CD Release Parties

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by PauFerro, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Planning to do a CD release party and am in the research phase. I wonder if anyone has put on one of these, and what they did at it. Our CD will be original jazz/fusion feature piccolo bass as the lead, and a keys/drums/bass foundation. Naturally, we'll be selling our CD. I was thinking of getting some t-shirts made up, but am open to other suggestions for merchandise, format, features, beyond simply performing the original music.

    I don't want it to be just like another performance except we're selling a CD. I would like to make it different somehow, and am looking for ideas. Also looking for suggestions on what you think the general kind of venue should be.

    BTW, we are not signed with anyone. We created the CD because we wanted to.

    Thoughts welcome!
  2. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    Give the CD's away and get an e-mail address for each one. Play your your best. Shake everybody's hand and thank them for coming. Make sure you get in all the, selfies. Bet they've never been to a CD release party like THAT!
    Oddly likes this.
  3. fretter


    May 24, 2012
    Have you thought about a location? For jazz, you might consider renting a space in a museum and have a wine & cheese reception. Maybe you've already decided on your favorite venue? You could also prepare a brief speech about what about jazz inspires you. Maybe a local public television station might show some interest, especially if they have a performance space.
    JRA, MattZilla and Thumb n Fingers like this.
  4. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    Or sell the CD's, but also make the album available as a download online through your website, offering one or two songs for free download/streaming to get the on-the-fence interested hooked.

    Is there a prominent jazz musician in the local scene that could help "endorse" you for the release party? Anything from MC'ing the event to just word of mouth support would be good.

    @fretter 's ideas are great also.
    JRA and Oddly like this.
  5. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Good suggestions. I don't want to pay for the venue. So I was thinking of doing it twice in close time proximity at different places in our town -- to make it easy for our following to see us. People like stuff close to home.

    Our local library has a Music in the Library series, so I was thinking of doing it there. Our crowd is not adverse to libraries. We could go into the inspiration for the songs. There is a significant story behind them.

    There are some wine bars and a winery not far from us -- I thought about holding it there.

    For the local musicians crowd, I was thinking of making charts of the music available with the purchase of a CD.

    The other idea was to do the equivalent of a singer songwriter thing, but where we have different groups with original music there. So it's like an original music festival, with our release party in the midst of it.

    Just ideating -- suggests are welcome..keep 'em coming if you have 'em.
    fretter likes this.
  6. Merch table with the hottest chick you know selling t-shirts, buttons & CD's. I went to one where they sold ladies panties. Give some away from the stage, toss a few T-shirts. Hang out at your table before & after with Sharpies on hand to sign the CD's. Shmooze & thank everyone for coming. Take lotsa pics and video.

    Make sure you invite every single person you know.

    For jazz/fusion, I thought the winery was an awesome idea!
    PauFerro likes this.
  7. Oneud


    Apr 16, 2016
    All good ideas so far. Maybe after you guys are done with your originals, you can have other musician friends there come up and jam with your band on some jazz/fusion standards.
    PauFerro likes this.
  8. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I saw one concept where you sell matching men's and ladies underwear with a music theme on them. For couples who want to be unified in a secret way...But it's a bit too risque for us. I would love to sign the CD's but I wonder if that's too ostentatious for us being average Joe's and Jill's.

    I did some research. They suggested getting a band to open for us. And also giving away a free performance at a house party as a giveaway to attract people. So, we could have two sets of original jazz bands performing.

    I have to be realistic. We are not famous, and probably never well be. We are just weekend warriors.

    So, in addition to the CD's, I was thinking of selling some posters that say "More Jazz Please" and that have our band name at the bottom and our website. Rather than anything that is specifically us. Something frameable like that but that appeal to a wider jazz audience. I was also thinking of selling the posters unframed, but working with a local framing place to provide coupons to everyone, in exchange for a table sponsorship.

    That was the other thing -- table sponsorships. Local businesses with an interest in people we attract (cell phone places, the framing place, insurance people) pay $50 each. They get one of these things and put them on the tables with an advertisement or message. They allow a 5"X7" flyer, with business cards in a holder....see below: : Set of 10, Clear Acrylic 5x7 Sign Holder with Business Card Display for Tabletop Use, L-Shaped Design with Slant Back : Office Products

    See if one of these online, internet radio stations wants to sponsor tables by providing a free bottle of wine, with these acrylic holders advertising their station. They pay us to do this...Also, get them a banner that goes behind that says:

    "Such and Such Internet Radio Presents [Enter name of band here]"

    We got calls from a couple of these asking us to do interviews at one time.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
    DrayMiles likes this.
  9. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
  10. If you do posters, you WILL be asked to sign them and the CD's! It's all about a memento of the experience. Be ready. People love that stuff.
    PauFerro likes this.
  11. Yes. I always like hearing the story behind the song. Even if it's just 'I got drunk and played the chords from Wild Thing backwards.'
  12. Blueinred

    Blueinred 21st century Genz-Benz guy Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Greater Cincy
    Damn. That'd make a great jazz tune! And do it in 5/4 or 7/4 time. Killer!
  13. ray fan

    ray fan

    Aug 3, 2016
    Don't go to great expense. Generally not worth it unless you have a good, and I mean good following. CD release parties =80's.
    PauFerro, bassboysam and DrayMiles like this.
  14. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    CD release parties IMO are excuses for industry people to get together and drink at the expense of the artist. I've been to several of these, and it just appears to be the industry hanging out saying we're "cool" aren't we?

