Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Gigs: quality or quantity?

Photo by Nainoa Shizuru on Unsplash
A friend of mine tells the story of opening for a major, world-renowned rock band. The audience was huge, the venue was amazing - it was a great opportunity for exposure for him and his band.

The problem, it turns out, was that the audience was rabid in their anticipation for the main event, and the opening act was endured instead of appreciated. They added a handful of names to their email list and sold about half a dozen CDs.

By contrast, the next night they played a house concert for an audience of about forty. They sold thirty-eight CDs and added all forty names to their mailing list. More importantly, most of the new fans are still fans who attend performances, purchase merchandise, and consistently bring their friends to shows.

Sometimes as musicians we worry too much about how many new people we can get in front of rather than developing a relationship with those fans we've already got.

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
The people in the major venue came to see the other band, but the people in the house concert came to see my friend. More than that, the smaller, more intimate venue was exponentially more enjoyable.

I'm not saying you should turn down a great opportunity to play in front of thousands of potential new fans. I am saying that you shouldn't pass up an opportunity to develop a meaningful, lasting relationship with people who like you, who support what you're doing and want to help you grow your art.

Happy playing!


  1. Always better to play a small gig, imo. It's a lot easier to connect with the audience when you can see their eyeballs.

    1. I agree completely. Connection is what it's all about!


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