Some bands draw huge crowds, some bands draw nobody. My experience tells me this has little to nothing to do with how good, or how entertaining the band is. I've seen GREAT, GREAT bands play to totally apathetic crowds or empty rooms, and I've seen horrible bands pack a club and have the room screaming. The following is one of the MANY REASONS I think this is so.... Bands that do well more often than not have lots and lots of friends, or are popular people in their neighborhoods. When a band plays a first gig and gets 75 or more friends to support them, they're going over well, no matter what. The 75 people cheer and scream, and anyone else in the place thinks "hey, these guys/girls are happening" and they follow right along. [disclaimer: the band has to have at least a minimal amount of talent] Having brought 75 or more people to the club, the club manager will now happily give the band a prime spot on weekend where they can play in front of even more people. If they can bring 75 or more again, and do this a couple more times - they're in - end of story. Why? Because it is my belief that people are more interested in the social scene and being a part of what's "happening", then to hear great music and/or support a band they think is great. Is this sour grapes thinking? A little yes, mostly no. I'm in an age group where our friends are NOT going to continually give us the kind of support we could use - but we found our niche with teenagers and we're drawing very respectable crowds at all ages shows. That just sorta happened. All that being said, if I won lotto or something in the past I would have put the money into all kinds of crazy promotional ideas. Now I'd first invest in this one. I would pay off an audience of 200 people for 5 shows in the most happening spots in the city (of course they'd sign contracts stating they couldn't tell they were paid off ), and if after those 5 shows we weren't one of the most happening bands around - i'd sell my bass, take the rest of my lotto money and move to an island in the pacific. all other thories, arguments, whatever are welcome. nahh... i couldn't sell the bass.