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Booking Strategies for Musicians & Performing Artists – Themes Turn Gigs into Media Events

Booking successful gigs often takes creative thinking, even exercising some outrageous ideas to turn your gig into a media event. Using a theme to ignite your ideas makes it easy and more exciting for all involved. Here are six suggestions to help you use themes to turn your gigs into a media event.

1. Think about your plans for the next two years – What events, projects, tours are in the works? Think about giving each new project a theme. Brainstorm with group members, managers, record labels and publicists as you discuss the next projects. Work the theme into your plans as you develop the project, tour, or recording. As you begin planning for each event and begin to incorporate the theme for that event, consider the following:

2. Think about the businesses that you could involve in the theme. When ready, create a proposal that will get those businesses excited about being an integral part of the event. How this will benefit them? Share that with them when presenting the proposal.

3. Think about community charities that you could align yourself with that would be a natural fit with your theme. If you are particularly interested in a specific organization, strive to create a long-lasting relationship that might span the years as you grow your career.

4. Consider your graphics, posters, colors, and any design features that will enhance the overall execution of the theme to expand its impact on the media and the public.

5. Will food be involved in the event? If so, how can the theme be incorporated into the catering? This can be very simple and low cost. When all the players involved are participating because it benefits a cause, the sponsor may donate most of their costs. When you have a clever theme and a good cause, sponsors will be attracted to your event and want to participate.

6. Will a specific location be important to the themes’ execution? Get any licenses you might need from the city or county. Check local event calendars to make sure your event won’t interfere with another scheduled for the same day.

You may have to put some money into the initial project, but the payoff will be many times greater than sending out a few press releases, hoping they get printed or even noticed. If you plan ahead and build associations as you incorporate these themes into your plans, donations, sponsorships and in-kind services will cover many costs. When you consider the cost of a large mailing or a phone campaign to get radio attention, a thematic media event approach has potential to impact a much broader audience.

As you get used to creating budgets for each project you undertake, you will learn how to dole out bits of your budget to prospective sponsors to have the costs of various line items completely covered by the sponsor. When you begin incorporating a thematic approach to each project, the planning, the budgeting and the creativity all become worth the effort as you evaluate the results. It is a bit more work initially, but the beneficial results are magnified many times over.

Step out of the ordinary! Place your act among the unique, the outrageous and the extraordinary. Gain momentum in your career because you dared to be more interesting than the competition. It all starts with choosing a theme for your next project. Work that theme from all angles and you will be pleasantly surprised at the successful outcome of the project, the CD release or the gig.

Laser – The World of Lasers

The main question is this? Are they the light of the future, death rays or useful tools? Right from when they were invented, lasers have taken over every form of technology. They are in our heavy industry down to video disc in our homes. They come in many shapes and sizes. They are either minute crystals no bigger than grain salts to huge devices that can generate massive power levels.

Laser light differs from ordinary light in the following ways:

  1. It more intense than a normal beam of light. By focusing a laser beam it is possible to concentrate large amounts of energy into a tiny area. This is of great importance where precision cuts and welds have to be made.
  2. Laser light is produced as a very narrow beam with exceptionally parallel sides.
  3. The beam is a very pure color, rather than the mixture of colors in ordinary light.
  4. Laser lights have a very special property which scientists call coherence

Lasers were first identified as the death ray of science fiction. Later on they began to appear in art shows and pop concerts. Most musicians especially Rock groups took advantage of the unique properties to produce exciting stage effects.

Laser light can be very dangerous because of the fact that so much energy is concentrated into a narrow beam. This is why lasers at most rock concerts are always pointing upwards and are constantly kept on the move. This is because the action of the laser is to amplify an original burst of light and concentrate it. Hence the name LASER meaning Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

The power output of a laser depends on how much energy it can emit in a given time. Most lasers used in concerts are generally of low power and they emit continuously. Basically by designing lasers which produce very short impulses of energy, the power levels can be increased enormously as all the energy is released in an instant. This type of lasers are called pulsed lasers. They can deliver a very powerful punch and are even able to start nuclear reactions in special circumstances.

But between the pretty light beams of the rock concert and the awesome power of the pulsed lasers is a whole range of medium power devices, which emit both visible and invisible types of light. Some laser types are so dangerous that light scattered and reflected from dust and surroundings can damage the eye. Powerful lasers carry warnings to avoid such accidents.

Basic Keys to Success For Music Entrepreneurs

There are many new opportunities emerging for musicians, recording professionals, singers and songwriters in today’s expanded market for music. There are opportunities to be directly involved with your own music and there are also opportunities to be indirectly involved with the music of others, for example. Either way, it can be a curse and a blessing for folks to have complete control over their own destiny. If you have talent, reasonable business acumen, and motivation, you might eventually create a specialized market for your music products and services. The opportunities are increasing but both the work and the knowledge necessary to succeed are compounded greatly in this new business model. Peter Spellman of MbSolutions.com provides some interesting projections for the new music market in his article entitled “Staying Ahead of the Curve: Music Marketing Trends You Can Count On”.

He lists 5 meta-trends that he envisions for the new paradigm in music. I will summarize his excellent article by saying the future looks bright for independents able to identify their particular strengths in areas of new demand. That is, finding niche markets for your talents will become the success stories of the future. Mr. Spellman compares the new music model to the emergence of cable television in which specialized segments were created with channels targeting a variety of interests among viewers. We are already seeing this model with XM radio.

