chamber orchestra concert“Memorable concerts don’t merely deliver what’s expected; they also take audiences beyond what they can envision.”
The Musician’s Wayp. 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, who might have enjoyed flourishing careers, appear infrequently in public and earn little income when they do.

To help such artists produce their own concerts and forge sustainable careers, I’ve developed an easy-to-remember instructional framework, which I sum up here. Contact me if you’d like to learn more or would like help to plan and produce successful concerts.

The Five C’s of Concert Planning and Production

1. Content

Develop irresistible concert programs that reflect your style and motivate your target audiences to attend.

Also design your event to lower or remove audience attendance barriers.

2. Costs

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 cover substantial portions of a budget, thereby enabling musicians to present high-quality, well-paid events with free and low-cost tickets.

3. Culture

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.

4. Communication

Design a marketing plan that generates intrigue.

Low-cost communication strategies include distributing press releases, posting to free online event calendars, building excitement on social media, placing some online ads, emailing, and more.

Craft program notes, too, that help attract prospective ticket buyers and that enhance the experience of your audience.
The Musician's Way book cover

5. Coordination

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.

Also create an online production schedule, and share it with your collaborators. To organize your individual work, employ the likes of a preparation timeline and pre-performance inventory.

*  *  *

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.

See The Musician’s Way for guidelines to advance your musical and professional skills. Read reviews.

Related posts
3 Traits of Successful Concert Programs
Boost Income and Impact with Local Sponsorships
Design Thinking for Audience Development 
Partnering with Non-Profits

© 2018 Gerald Klickstein
Photo licensed from Shutterstock