great visual list of the different music sites that are great to discover new music. Allen Maddox @allen_maddox
By Allen Maddox
This is a promotional video made by Gorilla Music. They run a battle of the bands where bands compete by selling pre-sale tickets. This idea of ‘pay to play’ where bands sell all the tickets and reap none of the rewards is a problem I’ve noticed is spreading across the country.
But maybe we should all come up with a new system so that EVERYONE has a little ‘skin in the game’ Here’s my initial proposal: Venues pay the promoters. All advertising/promotion materials are paid for by bar (since the own the property, pay the staff, own the liquor they have the largest capital interest and the money to do this). Then they pay the promoter a commission on sales to promote.
This way the promoters only incentive is to sell out and they have much less financial risk. Bands are viewed as independent contractors for the evening and are not paid on draw or door sales, but instead a flat fee up front. On empty nights that will be good for them, on sold out nights it will suck but overall the pay will even out especially if they keep merch sales.
After that we all stop guessing on what people want to pay and instead of wasting street team’s time passing out paper flyers in the 21st century we get some real market data and find out what people WANT to pay for a show, when people want to be there, and how late they want to be there.
On nights the bar doesn’t have consumer interest in local music then do something else of just don’t be open. I’ve worked with almost every bar in Denver now and I can tell you Trailside Saloon is the only one with a built in draw.
I’m not sure if the owner knows exactly what he’s doing, but he has found a target market, markets to it, and develops the show at Trailside around it.
This is just an initial proposal, but i’d love to work with a group of venues promoters and bands interested in this. And just so I don’t look like I completely think the venue and promoter should put in all the work, here’s to the bands: If you haven’t put in the start up capital into radio quality recordings, gear, and practice time. Don’t even ask to get booked.
Bar’s can’t establish their reputation as a quality local venue if they’re booking whatever dropped tuned moron that drove down there. We ALL need to step it up, pre-sales don’t work, I have market data to prove that, everyone keeps telling me ‘Denver’s scene is so hot’ and they always quote the Lumineers, Churchill, Air Dubai, the metal scene is slow.
It’s slow because every talented metal band here sells the same 25 pre-sales every week to the same 25 people. No one is working on developing the cold market that this states indie/alternative scene has…
Gorilla music is just another contributor to this problem. To manage and market successfully in the local market, it is important to say no to ‘pay to play’ shows.
by Allen Maddox
Is there really an opportunity for YOUR local band?
Every year for the past few years Ernie Ball Strings sponsors a ‘Battle of the Bands’ where the top most voted band in your area gets to open for the warped tour in your city, and the winning artist gets to move on entered in a total country wide grand prize.
Every year over 32,000 bands sign up but very few win, and even if they do, so what?
These bands that win rarely get the record deals and fame that the battle implies is a potential opportunity.
Basically by entering in this competition you’re just spreading word of mouth and viral advertising for the warped tour, the chances of your band actually ‘making it’ are slim to none and the competition holds lots of reserved rights to make the final decision on who plays even if your band has the most votes.
The other downside to this is that many bands use their social media to ‘spam’ friends, family, and other musicians. This does not build a fan base. More often than not bands target whoever is on their friends list and don’t focus on building new sales in a cold market that they are targeting.
The contest also let’s fans vote multiple times a day and many bands use software and other methods to ‘cheat’ the system.
Bottom line is that at the end of the day cities across the country have thousands of local bands spamming their local market to a point where no one cares and the scene slows down. Most bands have no shot of winning and even the bands that do rarely reach that big industry ‘break’ that we are all trying for.
Bands need to instead identify their target market and begin relationship marketing to those individuals. Their social media should be used to connect with the fans as a person, not as a ‘rock star.’
There is however some good that comes of the Ernie Ball BOTB. That is in the fact it allows all the musicians in your similar genre to ‘come out of the woodwork’ so to speak and engage with them on a business level.
NOW is the time to NETWORK! Find bands with your same genre and beliefs, contact them, trade them a vote and begin sharing contacts.
Try to switch each other music contacts in other states, try to expand your fan base by recommending and sharing to each other similar music to fans of similar taste and demographic all across the country.
That’s what this is about while it is true my own band that I manage Scarlet Canary is entered in this years battle of the bands it is primarily because this is one of the best opportunities to reach out and network with like minded talented individuals.
While playing the Warped Tour looks good on a press kit it still does more harm to a local scene than good. If your band does choose to participate in this event I hope you look to your social media analytics to determine your target market and work to fuel an inbound marketing campaign to people who want to vote and listen to your music. Not because they are your friend, but because they are avid music listeners and enjoy what you have to offer.
Make sure to work with promoters who will match your local DIY efforts.
How Social Media allows your fans a private backstage experience.
By Allen Maddox
This was a HUGE event for me personally as I currently manage a local female fronted hard rock band, Scarlet Canary. Halestorm’s lead singer Lzzy Hale became the first woman to ever win a grammy in the hard rock/metal category!
This was a big step for the music industry not only because of the fact Lzzy won this amazing award but because I almost felt as if I was right there with her. Through the band’s social media they did an excellent job walking us through the big moment, from the car ride with their parents to the event all the way to the end when they were holding the award.
You can view Halestorm’s twitter here. That is a link to Lzzy’s twitter and if you scroll through the posts you’ll find all sorts of interesting pictures and posts, but not your typical ‘we’re at the venue waiting for fans’ post. Instead you’ll find an almost intimate picture of her and her brother riding to the grammy’s with their mother.
You’ll find posts about how she felt, how the band felt, and all of the interesting never really seen before events that go into a grammy production. For example they posted a picture of the elegant formal Grammy invitations that the band received as an aspiring artist myself in my free time I was really able to connect with that. This band allowed me and a million other fans to share in their triumph.
Utilizing social media such as instagram, twitter, and pinterest is an excellent way to market the live event. It allows fans to connect with artists in a more intimate fashion that allows your artist to be seen as a person and not just a celebrity that is ‘untouchable.’
This humanizing aspect of social media for behind the scenes promotion is also an excellent way to generate hype for a show and to reduce any consumer dissonance they may feel after the fact. If a fan has a great time at a show using the social media to show them those same moments from the other night from the artists perspective allows them to believe that the artist had as much fun as they did and are people that would be worth seeing again. Halestorm has a line that goes like this:
“At the rock show
I’m looking at the front row
Heart and soul, we both know
It’s where we gotta be
Yeah at the rock show”
This is what you’re marketing when you promote a live show.
Not the artist.
Not the venue.
But the experience for the fans.
Halestorm got it right using social media to build an intimate Grammy experience that fans were able to take part in. Excellent work and congratulations to them on their award! Read the full grammy review here by loudwire.com.