Skip to content

The Invisible Line

December 8, 2011

In music there appears to be an invisible line that bands need to cross once they establish a certain level of notoriety in their local/regional scene. At first a new band has to build fans and one of the best way to do this is playing live. Artists,major emphasis on this, need to get their feet wet by playing ‘Open Mics’, ‘New Music Nights’, a last minute show on a weekday, jump on any bill with local or touring acts, etc. The bottom line is to do whatever is needed to get in the venue and in front of the crowd.

Over the course of time (if a band is good enough) it will establish a solid and reliable fan base in that market. However once that fan base has began to plateau the following steps are a must:

-Reevaluate how often they are playing
-Look at how they can generate new fans and reach new markets
-Start turning their shows into events

The problem is that many bands don’t know when to put on the brakes. They are content with playing the same 1-2 local watering holes every 2-4 weeks for the same 50-100 people. Many bands that do this could be substantially larger if they were more selective of the frequency of their performances. Often bands fail to realize that if they play too much they are going to lose the connection with all but their core fans. The casual fans know if they miss the show they can see them in a month or less. Additionally many promoters or agents have radius clauses for shows which require bands abstain from playing the same market close to their show (this can range from 2 weeks to 2 months). Worst of all by overplaying bands are losing their artistic worth, their value and their leverage to get on higher profile shows.

However if bands leverage their worth, reduce the frequency of their shows and start playing events they can continue to grow their fan base. Events could include performing at larger venues, support for more established touring acts, festival gigs, industry showcases or by hosting their own events (CD Release, EP Release, Holiday themed show, etc.).

Although the line is invisible if bands are attentive to their shows and fans they will know when the line has been crossed. What choice they make is entirely up to them.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2011 11:07 AM

    right on!

  2. December 9, 2011 12:29 PM

    nice.. yeah the last comment is important… if you care about “crossing the line” then you have to be observant of what happens with audiences at your shows.

    – are the attendances good? consistent? increasing? engaged while you are on stage?

    – take into consideration what shows do better when certain drawing bands are on the bill.

    – talk to show-goers and other bands you play with! they were the ones watching you and being a part of the audience vibe, which is a huge measure of a show. is the overall vibe getting better during your sets? were you the most freaked-over band of the whole night that had everyone dancing/headbanging/spitting beer/screaming and talking about you?

    – post-performance: get their honest reaction if you can – all casual-like… take note of that and share it with you band members when you have a meeting or jam… all that can add up in the equation of “things are getting better ie: need to cross the line at some point”… … the first 3 points may be well enough but sometimes people will say things like “i don’t know if you guys/gals noticed but everyone in the audience was glued to you and was talking about you after you played wondering why you don’t have merch yet”…. stuff like that.


  3. Your Band's Best Friend permalink
    December 9, 2011 1:53 PM



  1. Reasons Your Band Isn’t Going Forward « Music Solutions Blog
  2. Different Matter: Reasons Your Band Isn’t Going Anywhere « Your alternative to mainstream metal!
  3. Enforcing Your Own Radius Clause | Music Solutions Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: