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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by rymiraflores, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. rymiraflores


    Jan 17, 2009
    I imagine that most of you have been through this many times, as I have, but what I´m looking for is a bit of info about what really has and hasn´t worked getting people to come and see your band.
    I´m an experienced (30+ years playing) with a newly formed band playing covers of blues and blues rock.
    Never too old to learn something new !
  2. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    I'm not sure, I walked into a " turn key " opportunity with an established blue/ rock cover band ( 6 years ).

    I think a good idea is to try to book yourselves into venues that have an older clientele that loves blues rock.

    Stay away from the under 30 crowd. People will disagree with me, however I doubt you get much traction out of that demographic.


    View attachment 307927
  3. rymiraflores


    Jan 17, 2009
    Maybe I wasn´t very clear..I meant what kind of promotion and publicity worked or didn´t work.
  4. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    Are you talking about promoting a show or the band?

  5. rymiraflores


    Jan 17, 2009
    The band in general
  6. Play well. Be entertaining. Play a lot. People will tell people about it.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Put on a SHOW. Don't just stand there and act too cool to be there. Give the crowd a reason to tell their friends that they missed out because they weren't there. I'm sorry, but these days "good music" just isn't enough. Don't get ridiculous, but get into it.
  8. Play with energy and engage the crowd. You don't have to stage dive but if you just stand there and play songs and don't talk to the crowd whats the difference between you and a jukebox. I have gotten so much positive feed back from people just from the energy I have while playing.

    In fact I was playing with a cover band and we did the song "Jump Around" and I would always make a point of jumping around the stage. People would come up to me and say that they loved watching me jump around on stage (and a couple of times falling through it) that they wanted to come and see us again.
  9. I think OP is looking for front end marketing ideas rather than advice on stage appeal.
  10. BillyIVbass


    Sep 24, 2008
    Gear Reviews Guitar World Online
    Meet music lovers in the area that you play. This doesn't mean bombard them with A MILLION Facebook invites, introduce yourself, take note of what they liked/hated and recognize them if you see them again.

    Any musicians in the house? Let them sit in for a song and promote their band.
  11. rymiraflores


    Jan 17, 2009
    At last haha someone has actually noticed what my question was!
  12. Facebook can work, but it depends on context. If you have the right pieces in place (i.e., at least one person in the band who's active on facebook and has active friends), it can work really well, but even then it can only do so much from week to week...the group of friends is a limited resource over time.

    In terms of using facebook, I don't think it necessarily works so well to only shotgun invite. Targeting and individually inviting people seems to work better. Send everybody basically the same message, but individually and personalize. Post pictures that show people having a good time and dancing.

    That said, I have no idea what things are like in Peru or what kind of gigs you're playing.

    For my local area, while there is some cross-over, you can probably separate "bar gigs" into two basic types:

    One is the type where a bar/restaurant converts some part of its space on Friday and/or Saturday nights to live music. By definition, these are smaller (capacity < 150) and usually, they do not charge a cover. They have varying numbers of regulars but generally don't have much or any built-in draw for the live music. Booking for these is usually handled by the owner/manager.

    These are the stomping ground of the rotating group of weekend warrior cover bands with PA on sticks, and in most cases where the crowd is, in large part, dependent on the band bringing in personal friends, co-workers, and acquaintances.

    The second type includes is the larger version or the above venue type (sports bars, larger dock bars, night clubs, mega bars) and rock bars (music, dance, party venues).

    This is where there is often a stage (or area that was multi-purposed in design and can properly be converted to a stage) and house sound/lights. There might be live music 4 or 5 nights per week. Friday and Saturday nights are happenings. They may charge a cover. They generally have significant built-in draw for the party, not necessarily for any specific band. These are usually agency booked.

    These are the gigs worked by the more polished weekend warrior cover bands and the professional cover bands. The crowd is not at all dependent on the band bringing in personal friends, co-workers, and acquaintances.

    In the first type of situation, if it's a reasonable night for the bar as far as regulars and random people out on the town, the band getting 15 people in can greatly effect the atmosphere. If, as a band, you can get 30 people in, it can completely transform it into a party. If the place is completely dead on a given night, I think it's too much to expect that there's anything you can do to completely populate a bar.

