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Methods to fill the venue each time

Methods to fill the venue each time


Would you like your subsequent live performance to be a sell-out occasion?

In “The important thing to reserving higher gigs” I mentioned three of the most effective methods to show each present into successful:

  1. Don’t play too typically in any given city
  2. Select smaller venues which you can simply fill
  3. Make every gig particular (album launch present, tour kickoff, and so forth.)

However these are all high-level choices. There’s received to be extra to the formulation, proper? Certainly.

On this article I’ll talk about particular steps for efficient live performance promotion. 

You received’t must do ‘em all for each single present, in fact. However the extra objects you possibly can verify off this record, the higher your probabilities of promoting out the venue. 

Begin early! 

The sooner you possibly can guide a present, the extra time it’s a must to create curiosity within the occasion and work in your stage manufacturing. 

Some gigs come up last-minute. However these ought to be the exception to the rule. 

Attempt to guide your exhibits wherever from 3 to 12 months upfront

Status venues, music festivals, and high-demand home live performance collection could also be reserving even additional out than that.

Curate an important lineup

When you can’t sell-out the present by yourself, workforce up! 

Discover one or two different acts with a dependable draw in that city. Work collectively. When you’re reserving a tour by way of THEIR hometown, return the favor with a gig-swap once they journey by way of yours. 

Ensure you coordinate your plans for promotion with the opposite acts on the invoice. No want for 3 bands to work individually when you possibly can pool your efforts and price range. 

Select the precise ticket worth

You need to revenue from the present, however not cost a lot that you just don’t fill the venue. It’s a balancing act, and there’s some trial and error, for positive.

However lean on the venue or promoter’s experience in the event you’re uncertain of the precise worth.

Additionally ask for his or her suggestion or choices relating to ticketed occasions versus door-charge, and particular seats versus basic admission.

Get enterprise buy-in

The enterprise that you just need to see most invested in your present is the venue, in fact. 

So talk about with the promoter, the talent-buyer, or the venue administration what they plan to do to make the night time successful. What precisely are they operating for promo (advertisements, posters, and so forth)? Who pays for what?  

By getting detailed information, you’ll understand how your efforts can complement each other, or plug holes. 

Then ask your self: Are there different companies or charities that may make investments on this present? An outdoor sponsor who can cowl a few of the prices and promote the occasion to their clients, in change for some branding, training, or product placement in the course of the present?

Prioritize wonderful design

Your occasion has to LOOK cool. Upfront. 

You need individuals — once they attend the present — to really feel cool by affiliation

So ensure that your live performance posters, related social posts, Fb Occasion Web page banner, and different net property all have a putting visible attraction. 

You are able to do so much nowadays with Canva and AI design instruments, however in the event you want a professional designer, allocate some promo price range. It’ll be well worth the expense. 

Replace all the pieces!

Make a listing of all of the locations that want fast edits or bulletins, together with:

  • Your live performance calendar
  • Bandsintown
  • SongKick
  • ReverbNation profile
  • A Fb occasion
  • YouTube Playing cards (in the event you’re within the YouTube Companion Program)
  • Information-bars or popups in your web site
  • And extra

Now go and add the related information about your present!

Don’t neglect your electronic mail record both. Section the record primarily based on geography, and ship an electronic mail to individuals in that city.

Put up posters

IRL posters are nonetheless vital. 

When you’re taking part in a unique city, mail them on to the venue, native document shops, and another related place for public show, comparable to libraries, instrument shops, bookstores, espresso outlets, and so forth. (name or electronic mail beforehand). 

Or if an area band is opening, coordinate with them to hold posters. When you’re taking part in your individual hometown, cling ‘em up your self!

Tease the thriller

Will you could have a particular shock visitor? Get individuals guessing, however don’t reveal the reply.

Will you debut a particular track? Share a snippet from observe that sounds acquainted, however not a lifeless giveaway. 

Are you engaged on an fascinating stage design, props, or costumes? Present some behind-the-scenes moments the place these parts are simply beginning to come collectively, however aren’t fairly prepared for showtime. 

Plant the seeds of curiosity.

Create devoted merch

Inform your followers there shall be a particular merch merchandise that can ONLY be acquired in the event that they attend the present. 

You might promote it on the merch desk. You might give it away on the door. Or you possibly can embody it as a part of a particular ticket bundle. 

The purpose is to create a way of urgency and commemoration. 

Make ticketing EASY! 

You typically received’t have a alternative about how ticketing works, which platforms are used, and so forth. A whole lot of that’s left to the venue’s present processes. 

However wherever you possibly can, you need as few clicks as potential between your promo efforts and the ultimate buy.

Don’t ship somebody from an Instagram picture to your web site’s live performance calendar to a venue website to a ticketing web page to checkout, when you possibly can in all probability take away just a few of these steps. 

Run digital advertisements

You probably have an important piece of social content material (efficiency movies work effectively), run it as an advert to individuals who dwell inside driving distance to the venue. 

Use the caption to deal with the precise city and get them excited to your present. 

Get retargeting information

Is it potential to accumulate retargeting information or buyer contact information from the ticketing platform or venue? 

