#1
I was wondering if there was some sort of general feeling that people had towards handing out CDs at other people's shows. We have a large amount of demos being pressed (1000) and have been handing them out to people we know, but are considering going to shows and just giving them out like candy to people on the way out of the door.

So a few questions, if you would please answer!

1) Musicians perspective - How would you feel about another band passing out CDs at your show (if they're not playing)

2) Audience perspective - How would you feel if you were given a CD by a person who didn't play the show? Would you listen to it?

3) What do you feel is the best way of getting your physical copies out there and circulated? (Keep in mind all local stores here have been eaten up by FYE and Best Buy...)

Thanks in advance
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#2
My guess would be about half of the people would actually listen to it. I'd say go for it.
#3
try playing at the show maybe

as long as the band is cool with you guys passing out cds at their shows i dont see a problem with it

if someone told me they were passing cds at a show im playing at i might even ask for one or maybe ask if they wanna play.it wouldnt hurt to have bands be more helpful for each other
Last edited by supersac at Apr 18, 2011,
#4
I've done it before, always after the show though. That way you can give them to the other bands playing that night too, and be like "awesome show guys, check out our music, we'll be playing a couple shows soon".

Definitely wouldn't interrupt their time on stage trying to give their fans demos, but afterwards is a more than adequate time.
#5
Quote by scguitarking927
I've done it before, always after the show though. That way you can give them to the other bands playing that night too, and be like "awesome show guys, check out our music, we'll be playing a couple shows soon".

Definitely wouldn't interrupt their time on stage trying to give their fans demos, but afterwards is a more than adequate time.


Pretty much this.

Use the large congregation of people to your advantage. But realize they are paying to see the show they are at.

Bottom line talk to people get the word out but don't be obnoxious.

If I was at a show and someone handed me a cd saying hey this is my band we're the same type of music as whoever just played. I would be like cool, and probably listen to it on the way home.


However, if the band was in the middle of a performance and I was digging it and you came up and tried to talk to me or give me something i would probably just ignore you.
#6
Pretty much every time I've had a CD handed to me it's been at the end of a show. Usually I'll give it a listen. What's more irritating, though, is just getting handed a leaflet or a sticker or something like that is just an annoyance, those usually go right in the trash.

If you're concerned about the band getting upset about it, you could clear it with them beforehand, and offer to let them do the same at your show or offer to put some of their demos on your merch table.
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#7
Quote by Elvendar
So a few questions, if you would please answer!

1) Musicians perspective - How would you feel about another band passing out CDs at your show (if they're not playing)

Depending on my mood and how you presented yourself and if you were outside or inside the venue would have an effect on my reaction. Pretty sure the venue proprietor would be more of a problem then other bands especially if you were inside. I have always been handed a flyer of other shows, swag for other acts when leaving shows. It is common practice to advertise other shows of like genre outside of venues at the end of shows.

Street teams handing out flyers/promo with dates of local band shows to people as they leave a concert of similar music is very acceptable, as long as it is outside.
Quote by Elvendar
2) Audience perspective - How would you feel if you were given a CD by a person who didn't play the show? Would you listen to it?

I would think great, another coaster to save my amp from beer bottle rings when I get home. I might give it a whirl in my car driving home since it has better sound than my home stereo.
Quote by Elvendar
3) What do you feel is the best way of getting your physical copies out there and circulated? (Keep in mind all local stores here have been eaten up by FYE and Best Buy...)

Handing out physical media is limited and expensive in today's data age. Starbucks Coffee shops around here hand out business cards with a promo code to download specific singles from iTunes for free which I actually do on a regular basis. Paper is a renewable, resource that is easily recyclable, CD plastic is land fill fodder.

Personally I would set up some kind of downloading or streaming website and plant business cards in retailers, food places and anywhere else that the proprietor would let me. They are also a lot easier to hand out and people will pocket them, I am not going to carry around a CD all night, it would hit the trash pretty quick if I am heading somewhere else before I go home. Flyers, especially 8 1/2" x 11" or A4 paper I toss immediately and even quicker if they are photocopies or black on coloured paper, they just look too cheap to be interesting.

Have these business cards say who/what you are and where to get samples of your music. If you want to do a little more, get them to register for updates of your shows/news on the same site so you develop a contact list. You can also link up to the whole social networking thing as well.
Last edited by Quintex at Apr 18, 2011,
#8
Quote by Dangertux
Pretty much this.

Use the large congregation of people to your advantage. But realize they are paying to see the show they are at.
.


+100


By going to shows and passing out demos and flyers your targeting people that you know for a fact will come out to a show and are apart of the local music scene. It's a much better strategy than putting flyers on cars or passing out demos on the street to random people that you may never get to come see you or even mutter your name again.