    I was working for 3 record companies and one of them had a release party in Istanbul... The other was at Ronnie Scott's in London. It was a way for my boss to schmooze the industry into promoting the artist's record... It sold 400 copies in Turkey I was told at the time, but the company spent a million pounds I was told also... I thought the whole thing was weak music anyway, but kept my mouth closed for the paycheck... If you're going to do a release party, just make sure the people that attend are actually useful and connected. Otherwise, you're hanging with people who are useless in regards to furthering the branding and/or notoriety of the act... And paying for it to boot! ;) Then it's just blind luck otherwise... Selling a few CD's is a waste of time in the big picture, but if that's your goal, ignore my advice and just have a good time, and pick up a few bucks/quid that may help you pay for the expense of recording. If that's all you want, go for it, but I promise you're running the risk of being another "vanity CD" that might possibly help you get a couple more gigs. I've done a lot of vanity CD's and from there, I've met people with vanity record companies... The power is in the publishers and the lawyers now... IMO...

    But since you're doing specialty Jazz bass thang, and your market is very, very special indeedy do-gally, I guess it's all good really. Publicity... Almost ANY in that genre, is helping you take a step up! Like someone has said previously... Take lots of photos for your scrap book and promo literature...

    BUT ;) I reiterate...

    If you just want to increase your profile and possibly move into a bigger pond regarding gigging and the quality of your gigs, go for it, and do what you think is best, that might be another road to the end goal... Yeah, I could have a dangling participle vocal cord on the side of me neck... I mean, After all, I'm just a bass player that likes pork rinds... :)

    In summary ... Don't spend a lot of money unless you have a record company or some kind of corporate support to offset the outlay of moolah... If you do, change your first name to "cashew" because you are nuts otherwise... IMHO....

    Cheers, and good luck!

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  15. lights, lights and more lights. cool lights not crowd agitators. Even if its just all green (my favorite) with a little backwash, it helps. Also, if your gonna get shirts you might wanna consider a package deal. One low price for a shirt, a CD and entry to the show. Get some lead in music for when you take stage and have a drop dead gorgeous chic selling your stuff. And invest in or obtain a swipe. Most folks don't carry cash any mo. If you have the resources to make promo posters then do so and have all the goods on there like the place, the date and number them. Then tell everyone you made fifty but only have seven left. And give some stuff away but make sure everyone is watching when you do. Take lots of pictures and put them on your website. Knock off a dollar in return for FB likes.
    PauFerro likes this.
  16. people still buy CDs? seems like a waste to me. upload your music to bandcamp and sell (or offer them as "pay what you want")download cards. t-shirts are a total crap shoot and if you plan to sell them for profit you're going to need a lot to get the price breaks to get your unit costs down and be able to sell them at a reasonable price. it's also hard to know how many of each size to make. unless you have a large following they are not worthwhile. if course it it's all just for fun, then go for it
  17. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I was in a jazz-funk band that put out a CD in 2013 and there are still crates of them laying around. My suggestion is to give them away to everyone at the show -- particularly if you are charging a cover. How many people do you expect at the gig?
  18. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    For me, the CD release party idea is simply an excuse to make a typical jazz club event interesting. I use a concept called Anchor and Twist. The anchor is the jazz, and then each gig has a twist of some kind that makes it stand out from the other jazz performances around town. Once, I made it an "underground jazz party" and wouldn't tell anyone the exact location until the day before. Another time, it was at a club that did a Speakeasy concept, and everyone had to get passwords to be let in through this cool answering machine process. Another time, it was "Celebrating Women with Jazz", which was massively successful. And the first one I did that attracted a ton of people (like 70 for a restaurant that holds 50), was billed as a jazz social where I had icrebreaker activities.

    So, this is just an excuse to create a novel experience for people.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  19. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    The most I've ever had is 80 people. But we are working on figuring out how to create these in low volume. One of our members can do embroidery with a high volume machine, so we were thinking of buying some nice shirts in low volume and then she would make them up, having "More Jazz Please" and then our band logo under it. The logo actually looks pretty cool. She got free trial software to create the embroidery map for the machine, where is where all the cost is in the process. CD's can be made up in low volume.

    I was on the Bluenote Jazz Cruise this month, and they were selling all the artists CD's. I still buy them too -- the older generation will still use them. But if we did the download thing too, I think there needs to be incentive to do it right there, like to their phone, as people forget.

    Love the package deal idea.
  20. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    What sort of following does the band have? Jazz/fusion is a rather niche market in most areas. As such, I think a CD release party would be a bit overkill... but I'll happily be wrong if it benefits you :)