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Breaking out of your town...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by recreate.me, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    I have been playing in a band for about 2 years now, its been pretty solid so far. We play in Windsor, ON. Which is about 250,000 people and the venues seem to focus mostly on Indie rock. We have no cover bands in the city, and windsor doesn't get any shows from any bands that draw more then 125, unless they play the casino which is like 20 000 seats and they are The Eagles...

    From this we have been playing with the biggest names we can in (and coming to) Windsor, most of which are other breaking indie bands (The Dudes, The Junction, Young Rival, Living with Lions, Michou, The Bulletproof Tiger) We have a good relationship with the 3 venues that put on shows as well as other local bands.

    How would we go about playing in other cities?

    I would have no idea if we even have fans outside of who has seen us live, we have t-shirts and eps, but if we play a Toronto show how would we get a crowd?

    Thanks for the help
  2. bassguitar808


    Jul 9, 2010
    write good music

    practice those songs all the time

    write better music

    play shows everywhere, all the time

    write even better music

    have at least 20 songs that kill

    and 50 songs for a label to be interested

    sign to an indie label, or DIY and work with a distributor

    then go on tour

    and escape the crushing small town vibe
  3. read about nashville pussy.....their approach was to do no gigs at home until they had built up a following on the road,and their homecoming debut was a huge deal....
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    You have to take the bull by the horns and book your own shows in your town with bands from other towns. Then when you play with those bands in their towns, you will have a crowd of some sort to build off of. If you just show up in Toronto, odds are that you will be playing to an empty room unless you luck out with a slot in a busy bar or somehow open up for someone with a following.
  5. AwkwardLoudness


    Jan 11, 2010
    MI USA
    Has your band recorded an album or at least some demo songs? Recorded a live show? If not, then you need to do this.

    After that, it's all about marketing your band. Contact venues in other cities. Contact bands in other cities and ask about swapping shows...they play at one of your regular spots and you play at one of theirs. Use CraigList. Otherwise, contact agents or labels.
  6. What about the other bands you've mentioned you've worked with from out of town? Where are they located and are you on good terms? Why not put the word out to them that you'd like to expand a bit and do some shows in other markets. Worst case scenario, if they don't have any shows coming up, they might know some people in other scenes and put in a good word for you.
  7. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    We have a demo, and are in the process of tracking a solid 8-10 songs. The other bands we have played with from out of town are from WAY out of town, like Calgary, and Vancouver, or else from Windsor. So we can't make the trips out west just yet.

    Show swaps seem like a good thing. We have also hit a few bands that we have played with who then got picked up by a label and we asked them to play a show with us and they said the label won't allow them to play the show, is that a real thing or do they just not want to ?
  8. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Does it matter? The end result is that they can't or won't share the bill, no matter what the reason.

    It could be a contractual issue, and nobody here has a copy of their contract.
  9. erock0138


    Feb 4, 2011
    My best advice, from experience, get a booking manager, sure they take some profit, but we have had great results because of it. second, prepare to really only make money from merch, and third, start saving.
  10. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    My 10 year old cover band is very well known in our hometown and have received awards such as the best band in the region. However, only 20% - 25% of our gigs are in our hometown for several reasons, first of which is lack of venues and crowds as opposed to years ago. The bad economy hit our region hard.

    We perform about 85 gigs a year, including headlining or co-headlining many large festivals and events. I don't focus all of our work in bars either. I handle all bookings and management and decided many years ago that it is hard to survive and work much in our backyard and put together a professional promotional package snd sent it to venues within a 1-1/2 hour driving distance of our city. It took awhile to get a foothold in some towns but persistence and playing very polished and professional shows helped get us established in other cities. The big thing around here though is that they will not book soley original bands and the cover tunes are what get us in the door.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 17, 2021

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