One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a band is getting people to come out and see you when you play. It’s not as big of a problem when you’re in a cover band that’s playing in clubs where there’s a regular crowd every weekend that enjoys music by live musician‘s. If you’re playing original music, it can be difficult to fill up a room consistently. Whatever type of band you’re in, there are a few methods you can use to get people out to your shows.
The first thing you need to do of course is network all of the bands friends and family. They’ll be your biggest source of quality audience because they should already like you, at least personally. In a lot of clubs you can set up a guest list to get family members in for free. It’s always nice when you can tell your family that you’ll get them in to see you for free and it’s a way to encourage them to show up knowing that they’ll be expected at the door. It’s always a good strategy to tell them that you can only get a limited number of people in for free and that they’ll be one of them. It’s also a lot easier to be honest with family and friends and let them know that you really need their help to fill up the place that you’ll be playing. Friends and family like to help you so give them the chance to help you and they’ll most likely take it.
Another way to get people out to your gig is to give out tickets that have a face value on them. Get some printed out and start handing them out. It’s not too much pressure to tell people that the ticket is worth money and you don’t want to waste the tickets by giving them out to people who won’t show up. So with that ticket they’ll have a sense of value as well as something to hold onto with your band name as well as the place and time of the show you’re trying to fill up.
An even better way to use tickets is to get out and pre-sell them. A lot of people will buy tickets in advance from an actual band member. You can also hire some friends to sell tickets for you. The good thing about selling tickets in advance is that people will have a financial investment in coming to your show. It can be a job selling tickets but it works like a charm in getting people come out and see you.
Another great strategy is to let the girls in for free, or even better, give tickets out to only girls in advance. The reason this is a great idea is because if girls are coming to your shows, then the guys will follow. Guys want to be where there are a lot of women. So giving out free entry just to the ladies can really work well to get a crowd out to your shows as well.
Finally, you can have giveaways at your shows. You can give away CD’s, pictures, stickers or even guitar picks and drum sticks that have you band name on them. A lot of alcohol vendors will give you free merchandise to hand out at your shows as well. Word will get around that there’s free stuff to be had when coming to see your bands shows.
So there you have some great strategies for getting people to come out and see you. Always remember to advertise your show as much as possible with flyers, entertainment weeklies and radio announcements. It all adds up to getting a big crowd out to see you.