them! Bands need to come out when they're not playing and support other musicians who are playing. Bring copies of your band's CD, talk it up with the bands playing that night, trade shows with them, and just market your band in general to people who are there at the show. The guys in Local Demise have been really good about this lately. It's awesome to see a band who is trying that hard to build their fan base up.
6. - The scene can only exist if you create it. You can't go to a bar and just expect it to be packed with people eagerly awaiting to listen to new music. People are skeptical and chances are they already think you suck before you go on. So you gotta get up there and play and change their minds. Talk to them and pass out burned copies of your CD's for them to take with them. Get their email address from them and build up an email list to announce your shows. Not everyone is on myspace, although it's a great tool to use, not everyone checks their bulletins regularly.
7 - One of the biggest reasons people do enjoy local music is because they can get to know the band individually. They can attach themselves to this smaller band and make it their own. They know they can go to their shows, enjoy some drinks with them, and build up a relationship with them. That's what starts a scene and that's what needs to exist in order for original music to survive.
8. - Don't sit back and say "Why aren't people coming to our shows". Chances are people don't know who the hell you are. Spread the word. A 100 pack of CD-R's are cheap enough. Burn copies of them and pass them out. Even if it's only a 3 song sampler. Give a copy to the kid working the drive thru at Wendy's or pumping your gas at BP. Sure, everyone wants to press some legit CD's and look professional, but that costs money and then you need to sell them to make the money back. Then you're asking people to buy your CD when they don't even know you. If you hand them a simple burned copy, chances are they will throw it in their CD player in the car and check you out.
9. - Don't bitch about the set order! If you're given a show and it's the first time playing a venue, chances are that you will be an opener or a closer. Suck it up, play with a good attitude, and I guarantee you'll be invited back to play on a better spot or better show. Especially if you prove you can bring out some people. If your band brings 2 people with them, you can't expect to get the best spot on the lineup. Every promoter keeps track of this shit. We know who drew well on a show and who bitched and cried because they had to play first or last. This business is very much a "give and take" thing. If you can prove to a club that you're serious and you bring out people, we remember that and we make note of it. We have blacklists of bands who don't think this applies to them. And guess what, we all talk to each other. We have friends who promote for other venues and we share that info.
10. - Don't drop off of shows without an insanely good reason for doing so! If you have a cold, suck it up and play. Dropping on a show with most venues will almost guarantee you'll never play there again. Also. We all talk to each other. If a band drops on me or worse yet just doesn't show up for it. I'm spreading the word about them to several other venues and promoters in the area so they don't have the same thing happen to them. So, when you think you just bailed on a show and might have ticked off some "small time" promoter, you never know who they are affiliated with. Dropping off of one show could get you blacklisted from 5 other venues without even knowing it.
11. - Early, is on time! On time, is late! Be at the venue when you're supposed to be, ready to play!
My Little Words Of Advice: we work hard at this, just as you work hard at being a band and making music. There's no one person who works harder than anyone else involved in this scene. Everyone plays some type of crucial part. The kid who goes out and flyer's, the bands who create music, the promoters who pull it together, the venues who thankfully still allow this to go on. They're all equal. This doesn't work without everyone pulling together to make this something that people want to be a part of. If we're putting on great shows and spreading the word out to people who might not have an interest in listening to original music, it may change their minds.
As a musician for over 35yrs ever word was worth repeating. You younger cats get a grip on all of this stuff, like now. Your Band or or Name rides on knowing this stuff, and use all of it, ti's great advice so use it!