Getting an Audience for Minority Music Events in Smaller Towns
Trying to get an audience for minority music in a town?
Local live music is getting harder to promote in the UK. Recession, repression and self-obsession make for diminishing audiences at disappearing places. We are faced with the challenging task of somehow coaxing bottoms off sofas prior to we can even talk about "getting bums on seats."Called "minority music" (or "specialist music," as HMV now identifies anything not on Radio 1) such as jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass, nation, and now even reggae, are suffering the majority of. The trouble is not only getting them to understand about a gig, however getting them to then really remember to turn up.
Flyers get pinned to refrigerators, left unread for a month or 2, then binned when they begin to curl at the edges. Emails get deleted or slowly push their way down, and eventually off the screen. Didn't you get the e-mail?
As a jazz artist looking for to promote jazz events in my local location I feel I have to return to the oldest technique of details dissemination - word of mouth. Along I go, as a punter, to some of the couple of remaining regional jazz events I can discover in my area, and I talk face to deal with to the audience members. They are clearly interested in live jazz as they're there, so there's no problem beginning a conversation.
I go to a local club or bar that doesn't generally have live music at all, inform the landlord it's a beautiful room, and hi, would not a jazz band would look fantastic in that corner? I show them the list. I state I can bring around 25 to 35 "jazz lovers" into their place to listen to my four-piece band on a peaceful week night and it'll only cost him the nominal amount of 60 because I'll pass round a hat for the rest.Now, my mobile phone is on an agreement with 500 free minutes, so making fifty fast calls to inform everyone on the list about my gig personally costs absolutely nothing. It takes around an hour and a half. I do it on a hands-free headset while cleaning the fish-tank or ironing. I tell them where when, which I'll be passing round a hat in the interval, requesting for a "minimum 3 contribution." They each seem like they've been invited to a secret gig, and effectively, that's precisely what it isA couple of younger folk in the bar come near be added to the list. "Is this jazz? I thought I hated jazz but this is amazing!" Ipso facto the list grows in time, and now I've found a terrific new location interested in letting me put my numerous bands on frequently.