Home   |   Recent Features   |   Write a Guest Blog for Us | Book a gig with us   |   Contact Us / FAQ

8 Reasons Your Gigs Aren't As Busy As You'd Like

Let's be honest local band gigs aren't as busy as they used to be

That said they're not dead either - looking at our gigs for 2012 they're much busier that 2011, 2010 and 2009 by far!!!

A combined mix of the recession meaning music fans are going for safe bets of stadium gigs or nostalgia acts


The over saturation of music venues, which means alongside the traditional music venues every pub from Dave's Karaoke Bar to the run down pub in the arse end of every city is now seeing live music as way toget punters in.

So how do you get your gigs busier than they currently are... here's a few reasons they might not be as busy as you'd like

1. You Gig Too Much
The old mantra goes "gig as much as you can and the fanbase will build" ... and yet you're gigging twice a week and still the fanbase hasn't grown. If anything, it's smaller than it was 6 months ago. Sound familiar?

Next time you play a gig and a band has a sizeable fanbase watching them, just go ask them how often they play and chances are their hometown gigs will be just once a month (or sometimes even less)

Gigs should be events where your crowd is buzzing about afterwards and telling every single person they know how amazing it was. Not compare that to the 8 gigs a month, where the fans that do come down repeat "XYZ were great, but there was nobody there" - how hard is it to build from that when you need to?

Tip: Make each gig a big event - single releases, band member birthdays are great things to build a gig around - do something to make that one big gig a month special

2. Your Fans Haven't Committed before the day of the gig

9 times out of 10 the phrase "I'll pay on the door" really means "i'm looking for something better to do"

Sounds harsh, but it's true

We've all played gigs where XXX amount of people say they're attending and then at 5pm on the day of the gig the text excuses roll in

Where possible get the commitment to come way in advance of the gig

Tip: Promoters can often set up individual online ticket links on request or paypal set ups via your bands own website are a great way to get tickets to people in advance

3. You don't fully utilise social media

Booked a gig, done the facebook event 2 months ago, one reminder on the day of the gig.... and well that's it!!!

Our sister company Altrincham HQ works with small businesses on their social media on the basis that small business can offer that personal service that big national chains can't. It's the difference between your local corner shop and going into Tesco's

Local band's can offer that personal touch that big bands don't have the time to, so stop selling at the fans constantly and talk to them one on one as people (especially on twitter)

Want more info on Social media check out many of our articles on www.designermagazine.org - but also check out www.altrinchamhq.co.uk for up to date Social Media news

Tip: Facebook events should be seen as a way to open a 121 conversation rather than taken as gospel for numbers attending

4. You don't utilise your offline network

Businesses tap into their own networks all the time and are often successful for doing so. If mum starts off a cupcake business or dad starts off a painter and decorator business, you wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anybody looking for these areas would you?

In band circles there's often a snobbish attitude that friends and family aren't allowed to come - in fact i've actually seen many instances of bands being dropped off by family members to be told "Come back after 10.30pm" - so not only are connections being not invited to come, they're actually being actively told not to come to the gig!!!

Let's break this down to the most simplistic we can

- 4 band members
- 5 Immediate connections are - 1 parent / 1 sibling / 1 best friend / 1 college, uni mate / 1 work mate
- Equals 20 people

And that's great - but I want you think further than those 20 people you know and see every day

They have 5 immediate connections as well so those 20 people * 5 = 100 potential new fans

And you're cutting off your route to those people because it's not cool to have friends and family at the gig who can bring genuine fans along

Tip: Each band member should always try and bring at least one new person to every gig

5. You don't actively support the scene

Gigs shouldn't just be about your band and they shouldn't be just about that one gig that night

We've wrote a lot about the 10 Ways You Can Actively #supportthescene here so have a read at full at this article

Bands that support the scene fantastically well are Dead Retinas, Morphine Ghost, The Goddamn Electric, Big False Assembly, ZSilent Z to name just a few - use the #supportthescene hashtag on twitter

Tip: Speak to the bands you're playing with before the gig itself - it builds up the relationship before you play and encourages bands to work together to make a better gig

6. You spend more time pushing a youtube video than a gig

Bit of a modern bugbear for me and one that particularly happens on the pop punk scene more than any other genre

You have a vid, that's great - content is king and all that - and anything new to spread the word is commended

But you have a gig this week and you've spend 29 days pushing the youtube video and 1 pushing the gig - you have 500 views on youtube of which 450 are band members checking who's viewing the video and zero people coming to the gig

Tip: Why not combine video's with gigs - The Imogen Styles are a great example of a band who do a unique video to push each gig they play - check them out!!!

7. You only put effort into Academy gigs or BOTB gigs

Every gig is important and often it's the mid range venues such as those in the Northern Quarter where you will get the real music fans walking up to see what's on musically

If a gig mention's A) Deposit B) Text Vote (which most modern BOTB'S gigs do) avoid at all costs

And on academy unsigned / live gigs remember often music doesn't come into their selection process - i've had bands contact me for gigs with no music or purely covers sets who i've turned down only to see them prop up slots at Academy venues. No music and they're booking gigs - what??

Tip: Look at the BOTBs / Academy Unsigned promoters facebook page to see how active they are online rather than looking at the venues page that promoters the larger gigs

8. You never thanked your fans after the last gig for coming

Always always always spend time thanking every fan in person that's come to the gig

Personal touch means a lot more than a generic thank you on facebook once you get home

It also gives you chance to find out which songs they preferred, tell them about the next gig and build a meaningful relationship with their friends of friends or family that have seen you for the first time

Tip: Before the last song, tell the fans you'll meet them at the bar / merch stand in 5 mins


And that's it folks

* If you have any tips please share them on our facebook or twitter so it helps any new bands to Designer Magazine

* And of course use the ShareThis buttons below

* Any bands wishing to book a gig with a promoter that works as hard as the bands - use the book a gig section at top of this page

Designer Magazine unless otherwise stated.

All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
NB: Please seek permission before using any articles within this site

Contact us: designermagazine@hotmail.com