While I was there I learned quite a lot…
Before the show
Do some excercise to prepare your body for running around (If you’re not going to perform to the people then they’re not going to remember you. At a live show it is NOT all about the music, that’s the CD.) Eat healthily so you’re in even better shape. Organise extra practices and in general just keep on top of things. Make sure you leave NOTHING until the last minute. There will always be things that crop up that will take up your time – if you’ve dealt with everything you can deal with, then you can’t say you didn’t do your best to prepare.
Make sure you’ve prepared your T-shirts, posters, badges and all that well in advance. Merch is definitely the way you’ll make the most money at a gig of that size!
If you can, get a chatty friend to man the merch stand – someone who can converse with the fans will increase your sales for sure, and if they get talking to the merch people from the other bands, you never know what connections can be created!
Talk to the other Bands
There’s always one member of the band who’ll be a bit more sociable than the rest – let them work their magic and make friends with the band. Maybe ask the promoter or a security guard to introduce you to the band if you feel uncomfortable just imposing. Being nice helps when you’re actually talking, engage them and ask them how their shows have been going – chances are they’ll like talking about their band! (Don’t you?)
During the Show
It’s your chance to play to an audience you wouldn’t get in a months worth of small gigs – make the most of it! Scout out what you can jump off and what you can talk about with the crowd. That reminds me…
Engage the crowd! This shouldn’t be too hard to get them making some noise, if you mention the headline act you know they’ll respond, just take a look in the video above! Get them doing things and they’ll feel more like a part of the show.
After the Show
Make Friends with Fans
After you’ve played, go down and talk to the people – if you made an impact then they’ll come and talk to you. Don’t just sit in the back room, you won’t make a lasting impression half as effectively as if you talk to the people that watched you and go that extra mile.
Take some Cards
I got the whole band handing out business cards with our myspace, facebook and website on when we were talking to the fans – the next day we had literally over 100 new friends on facebook alone. At gigs, fans may be entheusiastic, but they’ll also be drunk and forgetful. A card is a quick way to give your details so they can remember without having to mess around with pens and paper, and they’re also seriously cheap.
Send a message to the band(s) you were supporting… to the promoter… to anyone that had anything to do with the show. It could open up avenues of conversation and they’ll appreciate that you took the time to thank them!