If your teen is already playing music in the basement with his friends and they have several cover songs and a few original tunes, they’re probably getting sick of playing for each other with only the spiders (and you) for an audience. They want to find a gig! If you want to help them, then (congrats!) you are the Band Manager. Welcome to Parent as Band Manager 101. Five sure fire ways to get your kid out of the basement and out gigging!
Photo credit: Barbara Elmes
1. Find local venues: Check local media (newspapers, websites, Google) for listings of community showcases, competitions, and “open mic” nights. Many are all-ages; some are teens/youth only. Send an email or call to book a date (even if it’s months in the future.) If the event allows bands to “drop-in,” book a date with the band so all will be available.
2. Create an on-line presence: Get official and create a Band page on Facebook and/or Myspace (becoming less relevant). Update the page regularly and encourage band members to interact with fans. Gigs can’t find them if they don’t have an on-line presence.
3. Network (or “creep”) on social media: Network to see what other teen bands are doing – “like” the same bands, events, gigs; ask to piggyback on events: “Do you need another band for the school fundraiser for Haiti?”
4. Be proactive and create your own event! Ask several bands to join you for a music festival in a local park (be sure to secure permissions and provide sound equipment). Hold a fundraiser for a cause you care about at your church or school.
5. Host a party for your kid’s friends in the backyard and have the band play for 45 minutes (or less depending on the number of songs they know!) Provide the sound system (you can rent or buy for a few hundred dollars) and extension cords. Encourage “open mic” after the band plays or just let them hang out afterwards!
Well done! You’ve completed Parent as Band Manager 101! Stay tuned for future installments. And, please write and let us know if you had success!