How to Support Local Music
Everyone has seen them and passed them around time and time again, those sometimes cute, sometimes funny little picture signs with the “support local music” message on it. It’s just not enough to share those dozens of photos that crop up with that message, there are actual actions that need to be taken in order to do exactly that.
How To Support Bands
1. BUY a ticket to “your” band’s shows.
In fact, buy a couple of them and pass them along to friends that like the same music you do. If the show is one where each band has tickets to sell or give out, make sure you get them from “your” band because someone is keeping track – either the promoter or the venue, but someone is certainly tracking how many tickets get turned in for each band.
2. BUY band merchandise.
At every show, bands (well smart/prepared ones) have merch on sale. Buy something. If you already have everything (Great!), buy something for a friend. For your friends in other cities and states, send them local band CDs for Birthdays and holidays. That’s how the music spreads. But, BUY it and send, because unless the band says it’s OK to burn and distribute, it’s not cool to do that and it’s stealing. Can’t make it to a show to buy merch? No worries, most bands have stores set up on line, if not, you can always ask a member of the band.
3. FOLLOW the band on Social Media.
Follower them sites like Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, the new My Space, Google + and Reverbnation. When “your” band posts important news, show events, a fundraising campaign, a CD/video release, pass the info along. On Twitter, it’s just the simple matter of a re-Tweet. On Reverbnation, they have music charts that track plays and downloads for bands, so head over there and listen to “your” band’s music. Make copies of show flyers and post them at school or the gym or where ever you are allowed to post flyers. If you just “like” something on Facebook and similar sites, that’s not enough, few people will notice a “like,” but if you actually share the item, it spreads to a lot more eyes than when the band posts something. That’s kind of the whole idea behind these places and the bands. We’re not talking about those huge bands with millions of fans, major record companies and publicists, we’re talking about the little independent bands that most people never heard of, and those bigger bands have millions of band-wagon sheep passing their stuff around.
4. SIGN up to their email list.
If they have one, many bands ignore this often overlooked but very important tool.
5. SUPPORT those who support “your” band.
The venues they play, the radio stations that play local music, the promoters who put together the shows and the publications that post articles about them. For the venues, if “your” band isn’t playing but you want to see live music, go there and see what else they have playing, you might find another band, or three, to follow. If you’ve just seen “your” band there and had a great time, let the venue know by posting about it. For the radio stations, let them know you loved hearing “your” band on their station. For the promoters, check out their sites, you might find more bands there that you like. If they just had a show with “your” band, post and let them know how much you appreciated them making it happen. For the publications, read the articles, spread them around and comment. If they just wrote something about “your” band let them know if you agree or disagree with what they wrote. Most of these places get noticed by advertisers and others for the amount of traffic they get, and by being shared, signing up to the email lists and posted comments are big factors in whether those places continue to thrive and support local music.
Most importantly, if you are a music fan you should have many bands to “like” and follow so do it. Help them out. Not every suggestion involves spending money, so if a budget is an issue, there are still plenty of actions listed above that you can do to support “your” band without involving your cash. Make sure local music thrives because of you, not in spite of you.
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