Mar 9, 2015

Need to book or promote a gig? Here’s why you better have a website!

Why you need a website as a musicianA few weeks ago at the International Folk Alliance Conference, I spoke on a panel called “Keeping Up with Digital Technologies” with Courtney Gallagher, Membership and Marketing Coordinator for Club Passim.

Passim is one of the coolest listener-friendly venues in the Boston area (it’s in Cambridge), so Courtney provided the live music/event promotion/talent-buyer perspective for our discussion.

She said (and we all agreed) that it’s crucial, despite the new tools and services and apps and widgets and plugins available today, that musicians make use of a now relatively old technology: a website.

Not a Facebook Page. Not a Bandcamp page. Not a ReverbNation page. Not an artist page on CDBaby.com.

A REAL website that YOU control— a place to showcase all the audio, pictures, videos, tour dates, biographical details, and contact info that talent buyers, fans, and the press may need when they’re considering promoting your show, writing about your music, or simply deciding whether they like your band.

“It’s important for artists to have a website dedicated specifically to them,” says Courtney Gallagher. “Personally, I promote an average of more than one show a day for our venue, so if I am sending out a newsletter to 25,000 people and I want to feature your act by including a video and you don’t have a website that makes it easy for me, I am going to have to move on to the next artist.”

If you don’t have your own website, you’re not just losing out on promotional opportunities though. You might actually be losing out on gigs too. I asked Matt Smith, Club Passim’s Managing Director, if he would book a band that only had a page on Facebook, Bandcamp, or ReverbNation.

“Of all of those pages, I’d only be likely to give an actual booking to someone with a Facebook page,” says Smith. “Bandcamp only has music (a great thing, but not useful for show dates, etc.), and a ReverbNation page always just feels like a refuge for bar bands. It’s more of a page to house a press kit than for fans. Artists need a centralized location for info for their fans/clubs/etc. to get the word out about shows.”

Keep in mind, these sentiments aren’t unique to the people that run Passim. I’ve heard similar things said by talent buyers at venues all over the country — from small listening rooms to big clubs that cater to every genre. The moral of the story ain’t no mystery: you need a website if you’re going to try to perform live, get press, and build your fanbase.

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Source: Musician Resources

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