Indie Music is here to stay, and live music shows are a staple experience for indie music lovers. Maybe your band is doing well. You’ve played some small gigs and, based on the feedback, you feel ready to take it to the next level. However, that’s easier said and done when you don’t have a manager or a label to help you out, and you have to do everything by yourself.
You know that an indie music event would be the best way to get a wider audience, present new material, and perhaps even impress a few key people in the industry. Pulling this off will be a lot of work. Luckily, the internet and social media are great tools for any aspiring music artist. And you know what they say: no pain, no gain!
Organizers try to make their events seem as spontaneous as possible, but in reality, they take months to prepare. The music aspect is probably the easiest to tackle, so you’ll want to give yourself enough time to prepare. For small events, you’ll need at least three months, and for bigger ones, six months or more would be safest. Make a list of all your tasks to make sure you stay on track. You don’t want to be looking for equipment to rent a few days before.
You’ll need to stay on top of marketing and promotion, event ticketing and booking, as well as the technical aspects. It’s highly unlikely that you’re an expert in all areas or that you will have enough energy to handle everything by yourself. You’ll need a team to help you with some of these responsibilities.
Gain Some Experience
You could read hundreds of articles like this one. Still, nothing compares to hands-on experience. If you’ve never organized a music event before, the first thing you’ll want to do is to find out who runs some of your favorite local events and offer to help them. This will allow you to see what you can expect, and you’re bound to learn a few valuable tips and tricks. It will also give you a chance to network, which will make it that much easier when you’ll start planning your own event.
If there aren’t that many events in your area, your first impulse might be to feel disappointed, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise. It means you have found a gap in your local market.
View Potential Venues
People buy tickets to music events to see the performers, but that doesn’t mean that the venue is not important. In fact, choosing the right venue is essential to your success. Your next step should be to start scouring for the perfect place. First, you want to consider your target audience. What kind of people like to come to your gigs and what places do they enjoy going to. Don’t be afraid of approaching venue owners and managers. They’re always looking for opportunities to expand their booking calendar, so they’ll be happy to hear you out.
You’ll also want to pay attention to aspects such as location, capacity, acoustics, and facilities. Again, your impulse might be to book a large venue but keep in mind that you want your event to look like it’s sold out. If it looks half empty, it will be disheartening for both the performing artists and the audience members.
One more thing. You may be considering the possibility of holding your event outdoors, maybe in a park. This is actually more difficult to do because of weather considerations, and you will need permits and extra equipment such as the stage.
Talk to Other Music Artists
As a music artist, you’ll probably want to play at your own event. However, know that there are significant advantages to collaborating with other performers. First of all, you’ll get to split the cost, which means you can work with a bigger budget. Secondly, you’ll have access to a wider audience.
For a small or medium-sized event, it’s better to have 3 or 4 supporting acts willing to share some of the responsibilities of promoting the event. You probably already have a list of your favorite local bands. You might even be friends with some of them. You’ll need to make sure that your music styles complement each other, so the line-up makes sense to the audience. Before approaching them for a collaboration, go to some of their gigs to see if they’re well attended and what kind of audience they have.
Pick a Date
The date is just as important as the venue because it can play a huge role in people’s decisions to attend or not. You don’t want to book a venue on the same night that some other major event takes place, so it would be wise to do a quick search and find out. There’s no point in doing all this work when your audience plans to go elsewhere.
There are some other things to consider as well. If you want to hold the event outdoors, as we mentioned earlier, you need to consider the weather. Similarly, if your event will take place in a college town, you don’t want to set the date when everyone is going home for the holidays.
Although you can split the cost of the event with the other performers, it wouldn’t hurt to get some sponsors since they can also help with marketing. You can get in touch with non-profit organizations, clothing brands, beverage companies, social media influencers, etc.
Speaking of social media, this is probably the most effective and cheapest way to advertise your event. You’re probably familiar with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Social media plays a massive role in a music artist’s career nowadays, so keep calm and keep posting. If you get a few haters, don’t worry. Their comments will still work to your advantage because they’re spreading the news, and anyone can follow the links to get to your music and reach their own conclusions.
You should work with a photographer and graphic designer to help you create promotional materials. Likewise, you should find a videographer to film you during your gigs from before the event and during the event. You can then use the footage as promotional material on social media.