Playing in a major city is always an exciting experience. While it takes a lot of planning to set up a successful show, it can also be very rewarding in the end. The most obvious advantage of playing in a major city is that you get exposure to more audiences and to different niche groups that might not exist in smaller towns. But there is also more competition, which is why planning, strategy, and flexibility are key for playing concerts in major cities.
Fortunately, we live in the age of social media and we can start spreading the word about our upcoming show to people beforehand. Even if we don’t have a fanbase in that city, we can still target certain audiences, demographics, and people who listen to artists who have similar sounds to us. This will not only build word of mouth marketing, but it will also lead the way for playing in more venues and selling more tickets. Read on for 10 tips to build an audience in a major city:
1. Promote your event on social media platforms using location tags and hashtags
I can not emphasize the importance of social media when it comes to reaching out to new audiences. A lot of platforms allow you to tag your location in your post. This will help you show up amongst the photos and videos of that particular venue or city that you’re interested in. You can also use hashtags related to your genre, style, and similar artists.
2. Utilize touring add-ons on popular music streaming services
If your music has been released on streaming services, some of them have a feature for live music where you can list your future shows. When you do this, not only will your future gigs show up on your artist profile, but some services will email people who follow you in that specific city before your gig.
3. Sync your social media calendar
Using touring apps, you can also list your future shows and you can add them to your social media artist accounts.
4. Reach out to your current fanbase in that city
If you’re using an email list to manage and market to your fans, you can micro-target your list and send an email to fans that live near that venue.
5. Add your event to the local calendars
Major cities get lots of visitors and tourists who are more than likely to check out some live music while they’re in town. If your show is listed on the online concert calendars, you might get a crowd that doesn’t know you, but simply happened to be around that area exposing you to potential new fans.
6. Make teaser videos so people know what to expect
Make sure you create videos that highlight your performance. That way people can get a feel for your performance. Make sure you create your videos, upload them to your social accounts, and share it along with your event page.
7. Be proactive when reaching traditional media
Don’t rely on the venue to promote your event – they probably won’t. If you’re going to make a newspaper, magazine, or radio reach out, be sure to write a press release for this kind of media. Also make sure that you have photos, song samples, and videos that you can share them. In addition to traditional media, you can also use social media ads depending on your budget and timing. They allow you to target specific demographics, where you can even tag the fans of the bands that sound like you.
8. Keep ticket prices below $20 if possible
If your music caters to the below 30 age group, they are probably on a budget and they won’t be willing to pay $20 for an act they’ve never heard of. If you’re a band that is just starting out, I suggest keeping your ticket prices to around $5-$15.
9. Play on ‘good days’
The best days for performances would be Friday and Saturdays, but venues usually reserve those nights for the groups that have a bigger following. Sunday and Thursdays are the best options in this case, and people do go out on these days as well. Try to finish before 9-9:30pm on weeknights to get the optimum crowd size during week nights.
10. Make an email signup sheet
This way you can not only include them in your future reach outs, but also let them know next time you’re back in town. (see #4 above).
What are some of the major cities you played? How did you form your fanbase there?