January 25, 2017

How to Promote a Concert: The 12-Week Countdown

This blog is courtesy of Nicholas Rubright, founder and CEO of Dozmia.

Putting on any type of live event is a daunting task.  When it comes to concerts, it’s not enough to simply book a musician or band to perform; you need to make sure people know about the event. Fortunately, many of the channels used for music promotion, such as radio and social media, can be used for event promotion with the ability to target audiences by specific music tastes. Timing is important when promoting your event.  Start too soon, and your event will be easily forgotten; too late, and your potential customers will have already made plans for the day of your event.

Here’s a 12-week event promotion countdown to help you schedule your promotional efforts.


12 Weeks Out

Get local radio stations on board (if your budget allows for this)

Radio is one of the largest music consumption channels, so it’s important to promote your event through this outlet.  Target stations that play the artist you’ve booked, and inquire about the following promotional methods:

  •      Ad spots
  •      Ticket giveaways
  •      Artist interviews

Additionally, if artist management hasn’t provided you with a radio spot for the tour, get your radio ad spots produced.

Set up ticketing

Give yourself a decent window to sell tickets by going on sale as early as possible. You can set up your ticketing easily and start selling right away from your own website or Facebook fan page. Once this is done you can focus on promoting your event.

Order print materials

Artist management may provide graphics for the tour, but if they don’t, hire a graphic designer to put together designs for some promotional material, then have flyers and posters printed so you can post them where music fans hang out.

Start a weekly email marketing campaign

If you have an email list already through your organisation, start sending weekly or bi-weekly emails to them about the event linking to a place to buy tickets.  Email marketing providers make it easy to automate this so you don’t have to manually send emails to everyone on your list every 2 weeks.  If you don’t have an existing email list, see if you can purchase one containing people in your area to send your emails to.


10 Weeks Out

Poster and flyer placement

Post your printed materials at locations where music fans are likely to hang out, such as other venues or local bars.

Post ads in free publications, websites, and event apps

Most artists automatically have their events added to apps like Bandsintown and Songkick, but make sure you check that your event is listed in these apps and add it if it isn’t.  Check for other event calendars from local newspapers and organisations that might be willing to list your event, and email them the details.

Set up social media promotion and online advertising

Set up your event on social media sites like Facebook, and start an ad campaign promoting the event.  Target users who have shown interest in the artist you booked.  You can also purchase ads on Google targeting people who search for the artist you’ve booked to drive more ticket sales.

Send out press releases to local media publications

After you’ve compiled a list of local media outlets, put together a press release for your event and send it out.  Follow up every 3 days after you send the press release to ensure placement in the publication before your event.  For help putting together a press release, check out this guide by HubSpot.


6 Weeks Out

Confirm radio ad schedule (again, if you have the budget)

Start the ad spots on the local radio stations you’ve contacted.  A good rule of thumb is to purchase 100-150 spots over a 4-6 week period.  Also consider online music services, as many of them let you target their users by music taste and location.

Set up for catering and artist travel needs

Review the catering requirements for the artist – they often request very specific foods on certain days.  If you’re hiring a catering company, confirm the date and menu in writing, and have a private room set aside for the artist and catering crew.  Also book a hotel room and flight for the artist, if required.

Recruit staff

If needed, recruit the following staff for your event:

  •      Security
  •      Merch staff
  •      Load-in/load-out assistant’s
  •      Catering
  •      Stage setup crew
  •      Sound techs

Set up artist interviews and ticket giveaways with local radio stations

If local radio stations have agreed to ticket giveaways and artist interviews, schedule these.  Coordinate artist interviews with the stations and artist management, and set up a ticket giveaway schedule with the radio stations.


2 Weeks Out

Confirm details with road manager

Make sure the artists’ road manager has the correct address and parking information, and confirm arrival times.


Week of Show

Confirm catering and artist travel needs

Check your hotel and airline bookings to make sure they’re in order, and confirm arrival times with your caterers.


Day of Event

Make sure you arrive early to ensure everything is in place for the artists’ arrival.  Set up the dressing room, catering room, and merchandising area, and make sure the stage is clear for load in.

Meet with the road manager to cover details of load-in and load out.

Organise your staff as they arrive.  Tell everyone to arrive 1 hour before they’re supposed to in case of delays.

Make sure all of your accounting is in order, and pay the artist what they’re owed.

Finally, be available for your staff and the artist to ensure an awesome show!


This blog is courtesy of Nicholas Rubright,  founder and CEO of Dozmia.