Hey there. Long-time lurker, first time poster.

I'm currently involved in an indie rock project based out of the A2-Detroit area of MI (http://myspace.com/youareme).

We recently got picked up by a production company who has guaranteed a year's worth of shows in both smaller venues (your typical bars) and larger, semi-arena size venues (stuff like St. Andrews, Royal Oak Music Theatre, etc.).

This is pretty nifty, but the unfortunate truth is that this is a band of musicians and not a band of salesmen. We do reasonably okay with our own crowd at our home base of Ann Arbor. However, we need to expand our fan base and incorporate more of our core demographic (that being the 17-26 female) into our draw.

On top of that, we are contractually obliged to deliver a set quota of tickets with each show, that way we aren't charged the insurance premiums for the larger venues.


Here's the question:

How do you get tangible return (i.e. cash in hand) on one's ticket sales when you only have two weeks to promote in a foreign market?

Or to put it simply:

How do you get strangers at a bar that you've never met to give you money for a band that they've never heard? All within the same visit.

Thanks for your help.
Beyond bribery?


VOLUME SWELLING OCTAVE MONGER σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

*chuckles* Yeah. There's that tricky "conscience" thing. Comes with not being a salesman.
Plus it kinda defeats the purpose.

Recruit a street team? You might have to transpose a few of your Ann Arbor fans at first to get it started.


VOLUME SWELLING OCTAVE MONGER σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

That is a thought, but then one must ask the question of "How does one form a street team that reaches the demographic?"

Our booking manager suggested a couple of methods, but being a rather tall and creepy looking 24 year old, it's a bit difficult to strike up a conversation with high-schoolers at bowling alleys.
well the most obvious one is promoting on myspace

then theres flyering, you could do that yourself, hand them out to people who look like they might be into you or even get existing fans to do it in return for free merch or tickets.

put posters up round town

contact local radio, theyre usually more than happy to give local gigs abit of a plug, they could even invite you on to perform or just have a little chat

make sure the gig listings are in local newspapers & magazines

it does kind of sound like a giant pay to play conspiracy to me though, an i ****ing hate pay to play and would avoid the arrangement like the plague
don't do these gigs. this is pay to play.

furthermore, there simply isn't a way to make people come to your gigs. you can promote the hell out of things, really try to get people to listen to your myspace and maybe go to the gig, but the return on this is minimal, sadly. ultimately, if you're playing out of town and you are a small band, you need to be playing with good promoters who have a reputation for putting on good gigs and who will put you on with other good bands who will draw a crowd. otherwise, you really will struggle to draw people.
my name is matt. you can call me that if you like.
Last edited by Gurgle!Argh! at May 8, 2008,
play at a few bars (local small venues) and sell the tickets there, if pple liked u they will buy and u can ask the buyers who like ur music to recommend u to friennds who will also buy
Interesting. Thanks for the opinions. Having seen the L.A. scene, this arrangement isn't nearly as bad as say...the Whiskey. ($1300 dollars to play one night with your house instruments and I only have THREE DAYS TO DO IT!?!) Plus it does get us in the larger houses (even if we don't fill them completely). We'll see what happens though.

We're currently in the process of 90% of those previous marketing suggestions. The return on radio ads is dwindling and I'm running out of favors to pull them in, so...