he best way to build a strong live following is to create an ‘experience’ whenever you play. Anyone can play a gig but to make an impact on the live circuit you should be looking to create your own ‘space’ to perform in. So how can you set about giving people this ‘experience’? Here are two ways:
Set The Stage
Dressing the stage is one of the best ways to create your own a unique atmosphere. How you do so will probably depend on the type of music you are playing. Bands such as British Sea Power put potted plants on the stage.
I’ve seen bands dress the stage to resemble a parlour with lampshades, small bookcases, cushions etc, ideal for indie/alt folk combos. You could use the craft or circus ‘lettering’ that is readily available.
Neon lighting, fairy lights, camouflage netting…find ways to transform the look of the stage in a way that fits your musical vibe.
Create The Right Soundtrack
When there are no performers on stage the sound engineer will probably put on their own favourite music to ‘fill the gap’. What you tend to find is that their choice of music in no way corresponds with the music genre of the night, ruining any atmosphere you’re working so hard to create.
The best way to overcome this is to curate your own playlist and get the engineer to play that instead. You could supply this on CD though I’ve found a lot of engineers no longer have a CD player in their rack. Other alternatives including bringing an iPod with appropriate ¼ inch jack leads so it can be patched into the desk and also bringing the music on a USB stick. This background music will help enhance the atmosphere of the night.
To help create a night that people will remember (and return for) look for ways to change the venue into your ‘space’.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?