host a gig

Host a Gig in Your Own Space

Live music is one of the most effective marketing tools for businesses. In fact, 90% of live music fans say that brands can enhance the live music experience and 63% of fans say they are more likely to connect with brands during a live music event (https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/90-of-live-music-fans-say-brands-can-actually-enhance-the-experience/). Hosting a gig in your own space is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to build a real relationship with your customers. 

At the Governors Ball Music Festival, both Subway and Citibank experienced tremendous success with their promotions. Subway hosted a tasting area with sandwiches and other refreshments that included a DJ and Citibank had a private viewing area for Citibank cardholders.

It’s one thing to realize the potential that live music could have on your marketing strategy but it’s quite another to plan and host a gig. The good news is that it’s a lot easier than you think. Follow these steps and you’ll be hosting your first gig before you know it!

  1. Make sure your space is good to go.
    • Ask yourself a few logistical questions to get an idea of what kind of artist you want to book and when you want to schedule the concert. How many bathrooms do you have/need? Will the neighbors be angry if you book a metal band? Stuff like that. 
  2. Artist booking and scheduling.
    • Obviously, Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular nights for live music but they also have the most competition. Hosting a concert mid week could be a great strategy if your neighborhood has good pedestrian traffic. 
    • Artist booking is the fun part. What kind of artists do your customers listen to? What kind of music resonates with your brand? Once you decide this, you can create your gig post (link) and find a band. Make sure the artist knows what equipment they need to bring and what you can supply. If you don’t have speakers or microphones, no worries! Most artists are used to this and will be able to supply their own gear. 
  3. Promote and plan.
    • Once you’ve set a date and booked an artist you can finally start to promote. Artists will help carry the burden so make sure they are posting to their social media and getting their fans to come. You should do the same – put flyers on your sales counter, send a message to your email list, post to social, put a sign outside your store. Do everything you can to get people excited and bring them in the door. 
  4. Show time! Hosting the gig
    • So, you found a band, promoted the show and and brought people in the door. Congratulations! Now, make the most of it. Make sure people know where they are and what you do. Yes, it should be obvious, but don’t take that for granted. If you’re a gym, pass out flyers for membership discounts. When you’re introducing the band, introduce yourself, talk about your business. Pass out free samples. TAKE PICTURES AND VIDEO. Rinse and repeat. 

It may seem daunting, but once you get going you’ll find it’s a much smoother process than you think. Remember, we’re here to help! 

Good luck, 
Team Gigmor

American Idol Partners with Gigmor

Atlantis the Band: Spotlight

There’s nothing like a charismatic twin-duo to get a room grooving. Today let’s look at the jazzy R&B/Soul and Pop group stationed in Los Angeles, Atlantis the Band, led by the Merriweather twins – brothers bound not only by blood but by their simple love of music. Their voices blend smoothly with a cool dynamic; lead singer Travis Merriweather leads the group with his sweet but edgy melodies and impressive range, while his brother Rustein Merriweather  provides the the fruity rap component with his quick, magnetic, syncopated verse. Watch the band performing their own version of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabrosa” live at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. 

 

 

The band also has a pretty stacked cast in regards to instrumentation. In addition to Travis with funky bass lines and Rustein’s adeptness on the keyboard, there is some serious backup. They’re joined by the Regiment Horns – Sean Eric on trumpet, Kevin Lloyd Williams, Jr. on trombone and Leon Silva on the sax. On drums sits Grammy award-winner Lyndon Rochelle, whose drum solos captivate and will leave an awestruck audience wanting more. Takahito Mori’s guitar interludes and riffs rock the stage and fill the sound with eccentric, gleaming energy. They are also joined by Grammy nominated producer and drummer Taylor Gordon in addition to Natalie Stephenson on vocals. Watch them here performing a cover of Santana’s “Maria Maria” at Couture in Hollywood. Be sure to catch Mori’s epic guitar solo about 50 seconds in!

 

 

The band has performed at some notable venues, such as The Mint, The Peppermint Club, Sofitel Beverly Hills, Sunset Tower, and The House of Blues on Sunset. The twins have also been involved at a political level with Hillary and Bill Clinton, after being invited back during college to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative University summit. The two of them stayed connected with the Clintons and Travis even got to work on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign. See lead singer Travis Merriweather showing off his vocals with “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

 

 

Atlantis the Band, thanks to the initial catapulting by the twins back in college, has emerged as a powerful band with an intense range of talent – everywhere from their emotional depth and soul to excited hip-hop beats – and their innovative interpretations and writing proves them to be very worthy of the stage. Be sure to check out their page to see and listen to more of their music. Also, although they began in Texas, their music-making happens in Los Angeles, so if you’re in the area, be sure to check on their Upcoming Gigs category so that you can hear their hearty music live! Here’s one last clip of them covering Jay Z’s “Can’t Knock The Hustle” at the House of Blues on Sunset.

