How to promote your gig.
Welcome to episode 41 of calgary sound rentals behind the scene podcast, an inside look at calgary’s music scene featuring interviews and tracks by local bands, musician tips, event listings and more.
Unfortunately today’s scheduled guest was not available but I didn’t want to leave you hanging so I am bringing you a quick podcast on how to promote your shows.
So how should you go about promoting your show?
First of all assume that you are the only one who is trying to get people out to your shows.
Sure the venue may have posters up inside their establishment and if you are lucky may even advertise in FFWD or Beatroute each week or month respectively, but this is not enough.
The venue may even have a booking agent or promoter of their own but more often than not the efforts previously mentioned and maybe some Facebook or twitter activity could be the only effort the venues promoter is going to put in.
So how do we do it?
Start spreading the word about your show well in advance but before you do you are going to want to make sure your band has something online that people can check out. A web site, Facebook, twitter or myspace with recordings, a bio, some quotes from the media past shows, etc. You are going to need to be able to show people what your band is about.
Next Write a personal email or even phone everyone you think might come to your gig. A Facebook page is a passive tool for most people, and frankly how many events do you have coming up in your timeline?
Next you are going to want to have one of your designy friends create a kick ass poster that is going to grab peoples attention. You need to print some 11X17 posters and whip up some handbills to hand out to people you talk to about the gig in passing.
Make sure your material has the venue, the date, the other bands performing, maybe the cover charge. Drop your twitter right on the thing if you are down with the twitter.
Next up, if you want to spread the word through any type of recognized media than you are going to want to whip up a press release. We will leave the details for another podcast but basically it’s the who what where when and why information about the show. Be sure you are submitting it to media outlets on their specified submission schedules so that you can insure it is going to be listed in time for the gig and not annoy them.
As the gig approaches It’s time to Do the Legwork:
Grab your posters, a staple gun and go to town. Drop your handbills at all the coffee shops, clothing stores and venues that will allow. Leave small stacks of your wicked handbill where all the hip kids are hanging out these days. When you are stapling your 11 by 17’s, be mindful of covering up other upcoming events and try to only staple your poster overtop of past events if possible.
There is no need to make enemies.
Next up, Encourage the other bands on the bill to advertise the show on their websites and send out an email to their mailing list etc.
Closer to the show Put the event up on Facebook invite all your friends again as a reminder.
You can also Paste your event in all the free upcoming event calendars you can find online.
Lastly, why not combine your show with another event such as a fundraiser, party or holiday?
You could also release some recordings and include them with cover, make a theme night or fill in the blank..
Sometimes people need a little extra reason to come out. It’s not that they don’t like your band… It’s just that their lazy.
Finally when the show finally happens and it is a huge hit be sure to have a mailing list so you can blast out your next event.
If all else fails you can always hire a music promoter to take care of things for you.
Well, I think that about covers it.
Oh.. by the way, Calgary sound rentals is putting on a show on April 7th at the mount pleasant community hall. It is a rock and roll writers forum at 7:30pm followed by a live performance with Kenna Burima, Mallard, Hurricane Felix and In for Life. $5 cover get’s you in the door and a you will also receive a live recording of one song from each band in a zip file emailed to you a few days after the show. Again tickets are $5, more information can be found on the calgary sound rentals blog at calgarysoundrentals.com you can find us on twitter @soundrentals and look for us and this event on Facebook.
Thanks for listening and cheers!