How do I start a "music scene"?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by 5StringDelirium, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. I'm in a metal band in CT and when we play we only get a crowd of 25 people or so :crying:. Even if we play with known national acts the turnout isn't that great and it's starting to get depressing. I want to start playing in a different area because I think that might help our situation but I'm not so sure.

    So I guess my question is, has any one tried to start a music scene and get other bands involved? :help:
  2. I live in a small-ish town. It's VERY hard to get an active scene started. It's not impossible, but it's very tricky and may not be worth the effort and money to start one. In any case, here's what i've learned:

    -Put on your own shows. By selecting the bands yourself you can pretty much dictated the stylistic roots of the scene.

    -The younger crowd is crucial. You MUST include the under 18 crowd. Period. The youngsters all have the passion and desire behind them as well as being the ones to form new bands based off of their own favorites. If you have a strong and popular scene, these new bands will continue it so that it won't "die".

    -Get support from surrounding towns/cities. It's always good to have friends in local places to share shows with.

    -Get a good venue. This is the hard and tricky part. Even if it's just someone's basement. A place that can have shows 2 or 3 times a month is necessisary to keep the scene fresh.

    -Get touring bands to play with you. It sounds like you do this alrady but it's still important.

    -Flier. And when i say flier i don't mean spam myspace or facebook bulletins. I mean get a arts'y friend and make hand-drawn fliers. I can't stress how important this is. Good hand drawn fliers are things of.. well.. art. I can look at some of mine from 10+ years ago and remember the show better because i still have the rad flier to go along with it.

    -Stick with it! It's tough, but if you see even SOME progress, dwell on that and keep with it.

    -If it all genuinly fails... re-locate. It's really not THAT big of a deal, especially if you all are still relativley young. It shouldn't be too hard to find what geographic location has the best following for your sound.

    Anyway, hope it helps!
  3. Not to be a negative Nancy, but if the kids aren't into it, than the kids aren't into.

    HOWEVER, everything that Din of Win posted above this is good advice.

    The venue needs to be all ages. Period. I don't know how it works in CT, but I know here a venue can have a beer license and maintain the legal right to host all ages shows while selling beer. That's a best-of-both-worlds scenario.

    There's always at least ONE artsy kid into the scene you want to develop. In my case it's my vocalist, who has a day job as a graphic designer and screen printer. Attractive fliers (you guessed it) attract kids.

    Don't limit yourself to metal acts. Yeah, I'm personally into Post-Hardcore and Post-Rock, but I branch into straight hardcore, punk, math rock, metal, etc. My post-hardcore band frequently plays and even tours with bands in all of those genres without causing a crowd to raise an eyebrow. Variety is the spice of life.

    Don't book a lot of 'filler' bands. Lets say you get a relatively well known touring band that comes through: don't book a terrible band to go on before them. On one hand that seems obvious, but on the other it sounds dickish, as those terrible bands A) have the right to play somewhere and B) are often your friends. But a bad band will turn as many, if not more kids away then a really awesome band will draw.

    Do it frequently, but don't overdo it. One show a month is simply not enough to hold people's attention on the scene. However, if your band or your friends band (or both of your bands, for that matter) are playing all of those shows, people with get bored with it. Constantly keep new bands coming in, and try to limit how many times one local band can play a month.

    Touring bands will play ANYWHERE. I know this from experience. Over the course of this summer, I played everything from venues with DJs, stages, and proper seating to bars who had never hosted shows to churches to living rooms to kids' garages. So don't be afraid to make yourself known. Keep an eye out on your favorite bands' pages for "Booking- Please Help" listings near you, and let them know you could set something up for them.

    And cheer up. Most touring bands (even names that make it into magazines and whatnot) are often satisfied with a turnout of 25-50 kids, so already you've got something.