 

 

Fly with Flights Over Phoenix

 

Talk about a music manifest destiny success story. Keith Longo had spent too much time in Boston feeling the need for a change, so he packed his bags and drove west. He had nothing but his car, his playlists, and his hunger to find his place in the music scene. Listen to his band, Flights Over Phoenix, playing their moody song, “Hypnotize.”

 

 

Longo got lucky as he could have been, and all it took was a little Craigslist-ing. He found guitarist Chris Santillo, and the two immediately hit it off. They started working on new material, practicing and jamming and writing as they saw fit. Little did they know, they were setting up what was soon going to become much more. Jordan Nuanez was just coming off some national tours when Santillo met him through a mutual friend. The drummer was in search of a permanent spot in a band, and the opportunity fell into his lap. The three of them started playing together and their chemistry was too obvious to be ignored. They got to work, and now their band is thriving; they’ve been playing together since. Listen closely and get swept away by Flights Over Phoenix’s official music video for “Middle of the World.”

 

 

 

It’s impossible to deny how good they sound together. Santillo’s lines carry each song with an upbeat yet smooth sound, never letting the speed fall and keeping a steady, twangy rhythm that’s peaceful on the ears. Nuanez’s beat is powerful and heavy but artistic, syncopated, and synchronized perfectly. He manages to tie together the voices of his counterparts and weave them into his playing, all the while making it seem effortless. Longo begins every song with his unique, confident, dimensional verse, but his voice takes a journey in each song. He begins with a simple, almost respectful voice, begging the audience to think that he does not have a strong range. Then, in the chorus, he offers his surprise in the form of a beautiful chorus, followed by rifs between him and Santillo on the guitar. The two of them sing together, while Nuanez holds down the back. The three of them support each other in sound, but manage to sustain their unique personas while playing. Listen to this last example of this undeniable chemistry, “Runaway California.”

 

 

Make sure you come see this guys if you’re in LA. Check their page for more music and any upcoming concert dates. Listening to them will make you want to get up and dance so we promise that seeing these guys live is an experience not to be missed!  

music marketing promotion

Music marketing for the independent artist: a conversation with Kevin Wright of Ramsay Mulholland Events

Gigmor sat down with Kevin Wright, the man running the show in the Marketing and Artist Development department at Ramsay Mulholland Events in Los Angeles. Kevin offered some insight into how to be successful as an independent artist and how he and the rest of the team at Ramsay Mulholland Events are working to better the music marketing process for musicians today.

People generally describe music marketing as a thing of the past, but it seems like you and the team at Ramsey Mulholland have found a way around that. Tell me a little bit more about exactly what Ramsey Mulholland does.

Yes, of course! So we’re sort of set up in two different halves: accessible artist development for independent and local artists or entrepreneurs and the second is college-based touring and education.

Ok, let’s begin with that first part — what does artist development mean at Ramsay Mulholland?

What I saw when I was working at the label was that there wasn’t much we could do for people. The biggest artists are staying home anyways and doing their own thing — so what we noticed at the record label was that no matter how fast we move or how nimble we are, we can’t connect to the culture as efficiently as those who just are already in those cities and are currently experiencing that culture. Nashville, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago — they’ve all blown up, and the people who have grown from those places are choosing to stay there. Working at a record label taught me that and led me to decide that, well, maybe we should just switch the model. We started looking for artists who are just working on themselves in the space that they are from in specific areas across the United States. I wanted to take what I had learned as a label scout and give it to those independent artists and entrepreneurs throughout the United States so that they could reach a viable level of fame on their own. We are also trying to show them what they need and what they don’t.

So what does your interpretation of artists development and showcase entail?

It includes an artist meet-up and showcase. We saw that old model — where you get in front of a scout and anything could happen — and decided to flip it on its head a little bit where we act as the scouts that people get in front of but then we tell them what we think they should be working on to get noticed. We also try to get to know and work with artists before we get there and when we get there — until we leave honestly — just because the time we spend there will be so limited. We want to be able to speak of them and their act as well or as fully as possible because there is only so much we can do and say based on one specific performance. The more interaction and consumption of the artist, the better.

