So you want to book a show in Wichita? Its pretty easy if you make sure you cover all the bases. Lineup, promotion, and location are your primary concerns. If you have the work done three weeks before the show, you can use the time leading up to it to do word of mouth promotion and relax knowing the show will go well.
The best possible lineup will be two local bands and one touring band with the touring band always playing second. Find two local bands with friends that will would be into both the touring band and the other local bands’ jams, and ideally find two locals with draws from different groups of people. This is how you will attract 60% of your crowd.
Promotion gets you the other 40% of possible attendees. The best possible promotion is to only book shows that you are extra-stoked to be booking. If you aren’t that into the band, its more than likely that no one you know will be either.
Aside from that, you need to make sure you get the word out through all the channels available. These include:
a.) A Facebook event with band names, venue location, date, door cost, age restriction, link to music / videos, and some sort of description about the band. This can be four paragraphs or one colorful adjective.
Make sure to send the event link to all the local band members in a group message to peer pressure them into inviting all of their friends. You should share the event on any Facebook group for local music you can find, as well as repeatedly on your own Facebook page, twitter feed, etc. Also let ICT FEST know about it and we’ll share it on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, because if you are booking shows we like you a lot.
b.) Flyers and Handbills. Don’t ever not make flyers or hand out handbills (into actual hands, not lying on a shelf in a coffee shop) unless you want no one to come to your show. If you are ever at a show and you find yourself whining about how no one is there, please ask yourself, did I hand out handbills into 100-200 hands? If your answer is no, then you should shut up and do a better job next time.
c.) Word of mouth. This is the most important and why you should only book bands that you personally know are 1000% dope. You need to tell everyone you know in person that they should come to this show, because you really believe that their life will be at least a little bit more rad if they are there.
Every show has a proper venue. This is determined by day of the week and what bands are playing. If you are booking everyones’ favorite band in the world, don’t book it at a house show. If you want young people to come to the a show with a band playing their first tour, book a house show. Always try to book a space that will feel full with whatever number of people come. At a Kirby’s show or house show, if you get 20 people out the band will feel like champs. That same number at a larger venue like Barleycorns or Rock Island will feel empty, which does not often equate to fun.
Wherever you pick, make sure you know when load in is, when set times are, who is in charge, what the money situation is, and what the size / quality / condition of the pa is. If you are doing a house show do NOT depend on them having a pa, because they definetly don’t have a pa.
Theres a lot more to learn, and I’ll write more posts down the road with more detail on all these topics, but if you follow these basic steps and actually give a shit you will know that no matter how the show goes down you did everything you could to make it as easy and fun as possible, which is a good feeling. The main thing is to always have fun. No matter the turnout, no matter anything, just keep have fun and things will go well. Its only a bummer when you decide it is.