[sg_popup id=”2″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]Has your band been lucky enough to get your first festival show this summer? Festival shows can be great exposure. Pub gigs are great fun, but one Club gig is worth a ten pub gigs when it comes to the exposure. And a festival show can be worth ten club gigs, if not more when it comes to the exposure. But when you get that first opportunity, you need to make the most of it. So we decided to share with you some tips on how to make the most of your festival show.
This is the one show when you don’t have time to be messing around with your pedals. Setups and soundchecks at the festivals are fast! And if you take your time, that is one sure way not to get invited back. If you are late starting, you are either going to be cutting your set short, or eating into the next artist’s slot. This is a sure sign of an amateur band. Festivals are well oiled and smoothly run organisations, make sure you won’t be the one artist messing with the program.
Time your set
Make sure you have timed your set! Play through the set in rehearsals and time how long it is. Practice what you are going to say between the songs and time that as well. As mentioned above, festival schedules are tight, make the most of it.
Engage with the audience
Talk to the audience in between the sets. Look into the audience when you are playing, shoegazing does not make for a very exciting show visually. The first rule of theatre, never turn your back on your audience. Also often festival stages can be intimidatingly large and it is your job to fill that stage. You have space, use it. Don’t assume everyone knows who you are. Introduce the band name few times during the set.
Tell them where you have merch and encourage them to come to talk to you after the show
I know hanging around at the festival backstage is cool, but out front is where you get to talk to the people who enjoyed your music. And having that conversation is often the key to converting them into real dedicated fans. Take time to talk to everybody who wants to talk to you. And no better place to do this than at the merch table, you might actually sell more merch as well 😉
Thank all organisers
This is such a simple thing to do, and year after year I see the returns from it. Take time to thank the sound crew, all of them. Thank anybody who is involved in organising the festival. It is a tough job and they deserve every bit of your gratitude. Without them, you would have no festival show to play.
Stay for the weekend
What I learned very early on as a musician, was that some of the best connections were made on the nights off. If you can, stay at the festival for the whole duration. The organisers will appreciate you spending some of your money at the festival. But even more so, this is where you really get to know the people involved, other bands and their managers.
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