If you’re an artist who plays frequent shows both in your hometown and on tour, chances are you’re mostly playing to a 21+ age group. And usually, this is a good thing for a performer — this demographic tends to have more disposable income and is more likely to help run up your end-of-the-night payout with bar sales.

But by default, many artists end up overlooking a demographic that, according to a recent study by Nielsen, contains some of the most dedicated music fans — teenagers.

Nielsen’s study confirmed that 54% of teen concert attendees purchase t-shirts and merchandise [source]. Similarly, 51% of teens have purchased some kind of music (download, CD, etc.) in the last year [source]. These numbers are far above the national average, as well as being higher than any other age demographic.


Founder Jimmy Cantillon

So how do you get a foothold in this often overlooked but highly invested demographic? A good place to start is with this year’s High School Nation (HSN) tour. We spoke with founder Jimmy Cantillon about the festival’s inception and its benefits for the artists who participate:

“With HSN, you play in front of thousands of teenagers,” explained Cantillon. “Those are thousands of trendsetters; thousands of social media mavens; thousands of consumers. They will purchase your album. They will grow with your band and support you as an artist because they discovered you before you broke on a national level.”

Originally started as a lunchtime activities program for a small group of students, High School Nation has evolved into a national tour, visiting more than 20 cities across the United States. Now in its 11th year, HSN has grown from an afternoon of great new music to an opportunity to strengthen arts curriculum in schools, according to Cantillon.

“Over the years, we grew so close to the schools we worked with, that it was very obvious to us that they were hurting for funding,” he explained. “We felt we had an obligation to do our part to keep music alive for the students that would continue to enjoy our live acts during their lunch periods.”


Drake Bell at High School Nation

A returning opportunity for ReverbNation artists, the High School Nation tour offers bands or solo acts the possibility of opening up for Surfdog recording artist Drake Bell in front of thousands of high school students. It will also again seek to create a unique festival-like atmosphere at each school, while giving students the chance to explore various potential career paths related to the arts.

Cantillon clarifies that HSN focuses “on high school students because we think we can have the largest impact at this level. This is a time in life when many new things are presented to you for the first time.”

In short, High School Nation goes beyond most other shows you might play as an artist on the rise — it not only exposes you to an audience that is always looking for new music to consume and support, it also gives you the chance to create fans who want to grow with you.

Submissions close July 31st, so don’t miss out!

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When musician Ryan Trauley logged into Facebook to check the performance of a recent post to his band Oulipo’s page, the results shocked him.

“I have 800 fans on my page, but this post I wrote about my show was only seen by 10 people. I don’t understand how that’s possible,” said Trauley.

Ryan isn’t the only one surprised. Every day more artists are noticing that they’re reaching fewer and fewer fans on Facebook. Why is this happening?

Facebook is reducing the number of people who see your posts in their News Feed organically. They’re accomplishing this by cutting down on a number called “Organic Reach*,” which refers to how many people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page.

ReverbNation has been a longtime advocate of artists promoting themselves using social media. In 2007, we developed Band Profile, the first Facebook app for artists. Band Profile was designed to help artists take advantage of the growing platform, and to share everything with their fans, from songs to updates to merch.

Since then, ReverbNation has continued to integrate products closely with Facebook, including tying our ad offerings into Facebook through its API. In fact, we were one of the first partners invited to use their API (Application Programming Interface).

Given our front row seat to the ever-changing landscape of Facebook, I spent some time talking to those knowledgeable about the platform. I asked two key ReverbNation team members some questions and received some interesting responses.

[Read More...]

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 4.24.19 PM

Every month, ReverbNation artists submit for the opportunity to headline festivals, get featured in magazines & blogs, or receive airplay on some of the best radio stations across the country. Promoters then handpick their favorite artists for each opportunity — here are some of the highlights from this month’s selections. Increase your chances of being one of them and submit to an opportunity now.

Whiskey for the Lady and Jumpship Astronaut played the 2014 Wakarusa Music Festival

The Wakarusa Music Festival is one of the south’s premier music festivals and is home to artists like Girl Talk, The Black Keys, and Snoop Lion. The festival’s 2014 lineup included The String Cheese Incident, Walk Off The Earth, and The Flaming Lips.

Among these acclaimed artists were Whiskey for the Lady and Jumpship Astronaut.

Whiskey for the Lady understands the value of having a big festival name on their show list:

“The ability to say ‘We’ve played at Wakarusa’ will definitely help us continue to book larger gigs that we may have never had access to otherwise.”

Chris Bourland of Jumpship Astronaut agreed that this opportunity would open doors for the band

“We don’t always get a chance to attend things like huge music festivals when usually our focus is on finding time to tour and record. Having artist passes allowed us to meet and talk with some industry people we wouldn’t normally have access to.”

As an artist just getting their start, this provided the band with an inside look into the festival world; Bourland added that this is “very valuable information for a band just starting to tour and play festivals.”

[Read More...]

Booking Shows Locally: Tips From Venues and Talent Buyers

June 24, 2014

In my last post, I discussed the value of being a part of your own local music community. As a follow-up, I talked to a few venue owners and talent buyers to get their insights into how artists can get the most out of their local scene. Be Good Yes, this may be an obvious [...]

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No Band Is An Island: 4 Tips For Being A Part of Your Local Music Scene

June 3, 2014

In addition to working at ReverbNation both as a Customer Support rep and a copywriter for the Marketing department, I have spent the last eight years playing music in the Triangle music scene (Raleigh, Durham, & Chapel Hill). My bands Lilac Shadows, T0W3RS, and Soft Company have toured the east coast and released several full-length [...]

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Opportunities On Tap: Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, College News Magazine, WXOU college radio, and Temecula Valley International Film Festival

May 30, 2014

Check out a sample of the opportunities we have going on this week: Location: Multiple Available Genre: All This year’s Southern Original Competition will be selecting 100 ReverbNation bands who will compete for 10 spots at the official Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. Artists in ten different cities will have the chance to play their way to [...]

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May Breaking! Musicians Keeping a Beat through ReverbNation Opportunities

May 28, 2014

Artists use ReverbNation every month to vie for the chance to headline festivals, be featured in top magazines, play showcases in front of music industry pros and take advantage of all the opportunities to be seen and heard. So, if you’re wondering who submits to opportunities and what happens after submissions close, hear from the [...]

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Fast Five: Ground Up Brings Philly Hip-Hop to Atlanta’s A3C Hip Hop Festival

May 27, 2014

We sat down with Bij Lincs, AZAR and MALAKAI, members of Philly hip-hop trio Ground Up, to learn a little more about the group’s rising success. Most importantly, their 2013 debut at A3C, the biggest hip-hop festival in the US. Ground Up has opened up for renowned artists such as Wu-Tang Clan, Asher Roth, Rick [...]

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Pro Tips: Three Ways to Make Your Live Show Stand Out

May 23, 2014

This is a guest post from Tom Jackson, a world renowned producer, author and speaker with expertise in helping musicians improve their live show. Follow him on Twitter @onstagesuccess I’m a live music producer, and I’ve been working on artists’ shows for over 20 years. I help artists take what they are trying to communicate [...]

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