So the initial college tour will include thirty cities. We have invited artists, producers, DJs, managers, booking agents, and anybody that’s around the music scene in those cities to those events and we want to bring them together to connect and network. It’s 30 cities and about 10-12 artists for each.

What’s the college-based portion of your efforts entail?

It’s essentially the same thing as the artist development work we are doing — it’s a showcase and music meet-up. When I saw the guys trying to put the showcases together I remembered my time as a scout. I remembered people coming up to me when they were trying to put events together and using me as a scout at that time. They would go through the immense hassle of having to put an event together. And I remember wishing that when I was in college that there would have been an opportunity like this. I would have loved to have gotten involved — and I had the necessary skill set but no where to put it! So the idea of these showcases was sort of born out of that — they are not just for college artists, they are for the entrepreneurs and the business students as well. And the best part about it, honestly, is that it is for them and by them, with them being the college students who understand the community and music scenes around them.

From September through December of this year we are doing local showcases and then from January to May we are going to do the college showcases.

What is it behind all of this kind of work that drives you to do it?

Some of it comes from fighting for the independent artist but it’s also that the industry is changing super rapidly. It’s all changing so fast; I consider myself a student of the game and how it once was and what it will be due to the internet and the different ways by which we now as a culture consume music.

Everybody knows the artist, but what I learned when I got into the industry I learned that there are people behind the scenes — individuals like a Clive Davis or a David Geffen— that are 100 times bigger than you could ever imagine. For every one superstar that you could imagine they’ve got ten or twenty underneath their belt. Those guys are the real special ones, but the power there has been reduced over time. But that sort of power has been reduced, and now the artist almost has to create it on their own. The A&R men and women of the past were buying and then funding independent labels. I love that — they were removing the economic burden of these independent labels so that artists could have all the space to capture their work. They were funding them to have artistic freedom which is something that we hope to replicate on these college tours.

I wanted to bring that into the 21st-century music scene. All of these college kids think that they should be working towards a record label and how to suit those record labels in some way — and I’m trying to communicate to them and the entrepreneurs or business students around them that that old form is dead. The music industry is a changing game, and I want to relay those changes to these kids so that they and all their talent can react accordingly.

Everyone seems to have a negative outlook on the music industry. But you seem to have a hopeful outlook on it all, despite the criticisms of the masses. Why are you hopeful?

I remain super hopeful about the music industry, you’re dead-on. The music industry is healthier than it has ever been; there are more options for everybody and there are more ways to make money than ever before. In the transition, you had to lose some. You had to break a lot of eggs to make this omelette. But I really believe that it’s better and more inclusive than it has ever been. And it’s growing pretty rapidly. Most of us, us being the industry people, have to figure out how it is that our audiences are finding music now. It’s still pretty vague how people are consuming and looking for music, but we are getting better.

What’s even better about the current reality in the music industry is that it is a meritocracy. So if it’s great it’s going to survive and if it’s not it’s going to die quickly because that what the public decided.

What is some of the best advice you could give to artists who are trying to promote and market their music?

I think that the most important thing is take the time and do your homework. I have my own label and that’s where I’m pulling this understanding from. It always starts with the music; everything starts with the music. People always come in and ask me: how are we going to promote this? And what about PR? And to all of that I always tell them to just go and make the music and you’ll be surprised how many opportunities come your way.

So one, make the music. And then two, do your homework. There are so many good songs that go out and no one is working to make sure that you are collecting royalties. It costs $9 to put a single out on TuneCore. It’s not that hard to get your songs out on Spotify, and SoundCloud is great too; but always do your homework because there are so many good opportunities online right now that can help you be more successful.

Any other specific recommendations that you would offer to up-and-coming artists? 

I would tell individuals to learn what TuneCore is, and learn what distribution is or label promotion, too. It’s not that hard to have your songs out there and seen by the public, but do your homework so that you can guarantee that you are getting the most out of every outing or performance you do. If you have a song on YouTube that gets one million or 100,000 views and you don’t do your homework, you’re likely to not make a single dime from it.

There was one duo that I developed outside of a label were two brothers who were really active on Vine. They had 300 million and 600 million in their number of Vine views and they just weren’t putting it on YouTube. I put a bunch of their Vine videos together and used their cellphone to do a sort of intro; we put that up on YouTube and now they have a new record deal at 17 and 18 years old. From that post too they got a deal with YouTube and their multi-channel network — they were doing all of the hard work but they weren’t doing the homework.

It sounds like a lot of your tour is focusing on smaller cities in the United States that still have a vibrant music scene but aren’t necessarily that immediate go-to place that a lot of people would consider. This is intentional, I assume. Why is that?

