Monday, April 18, 2011

Tips for promoting a live show

Whether you're running your own show or just performing and want to promote it as well as possible, here's a few tips to get you going. Not going to go too in depth with this one but thought I'd just give a quick rundown of the strategies I normally take that seem to work for me.

So basically there's 2 different avenues for promotion, digitally (internet) or physically (real world). Both are extremely effective and it's important that you cover both.

The number one tip I can offer is to promote wherever you can. Don't just post a facebook event and leave it. Don't just hang up a few posters and leave that either. Hit every single avenue you can think of. Here's some I take.

Ok so it's already been mentioned but Facebook events are very handy. Create, invite as many people as possible. Put your flyer design as the picture and put posts encouraging other facebook users to change their profile picture to your flyer design. If they do then their entire friends list will see it in their news feed and some might get curious and check it out. Don't leave it at just facebook though, hit all the other social networking sites. Even though they may be less popular now, it's still worth hopping onto myspace and dropping your poster on to everyone's page imaginable. Head on to twitter and post it up there tagging all your friends in posts. Head to music forums and post it up there. The more places you bomb your flyer onto the more people that will know about it.

Flyers are also a huge tool. I generally will get a large run of DL flyers printed up. DL is a handy size because it's big enough to be read easily but small enough to be convenient for a large array of situations. Grab as many flyers as you can and start heading to local shows. Hand them out to everyone you see. Leave stacks spread out on tables there. Do this for every show you go to. If you can't afford to go into the shows, wait outside until the show is over and hand them out as people are leaving.

If there is a local music festival happening, walk around all the parked cars outside the event and put a flyer under their windscreen wiper. Also head to a lot of local stores and leave flyers there. A lot will have small spaces designated for just that so explore the possibility. Not only music stores do it though. A lot of clothing stores will also have these areas, you just need to find the right ones. The main thing you're trying to remember is to just get the flyer to as many people as possible. If you've got a huge amount of flyers you can even just stand on a busy street and hand them out to everyone that's walking by.

A3/A2 Posters. Sometimes getting A2 posters isn't cost effective but A3's can serve the purpose fine also. These are purely for hanging up in places of interest. Don't go hanging them up on light poles along the street though. They won't be noticed at that size and will just be wasted. Instead head into local stores and hang them in the windows. Don't leave it at music stores, walk into any old store and just ask, whether it's a general store or a post office. You'll be surprised at how many people are just willing to help out. It's also worth getting in touch with any local promoters and asking if you can hang them up at shows.

Street posters. You need to be careful with this one as laws in cities are different, so check your local laws and see that you are allowed to do this. Generally you want your street posters to be big. As a good starting size, imagine an A2 piece of paper cut vertically down the middle. That makes a perfect size for most poles and stands out well. Don't go crazy with colour on your street poster either, keep it simple. You need to remember people are only going to see it while driving by or sitting at traffic lights, so you don't want any chance that any of it is unreadable.

Hope this advice helps, and anyone that has any tips feel free to contribute in the comments. Cheers.


  1. I always took knowledge like this for granted, but now I see holes in my understanding. Thanks!

  2. This is great advice, I've seem some bands growing just by having great promotion, and the methods you describe are probably the simplest, yet most effective! Good job!

  3. Nice post, I've linked a few friends to this post for their promos

  4. This is some great advice. A friend of mine in highschool had a pretty successful band and we used many of these techniques to drive the audience to his shows.