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Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).

Entries in shows (12)

Wednesday
Jul312013

Your Fans Won't Come to Your Shows...

That’s right, on average, 75% or more of your fan base won’t make it out to a show on your next tour. Proximity. Sold out. Cost. All factors which can keep your most loyal fans from attending your next killer show. Learn some creative ways to engage your non-attending fans.

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Tuesday
Apr302013

How Often Should You Play? 6 Drawbacks to Playing More Shows

In some of my other articles, such as How to Book SXSW, I mention the importance of playing often. However, I need to add a disclaimer: it isn’t just about the quantity of shows plated, it’s also about the quality. While in theory, it sounds good to perform as much as possible because you can gain more exposure, the results can be quite different.

There is such a thing as playing too often, especially in the same market. Here are some of the biggest reasons why you should limit the number of shows you play:

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Wednesday
Feb132013

5 Things You Need to Know About Unofficial SXSW Showcases

This is the time of year where many artists many artists are starting to get their SXSW rejection letters. It’s also the time of year where you’ll see many contests on SonicbidsReverbNation, and other sites that try to have you have your fans vote your way into a slot at the festival. However, eager artists who want to break into the music industry will begin finding other ways to a part of the action and that includes unofficial SXSW showcases or other festivals taking place in Austin at the same time. Before you jump at any of these opportunities, you better educate yourself.

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Monday
Jan142013

The 3 Things You Need to Know About Booking CMJ Music Marathon

It’s January so that means artists are clamoring to get their applications in for CMJ Music Marathon, a large industry festival based in New York City, NY. I’ve written about booking and playing music festivals such as SXSW in the past before and many of same ideas hold true here. These are the top 3 things you need to know about booking CMJ:

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Wednesday
Dec052012

Playing Profitable Shows as a Band: The 25% Rule

A recent article by Last Stop Booking highlighted the fact that touring is now more important than ever. If you have the time, I highly suggest reading through the article to get a basic feeling for how you should be planning your tours as a band.

I’d like to add some tips/ideas to that post by going farther than just giving ballpark numbers and touring radiuses to go off of and instead dive into a profitable tour itinerary that just about any new indie band can use as a template.

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Friday
Aug172012

I'm With the Band: Tips for Traveling Success

Whether you’re a part of the band, a helpful roadie or just a follow-you-anywhere fan, traveling with a musical group can be equal parts invigorating and exhausting. If you’re preparing to hit the road with a band, keep some basic travel principles in mind to ensure your musical adventure is as stress-free as you can make it, despite the hectic schedule and nights of activity you’ll surely face on the road.

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Monday
Aug062012

How to Get Into SXSW

A while I ago, I wrote an article called “How to Book SXSW and Is It Worth It?”

Now that the application window for SXSW is open again, I think it’s time to revisit some of these concepts. First of all, if you read the previous article, you’ll know that I spend a lot of time discussing the appropriateness of your act applying for the festival. The committee that reviews applications looks at multiple factors to see if you are at an industry level worthy of the event. If not, you’ll be rejected fairly early in the process. If you are ready though, here’s what you can do to prepare:

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Wednesday
May302012

The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Post-Show

Dave Cool is the Director of Artist Relations for musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle. Twitter: @Bandzoogle | @dave_cool

The “Four P’s” is a term used to describe the traditional Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. I’m borrowing from that expression to talk about the Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation, Promotion, Performance, and Post-Show. This series of blog posts will cover the things that you can be doing as a live performer to maximize each show. In the final part of this series, we’ll go over what to do after your show is finished:

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Tuesday
Sep272011

Band merch 101: What to make, how to make it, how to sell it

Music merchandise has always been important to bands, both as a source of revenue and to help raise awareness of your ‘brand’. Fans love buying merch too - the music we like is closely tied in with our identity, and wearing a band’s t-shirt is a way of showing off that identity to others. Now, merch is more important than ever as a way of making money. For many independent artists, the music itself is almost a ‘loss leader’ - given away to promote live shows and merchandise. But what should you sell, and what’s the best way to sell it?

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Thursday
Nov052009

Start Your Own Scene

I hear a lot of people complain that their band can’t really get anywhere because there’s not much of a scene where they live. However I don’t see a lot of people doing anything about it. If there’s going to be a scene, someone needs to have the vision and initiative to start it. So if you don’t have a booming scene where you live – start your own! Here’s how: The first thing that you need to do is to scout out at least one good venue. What you want to look for are venues that are:

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Wednesday
Nov042009

What are music fans willing to pay for?

I’m not a musician. I’m a fan. And from my perspective, it’s clear that fans do want to support artists that they like. Here’s a list of things that fans will pay for, even if they can get your music for free:

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Monday
Oct122009

Cancellations and Rescheduling

So the show got cancelled. Whether it was your fault, the venues fault, the manager’s fault or the weathers fault, it really doesn’t matter. It is strange to me that when something goes wrong, people seem to be much more about figuring out who did something wrong and assigning blame over the much more obvious and much more effective problem solving and doing what you can to make the best out of the situation.

Gigs are going to get cancelled or rescheduled. Times are going to occur when you are going to be double booked. You can take the right steps to organize and track things the best you can, but problems occur and sometimes they just can’t be helped. I have heard bands scream and moan about this booking agent or that manager messing up. Then I have seen the online postings where bands blast venues and then the venues go back blasting bands. This really doesn’t solve a single thing and it keeps you further as well as takes up time you could use to reschedule, take steps to make sure it does not happen again and reach out to your fans and people that were going to come to the show.

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