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DIY UPDATE: What You Need To Know Promoting A Show - A Guide

Live music is coming back! We’re all very excited. However, there are always things that I think we can bear to think about when it comes to promoting shows. I’ve been promoting shows in one capacity or another since I was a teenager, so I wanted to break down the rules that I’ve followed for it to grow.

First and foremost I think it’s important to realize you are the only person who is going to push the show hard, furthermore I think it’s important to make the details about the event painfully clear. If you do that, and then attack on multiple angles for the promotion, you will be much more likely to have a successful show.

Only You Can Promote Your Show

I know this sounds shitty, and I know you think that your friends are totally going to help promote. But they won’t. Trust me. As much as you might think the lineup is cool or you as much as you’re tight with the band you put on as openers – they are not going to help you in a meaningful way on promoting the show.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you’ll get a pleasant surprise. But in my experience, be you artist or promoter, you always need to act as if you are the only one who is pushing the show. Most people are lazy and won’t work to ensure a good show. Don’t go into promoting your show expecting to get support from them.

Make The Details Extremely Clear

This is a big mistake I see people making. They make a Facebook event for the show and it doesn’t have clear info like the running order, when the show starts, set times, ticket price or any of that stuff. What’s even the point when you’re not including the core details? “This is happening, show up I guess?”

For the record, even if Facebook is largely a dad and shitty platform, the event pages are super valuable still. If you absolutely don’t want to use a Facebook event page for whatever reason, that’s fine, but again be sure that whatever you do in fact use has all the details and is painfully clear. While you’re at it – make sure your flyer makes this stuff obvious too.

Attack On Multiple Angles Of Promotion

Every scene is different, and you will know your scene better than I will, but try to attack on various angles. That is to say – do flyers, do social media ads, create content about the show, get the artists to post about it etc etc etc. Some of these methods will be more effective than others but all will be helpful.

If you’re just relying on one avenue of promotion for a live show you’re probably going to have a hard time. And yes, I know that sounds hard. But guess what? Promoting shows is hard. Especially in an era where the ultimate question everyone has to ask before going to a show is: “Would I have more fun staying home and playing video games with my pet?”

So yeah – those are the basics. Realize that you are going to lead the charge on promotion, because most people are hard to get moving. Make the details about the show super easy to follow so you can reach the next level. Then just push the show on every platform you have and see what you can do to make it work. Happy booking!

MattBacon's avatar

Cigar chomping Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Follow him on Instagram @Bacons.Bits for daily band advice videos! He can also be found at Dropoutmedia.net.

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