Hello and welcome to The Definitive Guide To Gigging: Part Two, If you have not read part one I would reccommend doing so, even if you believe you know what has been covered in part one it will help you understand this article more as it follows on.
Part Two: The Crowd
Okay, so you have the band. You have the songs and you now have successfully landed the gig! But you don't currently have your own support. On top of this most promoters will ask for you to bring a crowd to ensure your pay. I've heard of promoters asking for 30 people at 5 a head in order to pay the band 50. Another scheme is 1 per ticket sold. Either way, the usual way to get paid for a gig is to bring a fairly decent sized crowd, and it is not impossible; If anything, with a little bit of graft, it's easy.
An important note at this point, remember that there are two different types of promoter. One will promote your music, your gigs and so forth and the other will just book you for a night. Either way this is going to take some self promoting of a moderate level to pull off a successful night for all parties.
This is going to be in two parts. If you are following on from the last article then this paragraph and the next are for you.
Right, this is your first gig. The nerves are there but hopefully by this point, you have rehearsed to a point of perfection in regards to how all of the band are feeling, and this should make you guys feel a little bit less nervous. At the end of the day, every other band who are on the live circuit have been in the same position, the key to it is making sure you are double prepared for the gig just so everything goes peach.
First gigs are great angles in getting your crowd. Friends and family are guaranteed to come to your first gig with your band, especially if it's your very first gig overall. Family and friend support is what you need in a nerve wrecking situation like this to give you the added confidence you need. Even if they have to pay to come and see you, I am pretty sure that your Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Best Friend etc... Will come to your first performance and really help you on the night.
Back to normal
Without doubt, the best way to get people to be aware that you are playing is through the Social Network site's that I keep rabbiting on about. With technology, these days Music is much more accessible than ever and therefore your potential audience is bigger than ever before.
Myspace is really good for promoting gigs. First off, all Myspace Music pages have an awesome feature known as the Gig Calendar. It is located on your page and lets you put in the date, time, venue, price, address and any added information you nee and is then published on your Myspace for anyone to see and add to their personal Myspace. Also posting bulletins, changing your bands viewing name to *insert band name here*,*insert venue here*-*insert date here*, posting comment and also changing your status frequently reminding people of the gig each time.
Facebook I find to be the most efficient with their events system and although Myspace also have an events application, it is nowhere near as efficient as Facebook's. With Facebook you add the event name, a sub heading, date, time, price, venue, address, cost and any added info. You may then send the event on to everybody in your friends list attached with a message. Now I have 300 friends on Facebook so I've sent 300 invites with a message of 'please get down if you can, first gig and means a lot to us, forward the invitation on please!' and even if only 10 of my 300 friends forward them on to all there friends, say they have 100 each. That's another 1000 people who now are aware of your band. A lot of people will decline or say maybe, but you can always bother the ones who say yes to make sure they turn up and can have a rough idea how many people you have gotten to go just from Facebook alone.
Mailing Lists appear to be dying out but are still one of the best ways to let your fans know that you have an upcoming gig and also gives you the chance to add some more detail in about what's been happening with the band, upcoming events and releases and so forth. If you are just starting out, chances are you will not have a mailing list at all and if you do, there won't be very many people on it. Don't fret though, as it takes time to build up and once it is built up, it is a very good tool to have.
Other than the above electronic methods, you could do the old 'dog and bone' methods of each member going out into the Town centre handing out leaflets to everyone who passes by. I know people who have done this, and seen people drop there leaflets and actually picked it up and made them take it. This kind of hard work can pay off as well as every other method stated, just as I put it at the beginning of the sentence, it is hard work.
Asking around family is a great way of getting people to your gigs too, and they are also friendly supporters of your band and can give you the added confidence needed to heighten your performance. Family and friends are a really good way of getting a decent amount of your 'fans' to your gig who are actually there to support you and will cheer you on all the way; whether you are amazing or terrible, they'll support you till the end. By that time everyone will be pissed and you'll be getting tortured about the previous performance.
Let's put you in a scenario now.
You have a month until show time and you need to shift 30 tickets at 4 a head and you'll be paid 50 for your efforts in your half an hour slot. You guys are playing at 9pm on a Friday night in a pub in the centre of your local town. There are 5 of you in the band.
30 divided by 5 = 6
Therefore each member only needs to sell 6 tickets. If you are a relatively young band (16 - 25), the first place I would go is family. If every member in the band is in a relationship, bringing your partner should not be a problem. Therefore 5 tickets out of the 30 have been sold. If every band member bring there Mother and Father then another 10 tickets have been sold on top of the previous 5. 15 tickets are now gone. Every band member gets one friend to go and there are only 10 tickets remaining. If more family members are not buying post the bulletins on Myspace and get it known. Then arrange to meet the person you have sold the ticket to just before the gig in order to swap cash for ticket. You may sell 5 this way. Then sell 5 the Facebook way and you have been paid 50.
Okay so the above wasn't drastically realistic, but hopefully you can understand the point I am trying to get across. There are so many different ways that you can sell tickets, so many different methods and if you are in a band you have other members who can also sell using these methods. Pulling of 30 tickets to a local, weekends gig to family and friends in a band of 5 people, even 4 should not be too taxing. Just remember the most important part is determination.
Well this is the end of Part Two, I got a great response from Part One and hopefully if I get the same response from this I will continue writing columns until they lose the spark. Look out for Part Three: The Big Night soon.