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Monday, April 15, 2024

How you can fill the venue each time

Would you like your subsequent live performance to be a sell-out occasion?

In “The important thing to reserving higher gigs” I mentioned three of one of the best methods to show each present into a hit:

  1. Don’t play too usually in any given city
  2. Select smaller venues which you can simply fill
  3. Make every gig particular (album launch present, tour kickoff, and so on.)

However these are all high-level choices. There’s obtained to be extra to the components, proper? Certainly.

On this article I’ll talk about particular steps for efficient live performance promotion. 

You received’t should do ‘em all for each single present, after all. However the extra objects you may verify off this listing, the higher your probabilities of promoting out the venue. 

Begin early! 

The sooner you may ebook a present, the extra time it’s important to create curiosity within the occasion and work in your stage manufacturing. 

Some gigs come up last-minute. However these ought to be the exception to the rule. 

Attempt to ebook your reveals anyplace from 3 to 12 months prematurely

Status venues, music festivals, and high-demand home live performance collection could also be reserving even additional out than that.

Curate an ideal lineup

If you happen to can’t sell-out the present by yourself, group up! 

Discover one or two different acts with a dependable draw in that city. Work collectively. If you happen to’re reserving a tour by means of THEIR hometown, return the favor with a gig-swap once they journey by means of yours. 

Be sure you coordinate your plans for promotion with the opposite acts on the invoice. No want for 3 bands to work individually when you may pool your efforts and price range. 

Select the best ticket worth (and time)

You wish to revenue from the present, however not cost a lot that you simply don’t fill the venue. It’s a balancing act, and there’s some trial and error, for positive.

However lean on the venue or promoter’s experience should you’re uncertain of the best worth. They’ll have a protracted historical past of comparable reveals to attract on.

Additionally ask for his or her suggestion relating to issues like: ticketed occasion versus door-charge, assigned seats versus basic admission, early present versus late present.

Selecting the best begin time is essential. Match the hours to your viewers and the night time of the week. 9pm on Friday may be very completely different from 9pm on Monday. For an older viewers, 4:30pm on Sunday afternoon may sound supreme. For a crowd of their early 20s, that very same time is perhaps a non-starter.

Additionally, contemplate competing occasions as properly. I as soon as performed a gig on the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco the place our begin time was proper across the ultimate couple of minutes of the Tremendous Bowl. Fortunately the venue wasn’t empty. Nevertheless it was removed from sold-out. If the beginning time had been simply an hour later, it could’ve made a distinction.

Get enterprise buy-in

The enterprise that you simply wish to see most invested in your present is the venue, after all. 

So talk about with the promoter, the talent-buyer, or the venue administration what they plan to do to make the night time a hit. What precisely are they operating for promo (advertisements, posters, and so on)? Who pays for what?  

By getting detailed data, you’ll know the way your efforts can complement each other, or plug holes. 

Then ask your self: Are there different companies or charities that may make investments on this present? An outdoor sponsor who can cowl a few of the prices and promote the occasion to their clients, in trade for some branding, schooling, or product placement in the course of the present?

Prioritize superb design

Your occasion has to LOOK cool. Upfront. 

You need individuals — once they attend the present — to really feel cool by affiliation

So make sure that your live performance posters, related social posts, Fb Occasion Web page banner, and different net property all have a putting visible attraction. 

You are able to do loads lately with Canva and AI design instruments, however should you want a professional designer, allocate some promo price range. It’ll be well worth the expense. 

Replace every little thing!

Make an inventory of all of the locations that want fast edits or bulletins, together with:

  • Your live performance calendar
  • Bandsintown
  • SongKick
  • ReverbNation profile
  • A Fb occasion
  • YouTube Playing cards (should you’re within the YouTube Associate Program)
  • Information-bars or popups in your web site
  • And extra

Now go and add the related data about your present!

Don’t neglect your e-mail listing both. Phase the listing based mostly on geography, and ship an e-mail to individuals in that city.

Put up posters

IRL posters are nonetheless vital. 

If you happen to’re enjoying a unique city, mail them on to the venue, native document shops, and every other related place for public show, reminiscent of libraries, instrument shops, bookstores, espresso retailers, and so on. (name or e-mail beforehand). 

Or if an area band is opening, coordinate with them to hold posters. If you happen to’re enjoying your individual hometown, grasp ‘em up your self!

Tease the thriller

Will you could have a particular shock visitor? Get individuals guessing, however don’t reveal the reply.

Will you debut a particular music? Share a snippet from apply that sounds acquainted, however not a useless giveaway. 

Are you engaged on an fascinating stage design, props, or costumes? Present some behind-the-scenes moments the place these parts are simply beginning to come collectively, however aren’t fairly prepared for showtime. 

Plant the seeds of curiosity.

Create devoted merch

Inform your followers there will likely be a particular merch merchandise that can ONLY be acquired in the event that they attend the present. 

You would promote it on the merch desk. You would give it away on the door. Or you may embody it as a part of a particular ticket package deal. 

The purpose is to create a way of urgency and commemoration. 

Make ticketing EASY! 

You usually received’t have a selection about how ticketing works, which platforms are used, and so on. A number of that’s left to the venue’s current processes. 

However wherever you may, you need as few clicks as attainable between your promo efforts and the ultimate buy.

Don’t ship somebody from an Instagram photograph to your web site’s live performance calendar to a venue website to a ticketing web page to checkout, when you may most likely take away a number of of these steps. 