    In the second situation, while not necessary, it can still be helpful to work facebook. Again, some number of "fans" can affect the mood of the room. People that might have left stay...someone might be heard on the phone telling another group of people to come there because it hoppin' tonight.
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Sorry big guy. But I think we WERE actually answering your question. You have to BUILD a crowd. Fancy poster won't matter if nobody knows about you. I'm not sure about your market, but starting a blues band doesn't make the news around here. Getting a radio interview or a TV interview by starting a band isn't likely. I suppose you could get a permit to stand in the parking lot of your local grocery store dressed like a clown and give out free tickets and beer. But more than likely you will (like the rest of us) have to take whatever gig you can. And when you get the gig, put on a SHOW.

    If you DO come up with ways to get hundreds of people in the door to see a brand new band for the first time, keep them a secret until you write your book. Then you will be able to sell the book for $40 easy. Then you won't have to worry about playing in your little blues band. You'll be rich!
  14. rymiraflores


    Jan 17, 2009
    Thanks DrPepper. I have lived here almost 6 years now. originally from Scotland where I was a pro. the scene here is mostly venues in the 100 to 150 capacity, a lot of rock cover bands, several blues covers bands a and a few jazz bands, the blues bands are pretty much all playing trad. blues, 50s blues ..what I would call lighter blues, there are a lot of , mostly average clasic rock bands and then my band .........what we are doing probably wouldnt get a lot of work in the states but so far everyone who has been invited to rehearsals has absolutely raved about the band/music...we do play it well and no other band here is playing anything similiar to our set...Mountain, Free, West Bruce and Laing, Cream, Robin Trower. Most of them have never heard much of these bands(if at all) so it´s all new and different for them. We are doing all the Facebook stuff and I really wanted some info from anyone who had done the flyer/posters all over the place thing, and how effective they felt it had been.
  15. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    It all works together (or doesn't).
  16. Flyers and posters would be an absolute waste of time, effort and paper here...anywhere I can imagine. There might have been a time a place, but it's gone. I am personally interested in going out to see bands. I have NEVER been prompted by a flyer. I would think that someone who is even less inclined wouldn't even notice flyers.

    What's your band's facebook url?

    When you say you're "doing all the facebook stuff," do you have people or at least one person who are really engaged with it and plugged into friends who are into getting out? Are you just inviting people using the event invite, or going after people who are likely to come and working on them for it? I think there's a difference. Again I think your goal matters. If your goal is to seed the room, you can work in that direction purposefully and have success. If you're trying to somehow get large numbers of people to come and see you, being the reason that everyone is in a bar, I think that's a lost cause...whether facebook, flyers, poster, banners flying behind planes, skywriting, Bat-signal, TV ads...

    The old singer in my previous band just had that perfect group of friends that some number of them would always come out. Our biggest night owing to fb was getting about 70 people out, and this was on a night where there were about 150 total. It just turned into an absolute party. Those other 80 people stayed or came in because of that party.
  17. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    Burn a stack of 5 song demo cd's and pass them out to the local radio station,music stores,every bar in the area,coffee houses,local fraternity clubs(Lions,Eagles,VFW,or whatever equivalent they have in Peru). Give them to random people you pass on the street,the bus stop,train station,etc..It's amazing how 'word-of-mouth' is still the best advertising! Don't forget to include contact info and a list of previous/upcoming gig dates..
  18. This kind of shows the importance of context.

    I'm not intending to sound combative, but we're talking about a cover band playing gigs in < 150 clubs. I think we all approach this from our own experience. From my perspective, and I'm not suggesting that my context is universal, there is not a single thing there that has anything to do with getting more people to a smallish cover gig.

    From what I've seen, these types of gigs are NOT "concerts." They are hopefully events where the band is a live jukebox...background music or the soundtrack for the fun. People dance, drink, talk, have fun. It's not about the specific band.

    I don't see how a demo of covers can do anything to pull people in. They're not there for the band so much as the good time that goes along with it.
  19. rymiraflores


    Jan 17, 2009
    Actually here in Lima they basically ARE all concerts they are all smallish but real venues where the purpose is to see a band...I guess word of mouth and a very good show will be what it´s all about..same as anywhere. There are around 4 places that go up to 250...ah well see how it goes and let you know.
  20. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    No offense taken,the OP asked for suggestions to bring people in,and I gave him one that has worked pretty darn well for my non-concert playin' cover band..
    I don't see how you can't see the benefits of people,especially the 'right' people,getting a free sample of what you're offering. And I think you're wrong..it IS about the band,or more specifically,the performance of said band. Just ask yourself how many times you've stuck around to party all night at a place with a half-assed band compared to how many times you've stuck around because the band was nailing the songs,even though you've heard the same songs by the original artist a thousand times before?
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