You have to make your music palatable, and I always think that you should start small and capture the attention of that small city. If you can capture the attention on that smaller stage, you can then take it to another, more major level. Someone like a Bryson Tiller who is from Louisville, Kentucky where everyone in Kentucky knew exactly who he was. Then, when you’re entering the New York or Los Angeles scenes, you’ve got far more people consuming your music but a foundation of fans to fall back on.

How To Make A Free EPK And Get Booked

Today, more than ever, it’s easier to create an EPK and find gigs in your area. In fact, you can create your free EPK on Gigmor! Unfortunately, many people are still using techniques from the 1920’s to promote their music.  Below are a few tips on creating an EPK that actually works.

What is an EPK?

Simply put, an EPK (electronic press kit) is a resume.  It will help you book shows, get coverage in the media, and grow your band.

What isn’t an EPK?

It’s not a CD,  list of experience,  boring biography, or a drab one sheet that tells people all about “you”!

Are you confused yet?  Good.

Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever applied for a job and received an interview?

What did you do differently than the other 98% of applicants?  Getting a gig is exactly the same as a job interview and your EPK is your resume. Your approach to crafting the EPK is very similar to how you would approach writing your resume for your dream job.

EPK ImageThe Goal Of An EPK

The goal of creating an EPK is, of course, to get booked. Talent buyers are doing a job, same as everyone. Think about what motivates them to make a booking decision. Let’s think about a talent buyer at a typical music venue. Ultimately, they want to fill their venue with fans and sell them alcohol.

Your EPK should be focused on what you can do for them.

How do you make an EPK that sells?

Here are the four elements to a great sales letter:

  1. Grab Their Attention
  2. Understand Their Problem
  3. Gain Trust
  4. Solve Their Problem

Now, let’s look at the traditional elements of an EPK:

  1. Photo
  2. Music/Music Video
  3. Press Coverage
  4. One Sheet Summary
  5. Song Summary
  6. Biography

How do you combine these elements to create the ultimate EPK?

1.  Photo

First, you want to have an amazing photo. If you can afford it, find a professional photographer to take photos of you.  Express to the photographer that you want to convey a message in the photo and they should help you with this.  Don’t have a friend take a photo with a smartphone.  You want to have a professional quality photograph.

2.  Header With A Tagline.

Create a header that is the band name and then a one sentence (shorter the better) tagline.  You want the tagline to describe you and get people’s attention to read further.

3.  Press.

Most people put press on the bottom, but you want to show people you matter.  Put your press quotes, sources, and links high on the page.  What this does is give social proof that you matter.  It also doesn’t matter how big or small.  Just make sure you have a link to the article to make it as easy as possible to view where you are mentioned.  Including a promoter review is a huge plus too (as long as it is positive).

4.  About.

This is a bio that is more of a quick sales summary.  You want to describe the type of person you are.  Give a quick history and talk about how you are a benefit to the venue.  You want to provide every reason why someone should hire you.

Quick tip: Call up a vendor and find out how they hire acts. Find out the issues they face when hiring a band.

Now, when you are writing your summary, briefly describe the style of music.  Also, describe the type of customer you will bring in.  Write about how you solve problems [one], [two], and [three] for the vendor.

5.  Music Video

Put a music video up that represents you. If you don’t have one, create one. Here’s how.  Contact a local video production company and find out what it would take for them to film a music video. If you have the money, do it professionally. If you don’t have a ton of money, the best thing to do is to contact a local college with a video department. See if you can find a talented student to do the work at a discount rate. Students will want to have a portfolio piece and they have top equipment that will make your video look very professional.

6.  Mp3

You can post a live feed from soundcloud on your website. This will allow someone to play your music. You should post the top 3 or 4 songs, no more. You want to give someone viewing your EPK an idea of your music, but you don’t need to overwhelm them with too much music.

7.  Bio

This doesn’t necessarily need to be there.  But if you must keep it short.  Usually this is covered in the summary, and if you write your summary right you shouldn’t need a bio.  If you really want a bio put it on a downloadable link when someone downloads your mp3 or record history.

Tips:

  1. Put several buttons on the EPK page that say “book this band”. It will allow someone to book you through a contact form.
  2. You want to sell yourself through your EPK, but you do not want to sound like a super sales letter. Be authentic.
  3. You may want to create a different EPK for each outlet. (media, venue, other opportunities).

This is the ultimate EPK and if you create anything like it you will be ahead of the fold.  Now that you have an stellar EPK it’s time to reach out and book a show.  Continue to the next chapter to learn how to book gigs and get paid!  Keep on rockin.

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