Andy J - Music Business
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You've done everything possible to fill each day with bookings, and yet you still end up with one day, between gigs. You don't have to drive and you don't have to play. Depending on how long you've been on the road, you might want to simply sleep or catch up on emails or write a new song. If however you have done a brilliant job of planning and this day off is no accident, a great deal of business can be accomplished. Here are some ideas to help you pass your next off-day more productively.
Perhaps you already scheduled a live radio interview or performance at one of the local TV stations. If not, this would be a great time to drop in, especially if you know the time a particular DJ is on air or when they are live rather than during a syndicated taped portion of their air day.
Many TV networks, affiliate stations produce local noon news shows. Some of these shows will have live guests, especially those that have a community events calendar segment. Check ahead about this kind of programming. There may also be specialty show programming on public television or community and educational TV channels. Some advance research may land you on a show reaching thousands.
Print media opportunities also await for those day-before-show interviews with local daily papers. Scheduling these would certainly have required pre-planning while advancing the tour.
Use a day-off to schedule phone interviews with media for upcoming tour dates. Since you already have the phone number of the hotel where you'll be staying, you can line up phone interviews for a certain segment of time during the day. Keep them tightly scheduled in order to cover a number of upcoming cities.
Live Promotional Appearances:
You may also want to check with local university student activities' offices. This may turn into an actual booking in the future. They often have mid-day concerts in non-traditional performance places, such as the lounge or cafeteria. You might pre-arrange a teaser set with the concert committee for a free noon show to be used as an audition for a booking in the future. Similarly, fraternity houses often have luncheons where a teaser show or paid gig might be booked. All of these things provide new names for the mailing list, potential merchandise sales and ticket buyers for the show the next night. Keep teaser sets short, since they are free. Leave them wanting to hear more.
Alternative Sales Locations:
Think about your audience. If you have a sense of your audience--where they shop for clothes, food, what restaurants they are likely to frequent and in what activities they often participate, then you are able to identify potential new markets for your CDs and ticket sales. Place flyers for upcoming shows in these stores, (with permission, of course). Perhaps the owner would play your CD over their system and display your CD at the cash register, next to the flyer announcing your upcoming show. If this is a particularly good location, often frequented by your fans, perhaps you can set up a consignment or sales outlet for your CDs. This requires a bit of organization on you part, but may be well worth it, if you think the sales potential is right.
You may have also scheduled this off-day because there was a conference in town where you might be able to showcase or meet with industry personnel. It is often difficult to maximize all the benefits from such a conference in a single day, but when the opportunity is there in mid-tour, better to use that one day to its fullest. I'll discuss showcasing and booking conferences in detail in another article.
Jeri Goldstein is the author of, How To Be Your Own Booking Agent The Musician's & Performing Artist's Guide To Successful Touring 2nd Edition UPDATED. She had been an agent and artist's manager for 20 years. Currently she consults with artists, agents and managers through her consultation program Manager-In-A-Box and presents The Performing Biz, seminars and workshops at conferences, universities, for arts councils and to organizations. Jeri has released a 3-hour seminar on CD-ROM, Marketing Your Act. The Seminar is set up in 5 modules with information about Marketing, Creating Effective Promotional Materials, How To Access the Media, A Marketing Template and Niche Marketing. No expensive conferences to attend-learn at your convenience to boost your career. Her book, CD-ROM and information about her other programs are available at are available at Performingbiz.com or phone (434) 591-1335 or email Jeri.
* If you would like to reprint any of these articles, please contact Jeri Goldstein for permission.