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Performing equals advertising

February 1, 2016

An impromptu concert could be one of your best ways to advertise the band. It’s kind of like a flash mob, only with a bit more set up if you’re hauling a PA.  So make sure the time invested is worth the return.  Here’s what it might look like…

Bring the music to the masses

Remember that you are advertising here. You are going to want to get in front of the largest crowd possible for maximum impact.  You could time your performance around the lunch hour, or in conjunction with a major local event, or even set up shop in a large business district (just remember that noise ordinances might be in effect – even Red Rocks has to shut it done eventually).

Here are a few places that might welcome your music:

  • business courtyards
  • Civic Center Park…at lunch time
  • A university quad
  • outside your local library
  • a First Friday art walk
  • before/during/after a marathon

Back in October, 2010, a California band attempted to block traffic on the 101 Freeway in LA; bad move…they had to plead no contest to felony conspiracy, misdemeanor charges of public nuisance and interfering with law enforcement – so think about the legal and safety implications before improvising. 


photo by Irfan Khan for the Los Angeles Times


Is it quality?

I’m going to type one sentence here: if you notice that your music tends to send people running, please consider practicing more, working things out at some open mics, etc. before inflicting your product on the general public.

Do you have a marketing plan?

All advertising has a purpose, which is usually to capture attention and then to set the stage for followup sales. What plans do you have in place to make the most of this effort?  For instance, do you have business cards, promo materials on your band, a method for capturing emails?  Those items should be present during these (and all) performances.

Do you have an offer? As in, do you know what you charge for your services?  Can you explain that to a person in the crowd in one sentence, or better yet, does your print collateral communicate that effectively?  And while you are at it, can you communicate what separates you from the competition?  Why hire your band?  What can the buyer expect?  What is your unique selling proposition?  Before you start playing out, take some time to answer those important questions…

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