Moving to Your Band's Audience
June 12, 2012
Megan in advice for bands, touring, travel

Are you a member of a band, or a singer who wants to make it big? Are the local shows just not cutting it? What you may need is a bigger market and you may have to move to get it.

Following the Lead of Others

Consider the story of Kathy Mattea. Today she is a widely-recognized artist, with 17 albums, 30 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chats, and 12 more Top Ten singles.

Born in West Virginia, Mattea knew she wasn’t going to make it big playing with her band at West Virginia University. Dropping out of school, she decided to move to Nashville, the well-known home of country music. Playing at the popular Bluebird Café, Mattea made a name for herself.

The rest is history. Singing demos for other songwriters, producer/songwriter Byron Hill found the young performer. Introducing her to Frank Jones, the head of Mercury Records at the time, Mattea caught her break and signed her first record deal. It came five years after she made the big move.

Tapping into the Market

Stories like these are not uncommon. There have been many artists who, looking to get their big break, have moved to a bigger market in order for a chance.

Take a look at “America’s 40 Best Music Venues” as chosen by Paste Magazine. You’ll find that hot spot in Nashville where the next country music sensation might be found or a place in Seattle where a rock band might thrive.

Music venues like the Bluebird Café can give you a unique opportunity for exposure. From band battles and open mic nights to the opening gig on a weeknight, new locations will offer different opportunities. Being new to an area will also makes you a fresh addition to the scene. If the venue you’re looking at has a solid group of regulars, then they’ll welcome the new face. Moving for your music will also widen your audience significantly. Staying in the same place can create loyal fans, but music needs numbers. Think of it this way; a fans loyalty doesn’t change the amount of monetary support they can give. Your mother’s ticket will make you just as much money as a stranger’s.

Are You Ready for that Step?

Take a moment to see where you are as an artist, or a band. Have you hit a plateau? Do you need to get more exposure? Are you ready to dedicate yourself to put your band on the map?

Perhaps it’s time to look at that big-city move. It might require a lot of work at a “day job” to pay the bills while you play for nothing – or next to nothing. You’ll also have to work to get someone to represent you, to get your name out to the right people. It’s been done.  Just ask Kathy Mattea. Your band could be one show away for making a name for itself. Perhaps it’s time to move to a place where it can all happen.


Megan Brown is a music lover and blogger who loves helping out bands with tips for better exposure. Find her on Twitter or on her personal website for more!

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (
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