Playing a live show is one of the best things that bands can do for their music career at any stage. It helps them connect with fans and one of the leading ways to get paid in the industry. With all that being said, it is still hard to get anyone to go to shows. They want to watch everything online and not have to leave their homes. Fans want to come and see you live, but sometimes even they don’t want to leave. You have to peak their interest to want to go. There are many ways to help get fans interested in coming out to your shows, but only a few very effective ways to get fans to shows. Here are the 3 best ways to get fans to shows.
The 3 Best Ways to Get Fans to Shows
Once you book a show you want to make sure to promote, even if it’s months in advance. Yes, there are promoters who book at venues who should be promoting, but you can;t rely on just them.
I know it gets annoying to create and receive sometimes, but creating Facebook event pages are a great way to do this. You can share it with friends and fans on Facebook and you have a link to share on multiple other sites. Not to mention everyone you invite can invite people they know to the show. It’s also a great way to help remind people going or thinking about going when the show is happening. Post things on the event page that will keep them interested. Not just saying you’re reminding them, but post videos of previous live shows and links to your music for them to hear. When it comes to ways to get fans to shows, anything will help, really.
Creating fliers will help, but you have to make sure to do things with them. Don’t just post them online. There are plenty of venues and music stores that will let you put them up. You want to make sure the fliers catch the eyes of the people you think will want to come to shows and put them at eye level. There are venues that will want you to create fliers and they will either want you to put up the fliers in the venue or mail them in so they can put them up.
2.) Excite the Fans
One of the timeless ways to get fans to shows is to excite your audience by building up anticipation leading up to the show. If you’re excited about the show, then fans will be excited about it, too. You want to give them something new and something to talk about. Put effort into the set list and everything you do before, during, and after the show.
Change things up so that it’s something new. You may not have enough songs at the moment to make it so different every time you play, but don’t do the same song in the same order and don’t do the same thing each time. If you can only do local shows for right now, change it up. Your fans will get bored with the same routine. I worked with a band who's fans didn’t feel like they had to come out because it they had seeing the same thing a few nights before and a few nights before that. If you’re touring and there’s enough distance between venues, you don’t have to change it up too much. Just make sure it fits for the audience you’ll be working with.
As much as most bands don’t care to, doing a cover song will help and will bring in new listeners. Most people won’t know your music, but if they hear something they know, they’ll want to listen more. Just make sure you know the song and if you don’t, use it as an opportunity to connect with the fans. Bring them on stage to help or go into the crowed and find people who know the song. The one thing you must stay away from is doing a cover song that the singer doesn’t know. You don’t want the floor covered in lyrics or the singer looking off their phone with it in their face the whole time. Yes, that does happen and it annoys fans. Last thing about cover songs, make sure it’s a song people know. There have been bands that will do a cover song that they know, but no one in the audience has a clue of who the original performers are or the song that you’re singing. The reason of a cover song is to get people to listen and sing along to it.
3.) Connect With Everyone
Doing a show is the only way that most fans feel that they can connect with band members and performers. Do things for them. One band I worked with was doing a special holiday performance. They decided that since people were coming out during the holiday season and taking time out of shopping and spending time with their friends and families, they were going to do something special for them. They have a box at every show with stuff they use for performing, but this time they filled it with silly gifts they got at the dollar store that worked with their image and the people that were going to be at the show. During a performance where the singer didn't have to sing as much, he went around with the box and had everyone pull something out. Everyone in the audience had so much fun and could not stop talking about them after. They even gave things to the bartenders and people hosting the show.
Everyone is important at the show. From fans to promoters to bartenders. Become friends with everyone and include them. Every band does the whole “tip your bartender” thing and it becomes old real fast. You want to include bartenders because they’re the ones who talk to everyone. They will inform regulars and new comers to come to the show and they will tell other bartenders about you. They will let the promoters know that people are talking about you and help you get booked at other venues. You want to get their attention and give them just as much reason to talk about you as anyone else in your performance life.
Doing a live show should excite everyone. It brings everyone together and gives memories to everyone. Don’t just do it for you, do it for everyone.
What are your favorite ways to get fans to shows? What ways to get fans to shows have worked for you in the past and what did you try that was a waste of your time? Share your insight & help other musicians just like you by commenting below.
This article was written by Michele Enoch
Michele Enoch is a music business graduate from Musicians Institute who has managed and promoted bands for years. She is now working on her photography and helping performers advance in their career. Her passion has always been music and she is exploring all aspects of the industry. Michele appreciates all kinds of music and seeing music in all kinds of environments. She enjoys crocheting hats and toys, reading and writing mystery and horror stories, taking pictures of everything she can, food from around the world, and adorable animals. She is always on the look out for anything new and exciting.