Run digital advertisements

When you have an ideal piece of social content material (efficiency movies work properly), run it as an advert to individuals who reside inside driving distance to the venue. 

Use the caption to deal with the precise city and get them excited to your present. 

Get retargeting data

Is it attainable to amass retargeting knowledge or buyer contact data from the ticketing platform or venue? 

That is one other merchandise that may usually be out of your management, however you probably have adequate leverage, it is perhaps attainable to work with the venue or ticketing service to coordinate your on-line advertising efforts to allow issues like:

  • Cart abandonment messages to follow-up with anybody who virtually bought a ticket
  • Bonus gives to current ticketholders (low cost code to convey a pal, and so on.)

Contemplate non-musical collabs

The invoice you set collectively doesn’t at all times have to incorporate different musicians. 

If for no matter motive you suppose it’d work higher to companion with a comic, a short-film premiere, a storyteller, a dance troupe… get artistic with the lineup!

Host a contest

If followers suppose they is perhaps acknowledged ultimately in the course of the occasion, there’s further incentive to attend. 

This may very well be a contest operating AT the occasion: Finest costume? Shoot a fan testimonial video on the door and we’ll choose our favourite for a prize? 

Or one thing you run prematurely of the present: Submit alternate lyrics to certainly one of our songs and we’ll sing our favourite entry? Write your dream setlist and we’ll play our favourite? 

Alert the native press

Cowl your PR bases! 

Inform the native music critics and bloggers about your present, why it’s gonna be superb, and that you simply’re glad to supply anything they want. 

Together with interviews, comped tickets, and so on. 

Additionally, don’t neglect chamber of commerce, native newspapers, neighborhood zines, and extra.

Put up natural social content material

It may be a balancing act for touring musicians to create content material that feels related to native audiences with out ostracising the bigger fanbase. 

However on condition that TikTok and Instagram are actually so algorithmically pushed, chances are you’ll contemplate creating geo-tagged content material, as that sort of stuff typically will get surfaced to related viewers, particularly on TikTok. 

You too can depend on extra momentary codecs like Tales to emphasise city-specific occasions. 

Theme it up!

Not each live performance wants a gimmick. Not each form of artist ought to have followers displaying up in costumes. But when it’s acceptable, get your followers concerned in creating the vibe for the night time.

When you have a theme, you don’t need it to be prohibitive. Costumes ought to be optionally available. And the theme ought to be open-ended sufficient that a median fan can simply put collectively a fancy dress (80s night time, favourite film character, and so on.)

Provide completely different ticket packages

Generally somewhat exclusivity goes a good distance, so make sure that to have a ticket tier for a number of varieties of fan: 

  • Informal fan / basic admission / door cost / balcony seating
  • True fan / higher seating / superior admission / watch the soundcheck
  • Diehard fan / particular remedy / VIP merch / backstage hangout

Use all the visitor listing

I don’t know why, however many musicians really feel embarrassed to truly replenish the visitor listing. 

It’s there for a motive. We would as properly put names on it!

Simply ensure you’re utilizing these coveted free spots for individuals within the native trade like music journalists, or on the very least, followers and mates you may completely depend on to indicate up if their identify is on the listing. 

Do a ticket or prize giveaway

I discussed contests above, and ticket giveaways or merch prizes generally is a good solution to reward contest winners, but additionally embody the native music trade or music media in your promotion.

Provide tickets to be given away by native radio DJs, native companies, or the venue itself. 

Play an in-studio

If you happen to can carry out at a group or school radio station on the morning of the present, it will probably typically be an excellent alternative to promote these final remaining seats. 

Both as a result of individuals had been impressed whereas listening, or since you seize cool social content material that helps extra individuals on the town be taught in regards to the present last-minute. 

Play an in-store (mayyyyyyybe)

Taking part in in an area document retailer CAN be a great way to generate pleasure for a present later that night time or later that week. 

However… these can typically flip into an occasion all their very own, so that you don’t wish to danger individuals selecting the document retailer efficiency OVER the venue efficiency. 

That’s why I wrote mayyyyybe above. 

Particular themed drinks

This can be a small factor, however can make the night time a bit extra enjoyable, convey a number of extra individuals by means of the door, and enhance bar income. 

Work with the venue forward of time to create a drink named after your act, or certainly one of your songs. 

Participation is essential

I’ve talked about one thing comparable a number of occasions already, however you need your viewers to really feel like they could be a PART of the occasion, not only a witness.

Discover methods to incorporate followers.

Allow them to affect the setlist beforehand by modifying a collaborative playlist or responding to a ballot. Put aside a minute or two every present to convey somebody from the viewers onstage. Ask them questions, or allow them to sing a number of strains. 

You wish to create a way of each probability and company for the gang. 

Tag accordingly!

Earlier than, throughout, and after the present — tag the opposite acts, the venue, the musicians within the images, the designer, and any followers pictured. Set the situation of the publish. Discover a related hashtag for that city’s music scene. 

The identical method you wish to pack individuals into the membership, you need (a few of) your posts to really feel like a celebration too.


As you may see, there’s loads you COULD do to make your subsequent present a hit. 

Main artists after all have groups to deal with a lot of the work. For self-booking artists, many of the above will fall in your shoulders. If you wish to get to the stage the place others deal with the reserving and live performance promotion for you, you’ve obtained to promote out your individual live shows in the present day. 

Nobody promised it could be straightforward. However it’s attainable. And I hope the listing of choices above offers you with an excellent framework for fulfillment. 

Right here’s to many sell-out reveals forward! 

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