Can Playing Too
Often Cause "Fan Burnout"?
"My band seems to have this
ongoing discussion, (more like an argument), about how many times a month
we should be playing in our home town. Friends in other bands tell us
not to play in town more than twice a month. According to them, we will
"burn out our fans." But I think they are wrong and we should play as
much as we can."
What's the right answer?
The answer to this ongoing question is to try to play in your home market
between 2-4 times a month. But instead of just leaving you with that thought,
lets explore the answer so you can have a full understanding of why this
is the right number.
As I have always preached, your career needs to be anchored on your live
shows and it needs to start in your home market. Especially since your
live shows and the "proper" preshow promotion will be 75% of all your
Your home market needs to be a large metropolitan city near you or that
you are living in, that preferably has over 1 million people living there.
If not, focus on the largest metropolitan city in your state that has
at least 500,000 people. With that in mind, lets get down to business.
Artists will quickly say, "don't play more than a couple times a month
because you will burn out your mailing list." They are right! If your
primary focus for promoting your next show is to merely let your mailing
list know, then it is true, your existing fans will get tired of being
promoted to. Especially if they have come to a couple of your shows in
the past and have bought your CD. You can bet they are "burnt out" by
your ongoing requests for them to come to your future shows.
Most artists do not think creatively when promoting their next show. They
make the mistakes of handing out flyers instead of sample tapes or sample
CDs, or spending hundreds of dollars on a newspaper or magazine advertisements,
that no one can hear their music through. So lets start from scratch.
Lets use Los Angeles as the major market that you live in. LA itself is
approximately 90 miles in size (counting in the smaller cities around
it). This is important to know because of the following reasons:
Music fans who go out to live shows will generally stay in their "own
area" when it comes time to see an independent artist. (If it is a major,
established artist, who rarely plays in the area, fans will travel further
to see them.) One of the primary reasons people stick close to home is
the issue of drinking and driving.
Research has shown that people feel they can have a couple of drinks (or
more) and safely drive home if its only 2 or 3 miles away. Most people
as you can imagine, don't have a desire to be on Cops or the nightly news
with the police chasing them down the freeway. Wrong in their thinking
about drinking and driving or not, that's one of the main reasons people
don't drive 20 or 30 miles to your future shows.
However, that brings up a good point for us to talk about. If people generally
won't drive more than a few miles to go to a show, doesn't that mean you
will have different audiences at each show? That's right. Using LA for
an example, even though Santa Monica and West Hollywood are right next
to each other, people from the respective areas "hate to drive" 5-10 miles.
Beside the concerns about drinking and driving, they complain about finding
parking and the "safety" of each other's respective areas.
So doesn't this mean, since there are clubs spread throughout the major
market you live in, shouldn't you play 2 or 3 times a week all over the
city? No. The reason I suggest 2-4 times a month has nothing to do with
your existing list, who has come to past shows and already bought your
CD. It is based upon allowing yourself enough time to "effectively" pre-promote
Creating the sample tapes and CDs, doing your market research on the targeted
areas around the club, where your potential fans hang out and shop, allowing
for the time to hand out the 200-300 tapes or CDs minimum, you are going
to need to generate new fans. Plus the extra time, you will need to "redesign"
the club for your show. If you find that you can do a couple of shows
in the South part of your city and 1 or 2 in the North, East or West and
adequately promote them, you can consider 4 to 6 shows per month.
Keep in mind that your city is a big place with over a million people.
You are not going to get the same people at your next show, unless you
invite them. Even though your city may seem limited in places to play,
or even geographically on the map, don't let your mind become "limited"
on what's available to you.
Review the section in The Living Room Sessions about market research in
regards to your live shows. It will help you generate a new larger fan
base in a shorter period of time.
To Provide His Own Proven Music Strategies At Conference
THE GUESTBOOK READ THE GUESTBOOK
SPONSORS and AFFILLIATES | MESSAGE BOARD
| INSPIRATION-POINT | TIM
OPEN MICS AND SHOWCASES | LAWMAN
| PUBLISHING | ASK-LI'L-HANK
ROADWARRIORS | BOOKS
| LINKS | WEBRINGS
| UPDATE | AWARDS