Monday, June 3, 2019

The errors you do on showcase festivals!

Here are the most common errors I see artists do when they get to a showcase festival.

Taking it as a gig. The artist just shows up and play their gig. Then leave for the hotel and then head out. This is probably the best way to not get anything done on a showcase festival. The odds that someone will come to the show and see the show and then take the time to contact that artist by looking them up online and trace them. It's a bigger chance to win the lottery, actually 200% more chance to win the lottery. Most artist thinks it is a gig and thinks that they only have to take care of soundcheck and the gig nothing is more wrong.

At least work the room after the show. This is the next mistake. Very few artists work the room after the show. Many of them just go backstage and drink beer and talk to each other. I can at least tell of a hundred band that missed the opportunity I had for them by not showing up the first ten minutes after the show when I wanted to speak to them and book them. Later on, they were forgotten and the spot went to someone else.

Go to the seminars and network. At least 70% never do that. They think it's boring and they rather drink some beer, go out and see some tourist stuff, hang on the beach, sleeping in. You paid serious money to go on the showcase by missing the conference you more or less are paying for an expensive vacation. The vacation part you can do if you are working hard and get booked again to the same city as a normal gig.  In reality, this is not the vacation you network to 3 in the morning get up at 8 and keep on networking. Do that for three to four days. Yes, I had many of many artists complaining that it's hard. You know what I have this tempo almost every week and I'm middle age. Here we have artists in their 20's not coping up what an old man like me is doing.

Your gig is not that important. To many of the artist thinks everything on the showcase is that they do the perfect show on the set. You got that all wrong. It's all about who you have been talking to networking with beforehand. Many of these probably will never show up to the show, still, if they liked you as a person they can imagine what the show was like and that is probably better then your real show. Usually, when they come down to the show they already have made up their mind and it's a formality. Of course, if you do the worst performance that can change their minds, so yes have a good show. Still a lot of shows I attend I already have seen the artist and more or less supporting a business friend.

Hang around and be a nice person. You don't know who you are talking to. many industry people hide behind various titles. So be nice to people, talk to them and try to find the things you might have in common and try to be genuinely friendly and nice. That is the best way to get something, not try to hard sell things.

Thinking that others will do your job. Too many times I just meet the manager, not the artist. Then, later on, I meet the artist with the manager and the artist have no clue who I'm and what I do so they more or less act snotty. Here is the secret for not doing that mistake. Hang on with your manager on the networks. He or she will do the talk, you listen and say hello and just be nice. Then you learn who is who and are not likely to be snotty against a very important person. Yes, you need to be present in this part of the job as well. The manager is try ing to sell a product and if tehy product is there and shine, well that makes the job so much easier. This is only done by a few percentages.

Be prepared. A lot of exposure and chances just happens during the showcase. Suddenly there is a radio person going around doing interviews. And your chance is just there. Or an extra gig suddenly appears. On this big mingle they ask an artist to play a song acoustically in front of the VIP:s. You need to be prepared to just jump in on this. There is no, I don't have my guitar, or even worse you are in the hotel room sleeping or walking on the beach eating ice cream. To get this you need to be down at the conference and just take all the things that are thrown at you. I remember one gig Royal Prospect took on Canadian Music Week. Suddenly the organizer had an outdoor stage and asked them to play. They took it straight away. The gig was not optional. Outdoor without drumkit and semi-acoustic and the wind was blowing. Still, they did it and I managed to get the biggest booker down to the set and he was impressed how they cope with the bad surroundings and just say, If they can do this great here they must be amazing on a real stage. Next month Royal Prospect plays on the biggest festival in the world on the most highlighted stage for newcomers. Just because they said yes to a shit gig and where flexible.

And that leads to being flexible. No everything is not gonna be perfect and that doesn't matter. We look at how you handle crises as well. If you go up and are moody just because it didn't go your way. Then your career could be over. Like the Swedish band, Kent who throws away an international career just to play on small local stages in Sweden just because they fucked up by not being flexible.

Now someone says, well Kent played at Stockholm stadium, that is big. Yes, Stockholm stadium takes 33000 people. Royal Prospect plays on Summerfest, It's a million already here they have beaten Kent by far. No there is no big stages in Sweden. And here comes another error. Don't be afraid to take the chances. Don't say no just because you think you can't make it. Go ahead take the chance that is given to you. I see too many bands telling me when I offer a spot on my festival that they calculate not having the money ( why the hell are they showcasing in the first hand). Or they already have a small gig booked the same week. Try to work that out and just take the bigger opportunity. And no even do someone might say oh let's do it next year. You know what usually they just think that artist is not up for it and the opportunity is actually not coming back.

That leads to stay the whole festival. So many bands are calling is up and say oh we can only play on Wednesday not the weekend since we have a paid gig in our hometown. Of course, the festival agrees on that. Still you are missing out all the networking and get a worse timeslot and in reality, there is no point doing a showcase festival if you can't stay the whole time and squeeze the most out of it. And saying no, well you read below here what happens then.

Yes, this is hard work and I think the most artist is not ready for this kind of work. The ones that are will have a career.

This is the gig that broke Royal Prospect to the big stages. Totally improvised. Look on the drummer using a guitar case as a base drum. A small crowd, but with the right people. This is where the magic happens.

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