This same model was successfully applied to retail stores as we are now able to find stores that sell nothing but candles, for example. Mr. Spellman also makes a case for musicians, singers, and songwriters to become entrepreneurs. With the availability of recording technology and marketing tools at our fingertips, it is possible to create, produce, market and sell a variety of services directly and indirectly related to music in the confines of the home. I would say the infrastructure is still in development, but there are already some examples of folks who are finding success. Music is becoming a cottage industry which allows for the success of an increasing number of independents in various roles.

As a music-entrepreneur, one might consider several key elements for increasing the chances for success in the new music business paradigm. Have a product or service that is appealing to a significant group of people. This is basic supply and demand stuff, right out of Economics 101. It is a fundamental that governs the free market environment that most of us love. When applied directly to music, this is the reason why universal themes and catchy melodies have been very successful over the past 50 years. However, in today’s specialized environment, music is now categorized and sub-categorized into genres that did not exist when I was a teenager. There are classifications for music that go well beyond the old genres of rock, country, folk, blues, jazz, and pop.

It is not necessary to understand all of the classifications, but I think it pays to understand those classifications in which you may have a particular interest or predisposition. So, it makes sense to find a niche and then capitalize on it. There is also an element of providing quality product. That is, it makes sense for those directly involved with music production to create music with a distinct appeal. It also makes sense for those indirectly involved to offer services that are needed. Participate in the new forms of music delivery to better understand where the industry is going. I would recommend this more for older musicians like me.

It is not a difficult transition, but it may involve adjusting your way of thinking a little bit. Actually, now is a good time to adjust to the idea of music as a service rather than a product. New music models will provide music as more of a service than a stand alone product. This is already evident with online music providers. You can subscribe to services that allow you to stream and/or download music. The model for distributing the income remains in development, but I believe it will be established.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to offer help to others. Actually, there are new opportunities for developing virtual relationships that will allow folks to collaborate long distance. I recently co-wrote and produced a song with a guy in Copenhagen, Denmark. How cool is that????!!!! With networking technologies, it is not surprising to see new online services offered for musicians, singers, and songwriters. There are now many services offering online collaborations, virtual studio work, cd replication, song-plugging, and merchandising just to name a few. This is not only good for those who need the services, but it is also good for those who may wish to offer the services. Of course, these services may be bought and sold, but these services may also be bartered in exchange for future recognition and/or compensation if there is an element of trust or a contractual arrangement. Learn about the various contracts and adjust to the idea of working with contracts. One difference between services that are bought and sold and services that are bartered may be ownership of rights, for example.

Ownership of rights can be established between bartering participants who wish to share in the anticipated success of a collaborative work. It is not always 100% necessary to create contracts as online communications helps to demonstrate and establish degree of ownership. However, having a contract actually simplifies the process. That is, a contractual arrangement allows for immediate disposition while not having a contractual arrangement requires that ownership be established by a court prior to disposition. Stated differently, having a contract allows the owner(s) to actively seek opportunities and receive rewards much sooner without first having to go back and establish ownership using forms of evidence such as e-mails. Contracts are a necessary part of the music business so it should not be regarded as an insult to ask for one up front in today’s legal environment.

Of course, this only becomes an issue following the success of a song which is a good reason to also obtain copyright protection through the United States Copyright Office and register songs with any one of the performing rights organizations such as ASCAP. Build your business relationship skills. Understanding the skills necessary to develop relationships in the music business cannot be overstated. Take the time to research the etiquette of dealing with music people. Understand the various roles. Don’t attempt to plunge in before having a good understanding and a plan. All of these messages I see over and over again, but it is for good reason. There is no substitute for carefully placed efforts. Having the attitude that sheer determination and drive will win out is a very bad assumption.

That is, going into this business with misdirected phone calls and e-mails can actually hurt you more than it can help you. Please take the time to understand the various elements of the business, and if you are in question on any issue as you begin making contacts, it might be a good idea to err on the side of caution and extreme sensitivity. Learn the necessary skills and technology. If becoming an independent is your goal, then it makes sense to understand those technologies which will have a direct impact on your work. I am still developing skills in newly identified areas of weakness, but I can say that I have seen the benefits from other skills obtained in previous areas of weakness. To me, it is an ongoing process of building skill sets that are specific to goals.

Try not to overwhelm yourself in your desire to succeed. I actually struggle with this one myself. It is very tempting to believe that we can launch ourselves from day one. In reality, it is much more enjoyable to take it one step at a time. Have a plan for success. Develop a plan with the necessary steps for reaching your intermediate goals. Try to focus on intermediate goals as it will provide a positive reward system along the way. Consider having individual plans for individual intermediate goals. Some of these may be developed simultaneously but I believe it is a good idea to be realistic about your time availability.

It is often very difficult for people to think in terms of years, but having a solid plan can provide a stepwise progression of events that can steadily improve the probability for success. Also, laying out the necessary steps can actually help identify the most logical sequence of events. Finally, take care of the basics. For example, if you have unrelated responsibilities, consider taking care of them first. Having work that is incomplete or unattended is a serious problem when the time comes to focus on your more passionate goals. It can be a form of baggage that keeps you from giving 100% to your desired outcome. Besides, you can actually come up with great ideas while doing ordinary things at your work or around the house. For example, it should be clear that forgetting to pay the bills will result in larger issues that require much more time to resolve. Similarly, most folks understand that we must take care of ourselves first and foremost so it just makes good sense to take care of our health so that we can truly enjoy the benefits of our work.