5 unique ways for up-and-coming bands to promote their gigs

Everyone knows that the Sheffield music scene is alive and as strong as it’s ever been! With great shows at every turn, from Bring Me The Horizon to Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, we’re definitely not left wanting when it comes to quality gigs.

Be that as it may, what about all those up-and-coming bands who want their shot at fame and stardom? How do they get to be playing sold out shows in popular spots like Plug, Leadmill, and The Harley? Well, it takes some time, but here are a few ways you can start promoting your upcoming gigs.

Already have some promotional materials ready
If your band has a stable line-up (or even easier, if you’re a solo artist), then it should be time to hire a photographer to start taking some promo snaps. These will be used on your social media pages, posters, flyers, and even for interviews for magazines and websites if you’re lucky. You may not have to bother with demo CDs, as this medium is pretty much gone, but at least have a few tracks on Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube, so that you can direct people to hear your music.

Try to make an event out of it
Unless you already have a steady bunch of fans eager for your next show, it’s a good idea to tie in some sort of reason for having a gig. For example, you could market your upcoming gig as a ‘Brand New Single Release,’ Last Date Of The Tour,’ ‘Live Recording for Promotional Video,’ or ‘Charity Fundraiser Gig.’ You could even promote the show as a double headliner between you and another local act on the rise, meaning that you can hopefully get new fans with the crossover show.

Hit the streets
The venue where you’ve booked a show must already have a poster or two of your upcoming gig, but you should put up a few more (with permission) at local bars, coffee shops, hotels, and restaurants. A university or college bulletin board is also a great spot where people can instantly see which gigs are coming up soon. If you want a more personal touch for your promotional methods, you could ask a few friends to wear t-shirts of your band and hand out flyers in the streets. Doing this at the end of other bands’ gigs is a great way to have the same crowd involved in your shows. You can get leaflet printing done online at print24.com, but it’s important to remember that many areas in the UK require a permit to hand out leaflets. Check here with your local council to see if a licence is necessary.

Get it posted online
Posting about your upcoming gigs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is definitely important, but they will only reach those friends and fans who already follow your accounts. To get the general public who have never heard of your music, you can post your shows on popular sites like Bandsintown.com, JamBase.com, or even get help from Sonicbids.com, which assists in promotion. Give people plenty of time to hear about the show and when it comes to Instagram and Facebook, with reminders a day before the gig and on the actual date to make sure no one forgets.

Get involved with your local music scene
Finally, if crowds are already somewhat familiar with your face after you’ve attended the gigs of other bands, then you are only helping your own show’s attendance. What’s more, try to think of other bands not as competition, but as allies in the cause of bringing good music to the city! If you attend their shows and get to know them and their fans, there is a much bigger chance of the favour being returned. Make the music scene grow and don’t be jealous or arrogant, but instead help each other out.

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