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.”