• 5 ways to make a real success of your live shows

    Playing successful live shows is the secret to every musician's career development – but how do you make them sizzle?

    29th Oct 2017By James Collins

    Get good

    Having a tight live show and playing as often as possible are the two most important elements. Playing a live set that will get an audience talking about you long afterwards takes hard work and a lot of practice, but the results will be easy to see on stage. Playing a shed-load of shows locally is a great way to build up a fanbase and hone your live set, but it's also important to get out on the road and play as many new places as possible.

    There's no point in playing shows at all if nobody knows about them. If you are playing locally then make your own flyers and posters. Hand these out to the promoters of the show, to local record stores, cafes, etc… Go to other nights and gigs where you think people might be interested in your music and give out flyers outside.

    Online promotion
    Promoting online is just as important as on the ground, if not more so. Use social media to promote your show to your friends via event pages. You can even pay for posts to target a specific demographic or region. You can record videos or stream live rehearsals via most social media sites these days, a perfect opportunity to inform your fans of shows or how preparation is going for those shows.

    Another great way to promote live shows is to use the internet to search for local events listings, blogs and radio stations in the area you are playing and contact them to offer them music, interviews and competitions, etc

    Contact people
    If you want to return to places to play again, hopefully to bigger audiences and in bigger venues, then try inviting the people who have the ability to book you in the future. Again the internet and a little research will yield definite results. Local gig promoters, festivals, radio presenters, reviewers and even local bands can be invaluable to returning to an area. Reach out to these people and offer to put them on your guest list.

    Check back with them as the show gets closer and make sure you send them any new music you have, without bombarding them with emails and risking annoying them.

    Be nice and stay in touch
    It sounds simple but it works. There have been stories of amazing band selling out venues and ending their shows by smashing the mics as they left stage. Not only were they not invited out but the money to repair them came out of their fee. Remember, everyone who is working on the night you play is helping your show take place. From security to the bar staff, the sound engineers and lighting crew. Absolutely everyone is there to help the night go well. Its always nice to thank people for doing a good job.

    Another thing worth remember is that people forget… No matter how good your show was, the promoters will be bombarded by other great music and performances, so its always worth staying in touch with promoters after your show. Keep them updated with what you're doing, and the new music you're creating.


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