Making The Most of a Gig
One of the best ways of promoting your music is by playing live gigs. However, you need to make sure everyone knows who you are by using a backdrop with your name, putting your name on the bass drum or repeating your name to the crowd. You want to make sure that even the people arriving halfway through know exactly who you are.
It’s important to look professional, audiences don’t take too kindly to bands strolling on stage tuning up, chatting to each other etc. It can look a bit of a shambles and very uncool. Tuning up or fumbling around between every song gets on peoples nerves and is a sure fire way to put people off your band even if they did enjoy your music.
Building a rapport with the audience is important although it can be an incredibly difficult thing to get right. When an act just announce the names of the songs it can come across in many different ways such as they can’t be bothered, arrogance, nerves etc. Stage banter is something that does get easier with practice, however the most important thing for any artist is to be themselves, don’t try and come across as something your not. If you need a drink or two to steady your nerves do not get drunk, remember people have paid good money to come and see you perform all it takes is for one person in the band to spoil it for everyone (the other band members and the punters alike!).
Should you encounter any mishaps during your set i.e. equipment or power failure etc. don’t worry it happens to the best of them. However it’s always handy to have a plan to help cope with emergencies such as spare equipment. Some kind of drum solo or a song sung without any instruments, something a bit impromptu can also help instead of simply doing nothing and looking a bit embarrassed.
It goes without saying that you should be nice to your audience; however it’s also worth pointing out the importance of being nice to other people at the gig. Very often promoters won’t actually attend the gig but they will rely on feedback from the sound engineer or the door staff. If a band shows up full of attitude and arrogance you can be sure the promoter will find out.
Bar staff are also useful people to get to know, they’re the ones the punters chat to. They can be raving about your band for a long time after the gig. Anyone who goes to a gig that’s not all that good will end up at the bar at some point (A&R scouts included), very often they’ll chat to the bar staff about recent acts and if they were any good.
If there are other bands on after you remember to be considerate when clearing the stage, don’t keep them waiting, this’ll help win you friends.
It’s worth nominating one band member who’s the contact person for the stage manager or promoter and make sure that member knows it’s their job to collect the money.
Finally, now is a good time to hand out flyers promoting your next gig or your website etc. It’s also an excellent opportunity to collect names and addresses for your mailing list, remember people might be there to see another band but may come and see you again.