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On Fan Punishment

September 8, 2011

In the early stages of your career, you will often be subject to shows in less than ideal venues under less than ideal conditions. Things like smaller stages than anticipated, having to perform off the floor, playing shows for only a handful of people or a combination of all of the above. When you are faced with something like this you need to ask yourself an important question: ‘Will I let this effect my performance tonight?’. At this juncture I have usually witnessed one of two things:

The band let’s their inflated sense of entitlement make them feel like they are “too good” for this type of treatment and they openly bitch and complain about the venue, lack of people etc… Or the other side of the coin is that the band swallows their pride and plays twice as hard to keep those few fans fully engaged.

Thinking back, some of the greatest shows I have ever witnessed have been for under 100 people. There is an intimate connection that the artist can make with such a small audience. Regardless of the attendance or the venue, the truth is that your fans (whether existing or potentially new) deserve a good live show. Plus they will appreciate it even more knowing that you care enough to perform under less than ideal conditions for them.

Creating a lasting impression is vital for your band and at the end of the day it comes back to building fans. Whether you are building 5, 50, 500 or 5000 new fans per show the important thing is that your fan base is growing.

To close, I’d like to take a quote from Woods of Ypres’ David Gold. After I complimented their powerful live performance in Moncton, NB to around 50 people and said how I had hoped for a larger crowd Gold commented “You never punish the fans who came to see you play”.


One Comment leave one →
  1. September 12, 2011 12:28 AM

    I agree completely — sometimes I feel bad for the band, especially if I know they are a touring act and not just a local band. You know they are doing this as their career and there are only 50 people in the audience. Yet, they always put a smile on their face and perform as if it’s 10x as many people (usually).

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