That is one other merchandise that can typically be out of your management, however when you have enough leverage, it is perhaps potential to work with the venue or ticketing service to coordinate your on-line advertising efforts to allow issues like:

  • Cart abandonment messages to follow-up with anybody who virtually bought a ticket
  • Bonus affords to present ticketholders (low cost code to deliver a pal, and so forth.)

Take into account non-musical collabs

The invoice you set collectively doesn’t all the time have to incorporate different musicians. 

If for no matter motive you assume it’d work higher to accomplice with a comic, a short-film premiere, a storyteller, a dance troupe… get inventive with the lineup!

Host a contest

If followers assume they is perhaps acknowledged not directly in the course of the occasion, there’s further incentive to attend. 

This may very well be a contest operating AT the occasion: Greatest costume? Shoot a fan testimonial video on the door and we’ll choose our favourite for a prize? 

Or one thing you run upfront of the present: Submit alternate lyrics to considered one of our songs and we’ll sing our favourite entry? Write your dream setlist and we’ll play our favourite? 

Alert the native press

Cowl your PR bases! 

Inform the native music critics and bloggers about your present, why it’s gonna be wonderful, and that you just’re joyful to supply the rest they want. 

Together with interviews, comped tickets, and so forth. 

Additionally, don’t neglect chamber of commerce, native newspapers, neighborhood zines, and extra.

Submit natural social content material

It may be a balancing act for touring musicians to create content material that feels related to native audiences with out ostracising the bigger fanbase. 

However on condition that TikTok and Instagram are actually so algorithmically pushed, chances are you’ll contemplate creating geo-tagged content material, as that sort of stuff usually will get surfaced to related viewers, particularly on TikTok. 

You may also depend on extra non permanent codecs like Tales to emphasise city-specific occasions. 

Theme it up!

Not each live performance wants a gimmick. Not each type of artist ought to have followers exhibiting up in costumes. But when it’s applicable, get your followers concerned in creating the vibe for the night time.

You probably have a theme, you don’t need it to be prohibitive. Costumes ought to be elective. And the theme ought to be open-ended sufficient that a median fan can simply put collectively a fancy dress (80s night time, favourite film character, and so forth.)

Provide totally different ticket packages

Generally slightly exclusivity goes a great distance, so ensure that to have a ticket tier for a number of sorts of fan: 

  • Informal fan / basic admission / door cost / balcony seating
  • True fan / higher seating / superior admission / watch the soundcheck
  • Diehard fan / particular remedy / VIP merch / backstage hangout

Use all the visitor record

I don’t know why, however many musicians really feel embarrassed to really refill the visitor record. 

It’s there for a motive. We’d as effectively put names on it!

Simply be certain you’re utilizing these coveted free spots for individuals within the native business like music journalists, or on the very least, followers and buddies you possibly can completely rely on to point out up if their title is on the record. 

Do a ticket or prize giveaway

I discussed contests above, and ticket giveaways or merch prizes could be a good method to reward contest winners, but in addition embody the native music business or music media in your promotion.

Provide tickets to be given away by native radio DJs, native companies, or the venue itself. 

Play an in-studio

When you can carry out at a neighborhood or faculty radio station on the morning of the present, it will possibly typically be a superb alternative to promote these final remaining seats. 

Both as a result of individuals had been impressed whereas listening, or since you seize cool social content material that helps extra individuals on the town be taught in regards to the present last-minute. 

Play an in-store (mayyyyyyybe)

Taking part in in an area document retailer CAN be a great way to generate pleasure for a present later that night time or later that week. 

However… these can typically flip into an occasion all their very own, so that you don’t need to threat individuals selecting the document retailer efficiency OVER the venue efficiency. 

That’s why I wrote mayyyyybe above. 

Particular themed drinks

It is a small factor, however can make the night time a bit extra enjoyable, deliver just a few extra individuals by way of the door, and increase bar income. 

Work with the venue forward of time to create a drink named after your act, or considered one of your songs. 

Participation is vital

I’ve talked about one thing related just a few occasions already, however you need your viewers to really feel like they could be a PART of the occasion, not only a witness.

Discover methods to incorporate followers.

Allow them to affect the setlist beforehand by modifying a collaborative playlist or responding to a ballot. Put aside a minute or two every present to deliver somebody from the viewers onstage. Ask them questions, or allow them to sing just a few strains. 

You need to create a way of each probability and company for the group. 

Tag accordingly!

Earlier than, throughout, and after the present — tag the opposite acts, the venue, the musicians within the images, the designer, and any followers pictured. Set the placement of the submit. Discover a related hashtag for that city’s music scene. 

The identical method you need to pack individuals into the membership, you need (a few of) your posts to really feel like a celebration too.


As you possibly can see, there’s so much you COULD do to make your subsequent present successful. 

Main artists in fact have groups to deal with a lot of the work. For self-booking artists, a lot of the above will fall in your shoulders. If you wish to get to the stage the place others deal with the reserving and live performance promotion for you, you’ve received to promote out your individual live shows at this time. 

Nobody promised it will be straightforward. However it’s potential. And I hope the record of choices above offers you with a superb framework for fulfillment. 

Right here’s to many sell-out exhibits forward! 


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