Following bands on tour isn't behavior reserved for superfans and vendors. Musicians also follow tours and Warped Tour has become a focus for emerging bands hoping to connect with attendees around the country. Some bands just work the parking lot while others find ways to make it inside for each stop but many, such as The Groundbreaking Ceremony, share a low key friendly approach to spreading the word and selling CDs.
The basic routine Blum observed for Warped Tour marketing and CD sales focused on a friendly approach to music sharing via headphones with the possiblity for a sale to follow.
Johnnie Baker of The Groundbreaking Ceremony (shown above), who've followed Warped Tour for three summers, shared numerous tips:
"The best you can do is just be a friendly face...We didn't go out there like, 'Hey, listen to my fucking band.' You just kind of spark a conversation. They're not customers. They're not a number. They're not $5 in your pocket."
The Groundbreaking Ceremony has taken different approaches to gaining access to Warped Tour each summer from using the same entry badge to get into shows throughout the tour to working for a catering company. But their approach is consistently "no-pressure" with a focus on "friendliness and a conversational approach."
Bands find the best sales time is working the line to get in from about 9 to 11 a.m. before entry begins. Says Baker:
"Once the doors start to open, the kids get really restless and they start moving and jumping around and getting excited, so they're less able to listen to your band and pick up a CD."
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.