The oldest trick for new bands in the live music business.

Picture of musicians on stage

Billboard magazines’ annual Concert Touring Conference took place last week, with discussion and opinion on the live music business from booking agents, promoters, venue representatives and artists themselves. You can read a summary here.

Of particular interest was the panel on ‘How to Tour and Make Money (Even If No One Knows Who You Are)’, especially this quote from Andrew Mains, VP of artist relations and marketing, Topspin Media, “The oldest and truest trick in the touring business is for bands to start where they live. Be wary of creating a national audience from scratch.”

I agree with this statement and have always said that too many bands go out and play live at too high a level too soon in their career.

You really need to build up a loyal, returning fan base in your home town or state that will pay to see you perform at every gig you book. There is no point trying to hook up a coast-to-coast tour or open up for a national touring act if you can’t bring 50 people to every show you play at home.

As CutMerch president Steve Gerstman said, “Rock clubs don’t want to hear from a band if it can’t being in at least 50 people.”

5 thoughts on “The oldest trick for new bands in the live music business.

  1. The touring studio @theolglory on twitter will be coming to the states soon, watch this space and get in touch if you think we should visit you, a gig and a recording in one

  2. Greetings I am Ebony Rose with the Neo-Rock band Black Rose we are wanting to contact touring mangagers and booking promoters in the Europe Area. We live in America, Atlanta, GA. We have played throughout Atlanta, GA and have gotten great response about our stage presentation and music. Many, many, many have suggested we branch outside of America with our music, so we are reaching out and we are ready for touring, opening act, film, festival and recording…so we look forward to hearing from you so we can talk touring opportunities.

    Ebony Rose
    Black Rose Band

  3. Mr.Reynolds i just need to get connected with an agent who could help kick start my career.It seems almost impossible for an unknown to get started.Ive moved to nashville tn 1 tr ago and have been struggling to stay afloat.Ive been told im pretty good and its the only thing i ever wanted to do.I have no band currently but am very strong as solo as well and have lots of orginal material to pull from,would love to somehow get it off the ground.I found your site looking for european mgrs.who might be interested in a new american act.currently Ive got 2 songs up an playing on {cashboxmagazine.com}go to the radio icon select genera and then daily radio hits which takes you to the juke box then scroll to selection,on the {americana} genera i have “a better time”and on the {contemporary christian} genera i have “forces of love”perhaps you could direct an associate to these to give a listen.im trying everything i can to make contacts even total strangers connceted to the business;in hopes of finding a way to realize this life long dream.thanks calvin armour

  4. Playing in St. Louis, MO is like living with the mafia, you have to go through these agents
    who won’t book an act no matter how good the act is unless you play by their rules. The Clubs claim their hands are tied. I can tell you the scene here is pretty much run by the mafia.

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