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What's your draw?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by capncal, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    Is there a more annoying question when it comes to booking gigs?

    We tell venues 50, but that's a lie. We've had shows where we do have 50 folks out, but those are lucky nights honestly. Booking new venues, they will always ask, what's your draw.

    When booking out of town bands to play with us, they always ask, what's your draw?

    There are two schools of thought employed in my band currently. Our singer doesn't care if there's anyone at the shows, and I pretty much don't either. We try to book cool venues, with cool bands and leave it to the rock gods. If you rock it, they will come kind of attitude.

    Our guitarist is our go-getter. He books the shows, admins the facebook page, makes the flyers, networks, etc. He demands we all pound the pavement to get heads out to our shows.

    All that is important and I think it's also important to find a balance. On any given Friday or Saturday there's a lot going on in our town. (Louisville, Ky) And we have to let ppl know about our shows. Facebooks, local publications, local radio when we can get it, web radio, flyers at coffee shops, etc.

    What is your draw? And how do you get ppl out? Does the leave it to the rock gods idealogy work for anyone?

    Just looking for suggestions to increase our draw!
  2. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Anywhere between 5 and 30
  3. We've packed a place (>100) and we've had 12.
  4. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    My standard response when a club owner/manager asks if my band has a following is - "Does your club have a following? Do people like to come here whether my band or any other band is here or not?" They don't know what to say because most of them do little or nothing to attract people to their club and do nothing to make their place a good and fun place to eat, drink, etc. Plus, since my band plays a large geographic area, people are not going to travel 1 - 2 hours and we play at many private clubs that are only open to members and guests and we can't "Bring other people" but they just can't seem to figure that out.
  5. mhandley16


    Jan 27, 2013
    Last gig my band had we had a little over 250. we've played gigs with as little as 20 though and although it's a small crowd they are still alot of fun. We play college towns where we all went to school (Iowa City, Cedar Falls, Ames) so we get alot of draw because we appeal to that crowd. But really it's about die hard self promotion and getting people you know to jump on board and promote as well. We didn't start promoting ourselves heavily until this last year and they have been our biggest gigs. Opening for a nationally touring band The Dirty Pearls next week.
  6. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    We draw blanks.

    Seriously though we don't deal with venues as such. For us it's weddings, parties (mostly schools and private parties) and neighborhood annual get togethers (which can be huge!) Smallest gig we had was for like five people. Biggest will be this june when we will be main act of a hundred year town anniversary, 200+ people expected.

    Strangely though, in our experience there is little correlation between size of the gig and attendance numbers. Our best paying gig was for a kindergarten and we had like twenty guests only... Best food was at a wedding, at a high class seafood restaurant. Speaking of food I usually lose out because I'm a vegetarian and as fate has it the only food if we don't get catering is bratwurst. Sucks...
  7. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    MY draw, that is ME ALONE is somewhere between zero and fifty. OK, maybe less than fifty. I know I've had forty five.

    My wife seems like she can get between zero and twenty.

    Our guitar player has drawn from zero to maybe thirty.

    So if we all draw, we can pull in ninety five people, and these would be people who actually know and like us, and this would be a situation where we OWN the audience, and could play anything.

    I invite up to 2,000 on facebook, and I have to be honest; I don't feel like them all showing up is very realistic.

    We've been featured on the local radio; local TV and in the local music happening newspaper.

    All of this makes it twice as frustrating when three people show up.

  8. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I care very much how many people come to our shows.

    We have some folks behind the scenes that have worked very hard over the past 7 years to make sure we have good crowds at our shows.

    Our business is smaller clubs and bars and 80 to 100 is good business for us. Last Friday was really cool small club and there was hardly room for people to stand.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk but if you and your singer don't care if anyone comes to see you or not, what does it matter?

  9. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    Also from Louisville. Moved back here about two years ago after being gone for many years. I'm in 2 cover bands and an original band and I run into that "draw" question all the time too. Sad too that gigs here in the 'Ville seem to pay no more than they did 20 years ago but now they also expect you to bring the crowd too. I'm just basically honest with them. I tell them we can draw at least 20+ and we will keep the regulars and walkins in the bar and drinking. I also try to explain how the band/venue partnership works to mutual advantage if both partners cooperate but I try to do it without coming off as pushy or preachy.
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Between 30 and 100 depending on the venue.
  11. Tx Basser

    Tx Basser

    Jul 21, 2012
    I have been on both sides of the stage as a former bar manager and performing musician. NEVER, NOT ONCE, when I managed a bar, did I ask the band, "How many you bringing with you?" I considered it my duty to operate a fun place that people wanted to hang at, regardless of the entertainment we had. If the band I had booked brought in a lot of people, that was a bonus. And I always tried to book good sounding bands.

    If you have good atmosphere, friendly service and the place is fun to be at, the crowd will come even if you don't have a band. (No disrespect to my fellow pickers.) If you have a good band, that is another bonus. And if it is a HOOters, well we all know what draws them in there.....
  12. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Whatever the venue will hold.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1359686196.968457. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1359686226.882822.
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I've played at bars where the fire Marshall has showed up and made people leave.

    I've also played an event at an arena where probably 100 people showed up as well.

    How many people does the club average on the weekends? If it's a dying club, they probably can't afford the kind of bands that will turn that around.
  14. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    We tend to play at bars that have a decent crowd any ways. But we have had close to 200 or as few as 20-25. But the 30 or so die hards, do as much bar business as 80 "social drinkers". If its a bar with a horrible local scene, we may invite another band to play with us.
  15. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    My new cover band is just starting out so its hard to tell. The male lead singer recently fronted a different band that had a good following but I dont think he had too many people out at our first show (though to be honest, that show was very much under the radar).
    I brought in about 18 people myself but that was mostly family because it was my first ever live gig. That being said, at least the first few times out in our home area, I honestly think I'll bring in close to 2 dozen people each time, just because they are friends and family coming out to see me finally reach a goal. After that, they'll come out (or not) based on how good we are.

    Area also matters, I'm really trying to find us a place to play that's way closer to my office. A LOT of my co-workers seem willing to come out and see us, but the places we are playing right now are just too far away for them. Even though CT is a small state on the map, it can take a lot longer than you might expect to get from one place to another.
  16. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    I have nothing to add to this thread except to say that this is the most astonishing thing I have ever learned from reading posts on this forum.:bag:
  17. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I'm in an originals band so who knows. We have put on shows and had 75+ come out just for us but that's rare.. 0-10 is right. We play allot of places with a built in crowd... festivals etc. Anyone coming out for us is icing on the cake.
  18. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    Well aren't you the funny guy? Come on down and visit. After the hoedown we usually go skinny dippin'. There's lots to do here. You like snake handlin'?. Might save your soul!

    Lets see...31st largest city in the US with metro population over 500,00. Over 1,200,000 including So. Ind. cities right across bridge and surrounding counties. Hosts one of the biggest and most celebrated sporting events in the world even though it only lasts 2 minutes. Football team just won the Sugar Bowl. Indoor and outdoor venues galore. Some pretty fillies and good bourbon too, or so I am told.

    No. Nothin' to see here. Please move along. :p
  19. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    On a "bad" night close to 10-15. On a good night especially playing with other well known or major acts we could get anywhere from 50-100+
  20. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    average about 25 or so . We have drawn a lot bigger and a lot less too