Just be sure your not infringing on the other bands time when you do it, again, do these things after the show.
#9
I wouldn't like this. It's our gig. We got off our asses and played a show for the purpose of getting our music out to people, and you're going to swoop in and capitalize on our work?

No, I wouldn't feel good about this at all, and I wouldn't have the audacity to ask another band if I could capitalize on their efforts either.

What I would do is try to get them to agree to putting a link to your band somewhere on their web space in return for you doing it for them. If we were on a bill with another band, we always did that, both in our news updates and in our show listings.

As a music consumer, I would feel pretty much the same way. Here I am going to see XXX band, and some joker from YYY band is trying to foist his CD on me? Huh? Already I'm a bit put off.

Add to that the fact that, being free, I have low expectations already. I mean, if it was actually worth something, it wouldn't be free, now would it? I might listen to it, but I probably wouldn't - if I even took one at all.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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#10
Quote by axemanchris
I wouldn't like this. It's our gig. We got off our asses and played a show for the purpose of getting our music out to people, and you're going to swoop in and capitalize on our work?

No, I wouldn't feel good about this at all, and I wouldn't have the audacity to ask another band if I could capitalize on their efforts either.

What I would do is try to get them to agree to putting a link to your band somewhere on their web space in return for you doing it for them. If we were on a bill with another band, we always did that, both in our news updates and in our show listings.

As a music consumer, I would feel pretty much the same way. Here I am going to see XXX band, and some joker from YYY band is trying to foist his CD on me? Huh? Already I'm a bit put off.

Add to that the fact that, being free, I have low expectations already. I mean, if it was actually worth something, it wouldn't be free, now would it? I might listen to it, but I probably wouldn't - if I even took one at all.

CT


Think of it this way though... You both can sponsor each other or at least maybe get a thing goin for you! And hey.. THEY could get famous one day. How would it look on you if you were known as that band that didn't help them when they were small? You'd look TERRIBLE to the public. Also, if you help them, and they get big and you're not (yet), if it was me, I'd work to get you famous because you helped me. AND if they don't get famous? You can still look good by saying "hey I tried to help these guys get famous the best I could" or something like that and you'll look pretty good to people.

On another note, it's not exactly capitalizing on your work. The people are LEAVING... Meaning you're gig has ended. What more do you want from them after that? I believe that it's fair game. I would still go up to the band people and say "Great job!" and that kind of thing. ITS NOT LIKE MOVIES where you're competing! Think about it this way.... They can go to your gig AND theirs. So, knowing me, I would set up a place for people to openly hand out demos and such. It's not like they HAVE to chose between you and them... They can easily download their songs AND yours as well man! But that's my take on it. We aren't competing for gigs (odds are, you're not goign to have a gig going the exact same day and time. If so, it's probably a coincidence, so I wouldn't sweat it. And I think if people look at my band and say "Hey look they are nice people, and not just another stuck up rock star", they would be more inclined to at least give our music a chance.

But that's just me. To each his own, I guess, but I had to put my 2 cents in here. :p
#11
Quote by Elvendar
I was wondering if there was some sort of general feeling that people had towards handing out CDs at other people's shows. We have a large amount of demos being pressed (1000) and have been handing them out to people we know, but are considering going to shows and just giving them out like candy to people on the way out of the door.

So a few questions, if you would please answer!

1) Musicians perspective - How would you feel about another band passing out CDs at your show (if they're not playing)

2) Audience perspective - How would you feel if you were given a CD by a person who didn't play the show? Would you listen to it?

3) What do you feel is the best way of getting your physical copies out there and circulated? (Keep in mind all local stores here have been eaten up by FYE and Best Buy...)

Thanks in advance


1) I wouldn't mind!! I'd probably set up a booth for them to do it at to :p
2) As long as the genre fits the gig, I would. If some blues person gave me a CD while I was at a metal/rock gig, I'd just kinda laugh it off because I like my metal and rock.
3) Physical copies? I agree with whoever said that It is land fill fodder. It's really better to try to set up a website.
#12
I'd be totally cool with it if I was playing, as long as i'd get one, and maybe ask them could I do the same at their shows. But I wholely agree that if I was handed a cd during the show, it would just go straight into the crowd behind me.
#13
I'd be pretty relaxed about another band doing it as long as I wasn't trying to sell/give away CDs at the show myself. It'd risk confusing people, or putting them off taking one of my own. However, if they asked in advance (and gave me a chance to listen to it first), I'd be happy to give their demo out with every CD someone bought from me - it's not doing any harm.

Check first - they can only say no. And I'd only do it with bands of a pretty similar genre, at a similar sort of size to you. If a band has booked a venue for themselves for the night, put the show on, and brought a lot of their own fans just to come and see them, they're a bit more entitled to get annoyed about you doing some self-promotion than if you're just in a bar and there's five different groups playing that night.


Add to that the fact that, being free, I have low expectations already. I mean, if it was actually worth something, it wouldn't be free, now would it? I might listen to it, but I probably wouldn't - if I even took one at all.


