5 Ways To Promote Concerts Overseas

Setting up a tour outside of your home country is a challenge, but promoting a concert (or concert series) in a country other than your own is an outright monster. The trap many musicians fall into is that they assume promotion is a universal language. Wrong. As some promotional methods may prove consistent in particular markets, you must remain flexible in order to adapt with new techniques. As I said before, would you promote a concert the same in New York as you would Louisiana? How about Oregon and Alabama? Better yet, how about Ireland and Italy? Clearly the answer is “NO”, so keep this in mind as you proceed. Here are 5 basic steps to follow in order to simplify the processes.

  1. Reject the old school methods of promotion

Imagine you’re a band in Florida that gets a gig in France, how will you promote the show? If you resort back to the Florida methods you’re trouble. What was the plan….hang concert posters? Buy newspaper advertisement? Many of the traditional methods of promotion don’t work internationally simple because of the distance involved. You can’t fly over to France for a day to hang concert posters. You can’t send them to the venue and ask them to put them up. This isn’t something you can monitor and will have no idea if they actually do it. Economically speaking, traditional methods of promotion will not work when distance enters the equation. When you find yourself generating promotional ideas that seem like old hat, STOP, and think if it will make sense from an economic standpoint.

  1. Use Social Media to Identify Your Fan base

Chances are you will be amped about the opportunity to play out of the country, but in reality you’ll know little about the actual market in which you’re playing. If this is the case, use networking sites like MySpace Music to research the scene. If you’re an Indie Electronic band, narrow your MySpace search to identify bands in the particular country that perform the same genre. At that point, turn into a stalker! View a bands MySpace friends and monitor the age and gender of their fans. Once you can gather some information it makes tailoring your show to hit a certain demographic much easier.

  1. Use Social Media to Promote a Concert, However do NOT Depend on It.

As it may be extremely beneficial to promote shows thru Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc.. it has little positive effect when heading to a different country. A couple reason why – you don’t have fans in the new country, so you’re not going to have an online media following that will be beneficial. Sure this may look cool to talk about your upcoming Italian tour on your Twitter account, but it really only bounces around with your domestic friends. The chance some untapped fan in Italy will stumble upon your Twitter and say: “Ohhh hell yes, Band X is coming to Naples next Thursday. I’ve never heard them, nor do I know anyone that has heard of them but man I’ve got to hit up that show” is highly unlikely. Rather, use social media as a way to wet a fan’s appetite, and promotion thru repetition. Even though Italian fans may not know who you are, if they constantly see the bands name popping up on Twitter & Facebook it will peak their interest.

  1. Set Up Radio Interviews (or web interviews)

Radio isn’t completely dead! Radio promotions is often one of the easiest promotional tools for international artist, yet the least used.Setting up radio interviews typically proves unproblematic for international bands, and can be a bullfight for domestic groups. Why?International bands are interesting to domestic customers. Radios will be inviting to hear your story and why you chose to tour in country X, they will love to participate in product giveaways, and will probably play your music. International musicians add a bit of sex appeal that domestic groups don’t possess. Interesting stories for radio equals increased listener base, which ultimately means higher advertising rates. Benefit from this model.

  1. Get a Local Contact

You need someone on the ground that can work. Bands that are located a thousand miles away can’t be effective with promotion. Not only is it essential from a promotional standpoint, you need someone in country X that can navigate the legal red tape that often times bands aren’t aware of. Getting a contact isn’t a difficult process.Locate the local music blogs, music stores, radio stations, or post job links in music marketing rooms on LinkedIn. I promise you someone will emerge that can help. Keep in mind, you’re not looking for long term representation, rather someone who can help for a particular tour/concert. Remember, gaining a contact in country X allows you to quickly accomplish Steps 1-4

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