As a band or artist it’s hugely important to build up a local fan base, get a following, and get the name out. But once this is achieved, some artists may find it hard to branch out of their local area to become noticed nationally. It’s likely to be true that there are bands/artists out there with bags of potential and talent that are stuck in their local areas with no knowledge of how to get out. Here are a few DIY tips on how to get out there:
Do your research: look up different cities, the popular small venues and the promoters within. Once you have this information, there is knowledge of who to contact to get a gig. It is likely that if you are from another city that you won’t be offered the best slot of the night… Be patient with this, the promoter may not have heard of you, and may be sceptical about ticket sales so they’re giving you a fair chance, and hey… if you’re good, you’ll probably be invited back with a better slot. Promoters aren’t only useful for gaining a slot at one of their venues, but they also have a good contact list of the city of which they work. If you’re impressive, there’s no doubt that the promoter will spread the word and help you branch out around the area.
Make the most of the trip
When travelling to another city to play a show, make the most of the trip and get yourself heard more than once! Perhaps arrange another show (depending on promoter terms) but there are other avenues to go down other than booking a show at another venue… Play an acoustic set in a record store, busk in the city centre with some CD’s ready to hand out, be imaginative! It may also be useful to think about taking along some merchandise, such as CD’s, badges/stickers and t-shirts etc. This will look professional and make people in the city remember you whilst also making some money!
There are other ways to get your voice heard in the city you’re heading to, again linking back to Research, find all the local radio stations and contact about a possible interview or play of your song whilst you’re in the city. This is great promotion for your act, people become aware of whom you are and may even come down to your show, pleasing the promoter too! The harder you work and the more promotion made, the more the city will want you back after your show. Engage with the audience and make them excited about your music!
Strong social media presence
Get your act a strong online presence by existing on as many social media platforms as you can (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace Vine etc.) and show that you are excited to be playing the city you’re heading to. This will create a good image for your act as well as pleasing the promoter by pushing the show. If the promoter notices the effort put in to promoting the show, even if there is a low turn out they will consider you again. Be easy to work with – be polite, work hard and put in the effort! They will no doubt invite you back if so.
A strong social media presence will also give your new fans from the city a place to find you and keep updated. It keeps them interested, engaged and when you return they will probably be there. The bigger your online fan base, the bigger your act in popularity, so this will be hugely effective in continuing to branch out nationally. In this digital age its important to exist on as many online platforms as possible, if people are looking for your music or happen to come across you, they may tell their friends and help promote you further!
Be good! Be confident!
This may seem a little blunt and easier than it sounds, but the simple fact of the matter is you must be good. Be confident in your own material, if you feel it needs more time to nurture, stay in the practise room for a bit longer and then hit the other cities. Use your local town as a place to showcase yourself but at the same time a free practise to get honest criticism from people to help you improve. After all, if you’re not confident in your own material then who else will be? Wait until the right time; don’t show off your mistakes as sometimes you may have only one chance. When the time is right, contact the promoters and confirm your availability for as soon as possible. Get out there, show yourself off, and most importantly: have fun!
This article has been written by Jamie Ford from Music Gateway – Connecting music professionals globally through targeted project opportunities.