Promoting a Garage Band
March 30, 2005 6:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm the webmaster (well, host is more like it) for a band of talented young men with whom I attend high school. They're having a concert in an auditorium with seating for over 500 and I'd like to see it filled. How do you go about promoting a small local band's concert? [mi]

Concert is in 8 days, genre is funk/rock, band is doing it's first recording at this show (which restricts promotional oppurtunity, I know).
posted by phrontist to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Promote the concert in and around GWU and Georgetown, and any appropriate bars, especially bars in which they've played. Get kewl-looking people to pass out flyers. If the tickets are not free, maybe some flyers should offer some kind of discount coupon (so you control how many discount seats are available). And of course, appropriate radio stations.
posted by Goofyy at 7:32 PM on March 30, 2005

Hmm, this is a band of young men who are still in high school? What you need to do is build a harem of groupies. Have every guy in the band try to get as many girls from their school, church, temple, etc as they know to come to the concert- get their guy friends to bring their girlfriends, and so on. Get people to get excited, and the excitement will build like an avalanche.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:48 PM on March 30, 2005 [1 favorite]

Flyers. Everywhere that anyone who would like their music goes.

But really, word of mouth... what PinkSuperhero said. Friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends.
posted by SpecialK at 7:53 PM on March 30, 2005

if they don't already have a following that's 500 strong you're gonna have to do a lot of work. try unique promotional ideas. do you have a budget for this? can you spend $100? $200?

8 days is really short, promotion wise. when i've done parties we've built it up for a month minimum. you're gonna have to leverage whatever word of mouth you can. call in all your chits.
posted by fishfucker at 8:39 PM on March 30, 2005

whenever we were promoting bands in high school we used flyers, flyers and more flyers.

Make a really good design for your flyer, and I would highly recommend getting them in some colors. Maybe do silk screening or something if you are on a budget.
posted by nickerbocker at 10:10 PM on March 30, 2005

Flyers work best out in the boonies. A band at my small-town school filled a concert by posting several thousand flyers, all terribly clever and indie, around campus and town. There were too many flyers, with too many jokes on them, for people to ignore.
posted by NickDouglas at 5:53 AM on March 31, 2005

I'd have to agree with the suggestions of flyering. Depending on your city, they may have an ordinance on hand bills or flyers, so if you post them up in any store, I'd be sure to ask. The best places are music stores, and I don't mean Sam Goody's. Independent record stores, venues, heck, posting them on a street that gets alot of foot traffic. I'd also try local colleges, known scenester hang outs and the location they'll be playing at.

Word of mouth is really the way to go, or alternatively if you have a local music website, post it there.
posted by jackofsaxons at 6:24 AM on March 31, 2005

If you're going to promote the band, have some free mp3's available to check out on the site. Also, if you plan on distributing fliers, tell your audience who the musical influences are so they have an idea of what to expect. If you do have mp3's available, make sure to say in the flyer that the FREE songs are available on the site.

Maybe sneak some fliers into the bathroom stalls? Recruit cute girls to pass out the fliers?
posted by echolex at 6:27 AM on March 31, 2005

Flyers is what we used, put them at record stores (uh, cd stores?) and anywhere else people let you post flyers. If you like the web you can always drop it on or the like. I know radio is dead in most places, but if you have a local radio station that is cool, they might mention it as well.
posted by raster at 6:29 AM on March 31, 2005

Ugh. 8 days? Ok.
Call your record station and local papers, see if you can get a calander mention. College stations are especially good for this.
Put up an assload of flyers on Astrobrite (I like the liftoff lemon). Seriously, assload. You're going to spend more time putting those up than anything else.
Burn a bunch of cds of either mp3s or wavs, and give 'em to local cafes and record stores. Make sure to flyer those same stores.
Have each band member call every girl he knows. It's sad, but girls=fans. Girls won't necessarily come to see a show on their own, but guys will. And the more girls you get, the more guys will show up for your show.

And next time, remember that promo should start about a month in advance. I work for an entertainment mag and can only tell you that 8 days is too late for any sort of press deadline.
posted by klangklangston at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2005

Eight days is definately a short amount of time. How much of an email base do they have? Our band uses this to good effect. Usually we try to hightlight some peculiar aspect to the show (giveaway, drawing, etc).

A post about the show on Craigslist may not help but it sure wouldn't hurt. You never know. We also use flyers up the wazoo. Some cities have ordinances regarding flyers so you gotta be sneaky about it.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:59 PM on March 31, 2005

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