It is possible for your voice to get heard in a great venue & to contribute good to the world in the process –says Rachel Bennett
On the current pop music live scene it’s always hard to get really nice venues to play in – who wants a noisy pub really?. It’s also hard to get paid unless you are under management or have a development deal.
So, I want to share a plan with you – its realistic, manageable and can be great fun! I know – I’ve done it!
You can achieve some recognition as a band, learn how to take the lead in an industry related process and create an event oriented to a cause, by establishing your own links to charity groups and community organizations…
The Steps to Take
Select the Participants Carefully
Gather together a meeting of the best musicians/acts you know personally and make a temporary collective with a realistic time line.
Get Your Theme Right
Check out material that has a similar theme to one of your songs – protest against the powers that be / travel or places / love – loss / anti war / particular seasonal songs around festivals – the list is endless…
Tap Into the Local Area
Perhaps there’s a local incentive already happening in your area that you can tap into – saving a road or a community garden / a new school is being built – you could write a song especially for it and make this known.
Start the Buzz Words
Entitle your evening as such… make a short title with a catchy strap line that invites all types of people to come and listen.
Bring in the Big Boys
Link to charities with causes that can fit your theme and send out piles of emails asking for a meeting – with a little sound-bite attached of the best song from your collective. Offer some percentage of takings from the night to their charity in exchange for a little publicity. on their website.
Find Your Venue
Meanwhile be checking out the classier venues – old churches, museums or libraries are often wonderful or nice studios with big live rooms where an audience can sit.
Then get down to organizing your own publicity – make it clear that the ticket cost includes a percentage that will go to the charity and then work to target those you believe will be accessing the charity on line or at their premises. You can all invite friends and family at reduced rate too.
Post Event – Making it Work for You
Record the event and put it out on social media with the charity name attached (somewhere in a sentence will do!). Feedback after the gig ensures a good start on the next one.
Here’s How I Made it Work
I am passionate about the Spoken Word (Hip Hop and Grime) and a few years back I was planning to make a film about the history of these forms of music in the UK (which I did at a later date).
I wanted my band to play some new songs in this vein and so we set up a Spoken Word event at a local library, tapping into the current schools poetry and rap after school activities; we raised a big audience and connected to a London wide poetry organisation for further sponsorship as well as London wide publicity.
We hosted the event with some songs and many young talents were able to perform their poetry; our angle was about encouraging the inner city youth to express themselves in a positive way and we tapped into the local council Mayors fund as well as Social Services funds
We also got a well known Hip Hop / Grime DJ involved and he spun some tunes at the end of the event and also made an impassioned speech about his love of the music It was an all round success and led to my being able to raise greater funds for my film.
Rachel Bennett is a London-based vocal coach and singer songwriter. She is the lead singer / songwriter of RAIE and a Musical Director for theatre, television & recording studios across London. She has associations at WAC Performing Arts and Media College and Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. You can learn more about Rachel on her Website or Facebook. You can see more of Rachel’s writing here.