Chris - you tend to mention this in any thread where someone's considering giving music away for free. It's not without some validity - CDs that someone can afford to give away are unlikely to be as good as ones that cost $5 each to make - but do you refuse the ice water at restaurants because you'd rather pay $3 for a bottle of Evian? The quality of the water's the same, if you tasted both without knowing the price you'd probably say they had roughly the same value.

If something is free, and has no significant disposal cost/maintenance costs/etc, you can't really be in a *worse* position by taking it...
#14
Quote by Samzawadi

but do you refuse the ice water at restaurants because you'd rather pay $3 for a bottle of Evian? The quality of the water's the same, if you tasted both without knowing the price you'd probably say they had roughly the same value.


Except the expectations for water are different. You *expect* water to be free, unless it is bottled. For me, personally, people who pay for bottled water are suckers.

Don't worry, the irony is not lost on me that the same sentiments are expressed about music, but I don't share those sentiments.

I *expect* to pay for music - no matter who creates it.

Quote by Samzawadi

If something is free, and has no significant disposal cost/maintenance costs/etc, you can't really be in a *worse* position by taking it...


True. But let's say you saw an ad for "free furniture." What are your expectations? You don't have anything to lose by driving the 20 minutes it takes to get there to check it out, but chances are, your expectations are sufficiently low enough that you just don't bother.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#15
Chris has great points, but they're avoidable with some legwork that'll save you some money and get you some publicity, though I'd personally wait until you have an actual album or EP as opposed to just a demo that you don't expect much from.

Get a CD player/MP3 and some good quality headphones, and do like that Cake video before/after gigs. Go up to people before/after the show outside, let them listen to some of your more developed tunes, and if they like it, let them buy your music. This lets you get to talk to them on a personal level and will likely get them to get you a little bit of profit and exposure without having to waste all the money from handing out your discs for free and possibly pissing off random people who don't want to be pestered after shows.
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#16
This general difference of opinions could also be partly an age thing - someone in their 40's(?) with a family, regular job, fair level of disposable income etc. who has a vastly different set of motivations for and expectations of gigging/recording/making/listening to music is going to treat the idea of a free CD totally differently to a student or a schoolkid or some guy in his 20's working an entry-level job or signing on, especially depending on the genre - I'm imagining the ones famed for this kind of thing don't crossover with chris's gig-going habits much.

The Arctic Monkeys were all in their late teens when they started getting big and they'd been burning free CDs for fans since they started. I don't think younger people in general make anything like as big a connection between the monetary value of a CD and the expected quality as you make out. This has been my experience with peer groups from teens-->20's, anyway, YMMV.
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#17
Quote by Elvendar

1) Musicians perspective - I've seen this done many times before, and I'm always up for a new sound, so If I don't know the band, i'll check them out and then contact them if I like what I hear so we can try to organize a show together. I'm normally friendly with these situations

2) Audience perspective - I'd enjoy the free merch and I would listen to it. maybe they'll become a new favorite band of mine. And maybe the band couldn't play the show that night but was planned to. I'd feel a lil bad, so i'd take their cd and give it a listen

3) What do you feel is the best way of getting your physical copies out there and circulated? - Going into a mall and handing out copies to kids who look like they'd enjoy your music. this is where paying attention to fashion is actually a little key. lets say your band sounds like Parkway Drive and you see someone wearing their shirt, chances are they'd like your band. that was an example just off the top of my head. and other ways are like going to local shows, vfw shows and such and just handing out stuff. those are all things I've done before.

answered in bold
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#18
Quote by axemanchris
Except the expectations for water are different. You *expect* water to be free, unless it is bottled. For me, personally, people who pay for bottled water are suckers.


Once upon a time I watched a girl put a water purification tablet into a bottle of sparkling water. It exploded all over her and it was awesome.


Otherwise I agree with axemanchris, I've personally never listened to a "free" album in my life, unless it was one of my friend's bands and they gave me the cd. Even then, I'll still pay if I can because I'd like to support their music.
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#19
Quote by AlanHB
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CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#20
i know that personally, I'd accept any kind of free music/merchandise. flyers and pamphlets tho, not so much. but like stickers,cds, ect.
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#21
You could always do what NIN did: leave flash drives loaded with your music in places across the city (coffee shops, libraries, etc.). People took them home and checked out was on them. Then word spread that "Hey, there's a new Nine Inch Nails album coming out". By the time their album came out, it sold really well.
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#22
Quote by jwd724
You could always do what NIN did: leave flash drives loaded with your music in places across the city (coffee shops, libraries, etc.). People took them home and checked out was on them. Then word spread that "Hey, there's a new Nine Inch Nails album coming out". By the time their album came out, it sold really well.


I can't imagine many people would steal the flash drive and see its only music and then listen to it all.