Putting On A D.I.Y. Punk Rock Show In Your Home Town
Make A Good And Clear Deal With The Bands Invited
– Put all possible information in the form of a contract, so there can’t be any misunderstanding about the deal you made. Have it signed and have another be a witness.
– In case the band manager doesn’t work with a contract make sure you have the agreed upon plan/deal in e-mail form and even print it out and offer it as a copy.
– Don’t promise bands anything you can’t guarantee: if you tell them you will pack the place and only 40 people show up, it looks very bad.
– It always helps to keep a little variety in the lineup. Ask 3 of the same-styled local bands to play. If you ask 3 clearly different bands you will attract several different crowds..
Don’t Pay Too Much For The Band
– Always pay the bands a percentage of the door money. The money the band, or the manager is asking is in most cases more than they actually need, so try to get the band for a low price.
– On the other hand make sure it’s a fair deal because if you think the band will draw at least 100 people.
– Always make sure you have enough food and drinks for them. If you take care of bands, the next time you will contact them they are more likely to respond positively to you again.
Invite All You Friends And Their Friends
– Of course you want a lot of visitors on your shows. Starting with all the people that you know yourself.
– Always ask the band to send out an email list and Facebook friends with posts on bulletin boards. To their fans, friends and family, etc…
Make A Website Or A Page And Use Every Social Media Site
– A website page is important, so people can keep checking what you are doing. Always keep this up to date, so people know that you are always working on new things and keep coming back to your sites.
Make Flyers & Posters To Paint The City
– Make clear flyers for the show and make sure you spread them through your town. Also important is that you spread them at similar kind of shows the two months before your own show.
– It is very important to put all info on the flyer, the time, venue, price and website address.
– A lot of time you get posters from the band manager. Do the same with them as with the flyers and paste away.
– Don’t just stick to your own town/city but try to go to shows in other cities as well to flyer there or ask friends to do it if you don’t have the chance.
– Remember small shows are just as important as big ones. Treat the event like a big rock concert.
Create A Mailing list
-Because people are lazy… You have to keep them up to date with all your shows. The best way is to send them e-mails and newsletters once in a while with all your up to date info. Don’t do this too much, because then people get sick of your e-mails and unsubscribe from your mailing list. It takes a while to get a proper amount of people on this list, but just starts with your own friends and you will notice that this amount will grow in time.
– Don’t get worried if you don’t have any shows coming up for a month or so, because then you obviously didn’t get any interesting bands offered to you or they decided to go to another city. Make sure though you keep on working getting more shows and keep people informed of what is to come.
Always Look Ahead
– Keep checking regularly what the booking agencies are working on/having coming up regarding touring bands. In a few years after you’ve done lots of shows and proved yourself, you might have the luxury of booking agencies contacting you first but this is not the case in the beginning.
Keep A Time Schedule
– Try to stick to the time schedule you made, it might be hard and especially when things don’t go as you planned and you want them to. Try and make it so that the last band finishes on time so people can catch their trains if they’re from out of town.
– Don’t book too many bands on one night as this might cause a lot of stress and your time schedule to get messed up.
Not Too Many Shows
– Before you confirm a show, check how many other shows around your show are going on.
– The same goes for booking too many shows yourself especially if you’re doing it all on your own.
Use A Proven Venue
-First of all you need a venue where you can set up a show. So check out if there is a music center or youth center in your city or area where you can put up a show. Contact them and explain what you want to do. It would be helpful if you a have plan put together, including a budget.
Have A Show Budget
-You have money yourself you like to invest in a show. When you haven’t put up a show before, I wouldn’t recommend this. Setting up shows and break even/make some money of it is pretty hard, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. If you do it, make sure you have put together a fairly careful budget or try to use a door deal (see point 3).
2: Is the venue or youth center able to do a show
This is the best way to start. Ask what your budget is and if it includes/excludes drinks for the bands, food, a sound engineer, protection, staff, back line, etc. Most of the times the bar earnings are for the venue and are not a part of the budget. Make sure you stay within the budget. If you like to set up more shows in the future, make sure you’re not using the full budget when you know you won’t be able to earn it back. If you stay within the budget, but the venue / youth center is making a big loss of the show you probably won’t be able to set up a new show. Try to make a fair judgment of how many kids will turn up and multiply it with the entrance fee.
The Bands Needs
-When you set up a show, think of which bands you like to book. Keep in mind, try to be realistic. You probably can’t book Terror or Sick Of It All for your first show. The best way to book bands is to approach them through mail or at a show. Try to avoid booking agency’s, most of the time you have to pay more for a band when you book them through an agency.
-When you approach them, make an offer of what you like to pay. Think of your budget and what are you able to pay them. How late does the band have to arrive at the venue, at what time will they play, is there food an drinks available for the bands. Don’t forget to ask if there are vegetarians or vegans in the band, will they bring a back line, etc. Don’t forget to mail them a route description how to get to the venue and some contact info.
Sound-Engineer And All Techs
-Make sure you have a sound engineer, most of the time the venue will have one. When they don’t, try to find one who is willing to do it for some drinks. Most of the times the venue will provide people for the bar, at the door and kitchen if food for bands is involved. Always check if this is the case, if not, ask nicely if your buddy’s want to help out.
Safe Back Line
-The back line includes the boxes for guitar and bass also, the drums. Normally the back line excludes the amps and drum breakables. Every band has to bring them along themselves, don’t forget to mention that! Most of the time a venue has no back line available, so you have to hire one which is pretty expensive, or the bands have to provide one. The best way is to ask the bands to bring a part of the back line, or ask a band to provide the whole back line. In the last case, it is fair to pay them a bit more.
-Don’t forget to promote your show as good as possible. Post everywhere, not just on the internet.
-Get a cool flyer or poster design for the show and a cool name, if you put on a festival. If you can’t do it yourself, probably someone you know is able to help you out. Include the following info on the flyer: bands, date, doors/starting time, contact and address info.
-Make sure you give your show a lot of local attention, invite all your friends to show up and spread the rumor in you area. Local kids are normally a must and backbone to make the show a success.