“Memorable concerts don’t merely deliver what’s expected; they also take audiences beyond what they can envision.”
–The Musician’s Way, p. 211
Although we musicians devote years to refining our artistic and technical abilities, few of us study the processes involved in planning and presenting successful concerts.
As a result, many wonderful musicians appear infrequently in public and earn little income when they do.
The Five C’s of Concert Planning and Production
Determine your costs and how you’ll meet them as well as what ticket prices your audiences will accept. Consider funding some expenses via sources other than ticket sales, especially grants and partnerships. In fact, smart fundraising and partnerships can enable musicians to present high-quality, well-paid, free-admission events.
Will a concert be casual or formal, innovative or traditional? Match the culture of the event to your genre, the venue, and the preferences of your target audiences.
Design a marketing plan that generates intrigue. Low-cost communication strategies include distributing press releases, placing some online ads, posting to free online event calendars, building excitement on social media, emailing, and more. Craft program notes, too, that help captivate listeners.
Coordinate logistics in detail – rehearsals, equipment, transportation, venue rental, lighting & sound, ticketing, licensing, hiring, payments, and so forth. Ask for help with logistical matters that you know less about.
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If you’re new to organizing concerts, make your initial ones uncomplicated and relatively short in length, and seek out mentors for advice.
To begin with, test your program and presentation on small audiences. Then, once you’ve gained proof of concept, you can incrementally scale up to higher-impact events.
© 2018 Gerald Klickstein
Photo licensed from Shutterstock