Industry Tips

How to crowdfund a show

How to crowdfund a show

Stop reading all the articles telling you how to book more gigs and put on your own! And it doesn’t have to be for free either. Get your fans, friends, supporters, and music lovers in the area to pre-order tickets for shows and enable you to organize your own gigs. Here’s how it works.

Step one. Understanding crowdfunding

You probably heard of crowdfunding as a way to finance curiosity projects like luxury socks from plastic bottles and manufacturing waste or a palm-size color printer. Crowdfunding initiatives range from socially responsible projects that just won’t be backed by profit-minded corporations to outright bizarre fringe initiatives.

The model allows to collect small contributions from a large pull of people in order to fund the development and production of a product or a service. If a project gets sufficient funding, it goes in production and backers receive rewards. If the project fails to raise the funds, all backers are fully refunded.

Step two. Planning your concert crowdfunding campaign

Crowdfunding a concert is essentially fans pre-ordering a concert from their favorite performer. In order for the process to go smoothly, some planning is necessary.

To start a concert crowdfunding campaign, a musician, band, or their team decide on the preliminary date and location, as well as show concept. The beauty of crowdfunding an event is that a set date and even location aren’t required. A show can be crowdfunded merely as a concept and only put in production once the budget is met.

Think about the topic or theme of your event – what do you want to convey with your event, will there be a special message, any special guests or supplementary entertainment? Prepare an outline of your event and write a creative description for your concert crowdfunding campaign to entice fans, supporters and music lovers in the area to back your show.

Some of your crowdfunding options are Show4me (music-industry specific, concert crowdfunding toolkit built-in) and general-purpose crowdfunding platforms: Fundly, Crowdfunder, GoGetFunding, Kickstarter.

Step three. Calculating the budget

It’s very important to be able to correctly estimate the cost of your event before you start crowdfunding it, as you need to specify the exact number in the crowdfunding form. You also need to be realistic about the amount of people a venue can hold and, therefore, the number of tickets you can offer.

One way to increase revenue is by selling a batch of tickets with built-in merch, like T-shirts, bags, signed posters, etc. That will help cover the cost of events at more expensive venues or travel and accommodation for shows in remote locations.

Here’s a list of costs you might want to consider adding to your show budget:

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  • performer & host fees
  • venue cut
  • transportation and accommodation cost
  • equipment rent, costumes, stage decor
  • food & drinks, themed decor
  • staff wages (ushers, stage technicians, security, etc.)
  • marketing (posters, flyers, ads on social media or in local publications)

Step four. Launch your campaign

Fill out your campaign description, add your music, photos and videos to give your future audience the feel of the event, set your event budget, ticket prices, and launch it.

concert crowdfunding campaign on Show4me Music Interaction Network

Step five. Promote your campaign

It might feel that there’s less at stake when a concert is crowdfunded and the date has not been set yet, – and it’s true, the financial risk is less, – but to make the event happen, it’s important to work hard on its promotion.

Create event posters and attractive visual materials to promote your event on- and offline. Message your friends and fans about the upcoming show, make social media updates (including Stories), let your email list subscribers know about the campaign.

When promoting your show, it’s important to emphasize that your event is alternatively funded and won’t happen unless enough tickets sell, so it’s important to buy tickets early and not at the last moment or at the door.

A well thought-out strategy to distribute the information about your campaign and eye-catching promo materials will secure your event good exposure and ticket sales.

Step six. Produce the event

Once your campaign meets the budget you set to cover your costs, it’s time to withdraw funds and start putting the show to life.

Book your venue, set the exact date of your concert, rent the equipment, arrange transport and accommodation, if needed, plan out your stage decor and book any guest acts or hosts. Rehearse the show and distribute your tickets to the people who backed your concert crowdfunding campaign.

When it comes to tickets, general-purpose crowdfunding platforms expect you to take care of that on your own. Being a music-industry specific network, Show4me generates and distributes concert tickets automatically once the event raises enough funds to cover the budget and the creator sets the date.

Step seven. Hold the concert and send out thank-yous

Now that your show has been put together and is ready to go, your fans have their tickets and your venue is expecting a great turnout, it’s your time to shine. Put on a smashing show and remember to not only thank your fans for making the show happen at the event itself, but also send out your thank-yous via your email list, your best social media, and on your campaign page.

Check out FortheLoveOfBands’ Industry Tips for useful independent music promo tips.

Mary Ivanova (guest author)


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