Guest Post by Bobby Borg
The rule of thumb is “quality before quantity.” However, if you desire to perform more than just one time per month, there are four basic exceptions to the rule that you should consider strongly. Read on.
1. Club Residencies: In a club residency, a promoter will typically give a new band an opportunity to perform as much as four times per month (once weekly) in his venue with hopes that the extra exposure will generate word-of-mouth promotion and build up local demand. if that wasn’t clear enough, this might be one time where a promoter is forgiving of a partially empty club. But if you fail to promote effectively and grow your crowd each week, the club residency can quickly be terminated and the relationship with the promoter forever damaged.
2. Alternate Format Performances: Under an alternative format strategy, you perform two or three times monthly, but you do it using non-competing formats of your music. For instance, an indie artist might play one territory with her full electric band the first week and then do a more intimate acoustic solo performance in the same territory on the third week. This can be a pretty cool way to get fans to keep you at the top of their minds. However, you must monitor your audience to be absolutely sure that you’re not creating competition between your own sets.
3. Dual Territory Performances: Under a dual territory strategy, you play once a month, for instance, in each of two (or more) separate and defined territories. For example, an artist in Southern California might play in Hollywood during week one and in Long Beach during week three. The result is that he or she is playing two times monthly, but only once monthly in each territory. However, to pull this off successfully, you have to promote your ass off and build up a following in two separate territories. Needless to say, this can be extremely difficult and require a lot of time, money, and energy. And finally...
4. Tours: As most of you already know, tours are typically booked with enough distance between each venue so that there is little competition between markets and no risk for over exposure. Thus, when touring, you typically play several nights in a row, and as much as 25 times per month. While it is possible for a young “original” band to hop on the college circuit or to play military bases, remember that touring is an option typically for those that have build up a high demand in a number of territories, and who are at a more advanced level to expand outward.
So that’s about it. These tips are common sense, but sense is not always so common—sometimes we all need a few reminders. Have fun and remember to invite me to your next gig.
BOBBY BORG is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician: Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack On A Low Budget (September 2014). The book is available on Hal Leonard website under “Trade Books” http://bit.ly/1po5FyO (ISBN: 9781480369528), AMAZON http://amzn.to/X4Fwst, or Bobby Borg (www.bobbyborg.com).