Back in October I wrote about the Josh Urban Rail Tour and what Josh Urban learned from involving others through social media. Beginning May 24th, Urban is exploring new but related territory, again traveling by train to multiple locations and including other through social media but this time focusing his trip on a search for "everyday heroes" as he performs at hospitals, nursing homes and on the streets.
The Josh Urban Rail Tour was a multistop train tour that went as far south as Charlotte, NC and as far north as New York City. Along the way, Josh Urban performed on the streets and shared his experience through web posts and live mobile phone broadcasts via Google+ Hangouts.
Urban involved others who he invited to tell their stories online tying his and their use of social media together using the hashtag #JURT.
Though Urban found that his call to action was a bit vague for most people, participation was particularly strong on Twitter and Instagram. In addition, he found the opportunity to interact with folks via Google+ Hangouts to add to the experience when he played at locations on the street with intermittent audiences.
The Search for Good Tour
Now he's ready for a second round which he's dubbed "The Search for Good Tour - Finding those who rock the world":
"There's good everywhere, but sometimes it doesn't make the news. So, we have to find it ourselves."
"The search begins Friday, May 24th, as musician Josh Urban sets out to find it. Join him via social media as he travels the east coast by train, playing music in children's hospitals, veterans centers, and street corners, finding the people, sights, and sounds that make the world a brighter place."
"Start a hunt of your own – go fourth and find the everyday heroes around you. Tag your photos and stories back to the tour using the #JURT (Josh Urban Rail Tour) hash tag on social media to share Josh's stage to reach a worldwide audience. Invite your friends, family, and co-workers to join you."
"Together, we'll go on tour. Together, we'll change the narrative. All the world's a stage. Let's put some good on it. The train leaves May 24th. All aboard!"
This time he begins in New York City and travels to Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Raleigh, NC and multiple locations in Virginia and online.
Josh Urban Discusses His Plans
I spoke with Josh Urban yesterday between his scheduled music lessons. As before, he was full of energy and an evident life force that fits well with his creative approach to taking his music to new audiences.
This time around Urban is again finding that people like the idea of what he's doing and he's hopeful that asking for stories of everyday heroes will make it easier for people to get involved. Focusing on a search for good and playing at locations such as hospitals and nursing homes definitely connects with folks.
In addition, he's created a Facebook Group in the hopes of involving people more deeply beyond their social media posts tagged #JURT. Last time he tried a Facebook Page but this time he's hoping that the alerts to members will keep them more engaged over time.
Urban is reaching out to a wide range of media outlets beyond the web, including magazines, newspapers and radios, with an earlier push to magazines. Last time he missed out on some coverage due to starting that push a bit late for magazine deadlines.
He's also created a brief radio spot about the tour with his music in the background plus he's creating station ids. Though he's not yet famous, he likes to think that the station id is a nice gesture while the radio spot makes things easier for stations that want to run it.
Exploring New Territory
This time Urban's reaching out to hotels for sponsorships and he's already scored a night in New York City which will help cut expenses. He said he finds it intimidating to cold call businesses but it's all part of the job and that's clearly not standing in his way.
When contacting hospitals and nursing homes, he made a few discoveries. For example, he'd initially envisioned going room-to-room at hospitals but found that they have exceptionally rigorous screening processes and sometimes asked that he be an ongoing volunteer to have such access.
But once it was suggested that he play in the waiting room of one hospital where cancer patients waited for chemotherapy, he found that hospitals and nursing homes were much more open to that possibility or to small concerts in areas designed for patients and residents to gather.
In addition to playing a normal acoustic guitar, Urban says he recently built a cigar box guitar and people have been drawn in by its unique look and sound. It also fits in the front pocket of his guitar case so it's going to be an extra item to connect with his audience on tour.
As before, Urban says he's looking forward to taking his act on the road. His application of lessons learned on his previous adventure to "The Search for Good Tour" is an excellent example of his emphasis on finding creative ways to move forward in today's music landscape.
- How Taking Everybody On Tour Via Social Media Changed Josh Urban's Approach To Music
- Alternative Touring Projects Get Attention For Creativity Beyond The Music
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.