A community of music lovers, all escaping to a picturesque spot to immerse themselves in a concert that lasts for days...there is just something magical about a music festival. Whatever your genre, from jazz to rock to alternative to bluegrass, there is a festival out there for you. If you're booked for an upcoming festival, follow these tips to make the most of what can be an amazing experience.
**Guest post written by Ari Herstand, a DIY singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA with 500+ shows under his belt, as featured in his blog "Ari's Take".
"The most popular "myth" to debunk these days by talking heads in the biz is that it's not about who you know. Everyone will say "just be great - you don't need connections!" Bull...Most of the opportunities that musicians get aren't because they are undeniably great. It is because they are nice guys and gals who people like to be around."
**As featured in Indie on the Move's Touring Tips Section.
When first breaking into a new market, even the best promotion can often yield poor results in attendance because you have yet to build name recognition in that area. Other times, you are forced to play for exposure alone just to get your leg in the door at one of the local music venues. In either case, merchandise sales can not only get you to the next show and pay for gas, but also allow you to continue and finish the tour without going bankrupt.
A great song has the ability to mark a time in society and capture the spirit of a generation. It takes great musicians, writers, producers, and a team to break it in the market, but before all that happens, the pieces need to come together and someone needs to help put them together. Enter the A&R department. In this clip, Neil Jacobson, the Sr. VP of A&R at Interscope Records, talks about what he looks for in a song and why it's important that it can cross over into popular music.
**Guest post written by Brian Penick, author of Musicians' Desk Reference and Touring Musician, as featured on Billboard.com.
1. Reality Check! (Setting Milestones + Goals) 2. Proper Merch Mentality 3. Take Care Of Yourself First - Initial Self-Servicing...
**Guest post written by Brandon Seymour, musician, SEO analyst, web designer, and social media marketer.
"If your band doesn’t take the time to build and maintain a strong social following, then chances are you’ll get left behind. I hate to break it you, but there’s a lot of independent bands and musicians out there. Even if you’re from a small town in the middle of nowhere, your online presence helps you compete on a global scale." Here's how...
**Guest post written by Salina Sias. Salina is a Brooklyn based singer-songwriter with a deeply personal folk-inflected vision and serves on the board of directors of Women In Music. This piece was originally posted on ThrowtheDiceandPlayNice.com.
"I just got back from the 26th annual Folk Alliance International (FAI) music conference in Kansas City, MO...They [music conferences] can be overwhelming, as I can attest after having just dragged my butt back to Brooklyn from Kansas City. So, the generous soul that I am, I thought I’d share my experiences and advice after my first trip ever to a “folk-music conference.”"
**Guest post by Chris "Seth" Jackson, a bass guitarist and composer and founder of HowToRunABand.com.
OH no! I can't get a show! I keep sending out booking emails that never get replied to. What do I do?...
**Guest post written by Paula Tolly, one half of the Boca Raton based Americana duo 33 Years.
"You know the scenario.... you’ve been trying to get into this local bar for who knows how long and your buddy just gave you the name of the new booker. You email him or text or whatever his preference is and you get the dreaded dead end comment back: "How many people can you draw at my venue....?" Your heart sinks, your confidence dwindles and you think, "Hey, is there anyone out there who really cares about the music nowadays?""...
**Guest post written by Joshua Powell, singer-songwriter, DIY musician, and frontman for Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery, as featured in his blog Fearsome Folk.
"So we’re on this bill and the first act is a singer-songwriter who sang from a digital piano. Now, I have zero intentions of discrediting him or her, or of being condescending in any regard – this blog won’t serve as an outlet for snark for snark’s sake. But in my observations of this artist, I collected some notes that demonstrate well what I believe to be three ways to NOT conduct yourself as an artist who aims to be taken seriously..."
**Guest post written by John Safari, President and Co-Founder of Orange County Music League.
"A lot of bands complain about the music scene for one reason or another. In my opinion, most of these bands aren’t thinking of the bigger picture, or outside of their band for that matter. I started Orange County Music League to put an end to pay to play. Bands are not a dollar sign. Here are some things that local bands are going to need to start doing in order to build a thriving scene..."
**Guest post written by Jorge Brea, Owner & Managing Director of Symphonic Distribution.
"By now it’s apparent that there is a ton of music out there – over-saturation is a term you may hear often these days. For anyone getting involved with the music industry, there is always a need for more exposure and promotion. If an artist or a record label has it, they will sell better, simple as that...Here are 7 quick tips that you can apply to increase your exposure and potential..."
**Guest post written by Matt Jones, a full-time singer-songwriter and solo artist, as featured on Pyragraph.
"I’m not sure what your goals are as a musician/artist/songwriter. Many of the people who have relocated to Nashville do so from a desire to be around the best creative people, and to have a much better chance for their music to be noticed on a larger scale. I think most of us have a similar desire..."
**Guest post written by Brandon Waardenburg, founder of Apparatus (an artist accelerator providing music advice and coaching to independent artists and DIY musicians) as well as a musician, songwriter, "musicpreneur" and consultant.
"The luster of performing can die pretty quickly when it becomes old...Truthfully, any activity can turn into a grind no matter how intentional we are about keeping focused..." Here are some signs that you are on the right track.
**Guest post written by Brad Barnett, professional musician and founder of Indie 411.
Most musicians have a general idea of how to promote their upcoming shows...With so many musicians actively promoting their gigs, it comes as a surprise to me that most of them stop there. What I mean by that is they work hard to try and get people out to their event, then don’t do anything to promote or sell their brand once it’s show time...If the goal is to get as many people to know about you as possible, then there are a few things you should be doing at gigs to maximize your reach.
**Guest post written by Amir Mozafari, Director of BD for Everfest and formerly of C3 Presents.
1. Develop a relationship with local promoters. 2. Practice, practice, practice! 3. Keep your EPK (Electronic Press Kit) up to date...
**Guest post written by Wade Sutton of Rocket to the Stars.
"I’ve been blessed with working with independent artists from all over the world for the past couple of years...I’ve also found myself, from time to time, serving as a pseudo-therapist for artists struggling emotionally when somebody close to them suggests their love for music is nothing more than a hobby and that the artist should consider a more traditional type of employment. You know. A “real job.”"
**Guest post written by David J. Hahn, originally featured on MusicianWages.com.
"You get a call. It’s a friend of yours, they are throwing a big party, and they want you to play for the guests...You get another call. It’s a local non-profit. They are throwing a fundraiser at a fancy venue and they want you to provide entertainment for a couple of hours...A third call comes in. It’s a local venue. They are having an event next month and 5 bands are playing a 30 minute set each. They’d like to invite you to perform...So what do you do? Do you take these gigs? You know that you have to make a living, but you know you also have to get out there and play for people."
**Guest post written by Louise Dodgson, Editor at The Unsigned Guide.
"Working with a booking agent is a topic we’re often asked about by artists and bands who wonder whether they should still undertake all gig bookings themselves or acquire the services of an agent who can bag those lusted-after festival slots and tour supports. Do I need an agent? At what stage should we approach one? Will a booking agency even work with an unsigned or emerging band? If you’ve ever wondered about any of the above, this blog is for you!"
**Guest post written by Nicholas Rubright of Dozmia.
This is the last part of "50 Ways to Promote Your Music and Grow Your Fanbase".
**Guest post by Doug Beney, lead editor of MIDI Lifestyle.
"You've been improving your skills for months, spending countless hours slaving over your DAW, perfecting every slight detail in your mix. Finally happy with your track, you publish it on Soundcloud, sit back, and.....Crickets...What I hope to provide you with today are some quick, practical improvements you can make in how you promote your music that will actually get you results..."