It’s no secret that there’s little money today in recorded music, hence why many acts are relatively happy to give away much of their music for free in order to build a fan base to come to gigs.
But is there a way to get more out of this new way of working?
There needs to be at least one extra reason for listeners to pay for a live performance rather than stay at home and listen for free. Here are some suggestions that might work for you.
1. Bonus Tracks
Keep some tunes un-recorded so they’re only performed live. You can use video teasers of live performances to give your mailing list a taste of how good those ‘live only’ songs are. This could lead to more amateur footage of that song being uploaded by fans and causing more people to come to future gigs. This was a tried and tested method of free promotion in the pre-digital age when people used to share pirate recordings on cassette tape with full (behind the scenes) support for the record companies.
2. Get a Side Kick
If there was a lovable character who was at every single gig that was integrated subtly into your performances, people would attach themselves to this and would come to see your shows in order to cheer for the character as much as the main act. The most simple way of doing this is through bespoke soft toys with an interesting name and outfit. Give them a place in the show that the audience can see and maybe build a story around them as part of your social media and blog posts.
3. Free Gig Recordings
If you’re happy to give away free recordings of your music in order to build a fan base, then why not forego the whole studio scenario, along with the associated time and expense, by just recoding the live gig and then sending a copy to those who bought tickets. This will capture the atmosphere and unique moments that happen at each gig, as well as allow your fans to relive this night as many times as they wish. The best way to record these gigs is to connects a digital recorder to a line on the sound engineers desk, but if you don’t have that facility there are good sound recorders that can record the room well if setup correctly and put in the right location.
 
So consider using one of more of these examples and be creative in thinking of your own ways to make your gigs unique so that you can sell more tickets.