How to leave your impression on the whole city, not just the venue when on tour there are many ways, while on tour, to leave your band’s impression and brand behind. A lot of them actually come from the things you do leading up to your shows, and not just the shows themselves! This is a quick list of things you can do in a city to boost your fan base, and potentially even your show’s attendance.
Before I get into the list, there are a few things you’ll have needed to accomplish before you hit the road. I’ll get this out of the way quick. – Try to keep your shows within 3-6 hours of each other. Small town are fun to play, by the way. (Shout out to Fresno) – Print as many stickers as possible, and don’t be too cheap. (Buy a box of gloves too. I’ll explain later.) – Ask the venues/promoters for free tickets to give away during your day in the city. (This is opposed to you trying to sell randoms vs. brand to them) –
Search for and contact Record Stores, Coffee Shops, Local Radio or other small day venues you can do an acoustic set at before your show. (Bring the acoustics, too)
Alright, let’s get into how you can use your time to leave a bigger impression in the city before you even get to the show.
1. Arrive for breakfast / lunch and go out to eat. Talk to your server and everyone you interact with about being a band on tour. The key is, to come off laid back and not trying to sell yourself. You can give them a free sticker, and if they seem interested and you got some tickets to give away, you can invite them for free. Odds are, they’ll actually show up since you’re from out of town and gave stuff away vs. trying to sell them. Do ask for their email if they decline though. Worst they say is no.
2. Take a walk around town, hit the music stores, art stores and anywhere you can meet cool people. Do the same with them as in #1. When people are interested but can’t attend, always ask for an email.
3. Really this should have been number one, but this is why you brought the gloves with you. Put your band’s sticker inside the pisser in every men’s bathroom. Sure, they might be peeing you you, but they are also reading your band name while doing so. If you are in every pisser in the city, people are going to want to know who you are. Take that how you’d like lol
4. If you were able to set up an in store, radio gig or anything like that, use those tickets that you hopefully got to invite the people who put the show on for you for free. They will at the very least appreciate the gesture, and they will more than likely oblige as they already care about music enough to have hosted you.
5. While you are doing 1-4, make sure to document it on your band’s and personal social media accounts with the proper local hashtags. This puts you online in the area which, depending on how small the city is, can actually bring more people out to a show. This is also going to keep your current fan base engaged with you while you are on the road!
6. Get to the venue before the show starts, introduce yourselves to everyone in the room and load in. Put a video up on your social accounts of the opening local bands and don’t forget to tag them. This increases the chance of them sharing your video, again leaving an online impression in this place you have only been in for the day. If they notice you doing this, they are more likely to put a video of you up, or at least mention you to their following online. Get everyone at the show’s email.
7. Stay and hang out late with the local bands after the show is over. Meet the fans, hang out and you’ll be more likely to sell merch and maybe get a place to crash for the night from a new friend. Obviously sometimes, your shows are too far apart from each other, but this is why you want to be within 4-6 hours. Wake up early and make it by noon is really the goal. That way you have the time to hang, sleep, see the town and play a show. There are a lot more things that you can do, this is just a beginning list.
You can find more at The OCML Podcast Epidode 23 : Touring Tips, How to Hit the Whole City, Not Just the Venue
Thanks for reading and as always #EnjoyLocalMusic