Mohawks Rock

I've been getting into this band promoting thing lately, and it's rather fun. My problem is that I'm losing a lot of money. (I'm not in it to GAIN money, I'm doing it for the sake of bringing bands and a scene to the city for enjoyment) I don't know wether I'm promoting right or not. Or if it's the fact that people don't really care about touring bands that aren't part of a record label (which would be lame). I plaster posters, facebook event, handouts at other shows...  Any other ideas or tips/hints?


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Well atleast you have a

We only have 1 local band that is metal/hardcore
That was helpful.
hahaa touche' man
Word of mouth is one of your best tools, use it.
Remember that any publicity is good publicity.
Graffitti is a good way of getting names out.
Stickers, flyers and posters.
Help get the bands gigs, especially in uncommon places, or venues that band's don't usually play.
Organise a street team, always a good thing.
Recruit a group of friends, or as many people from the scene as you can, and get them involved (even if it is just talking the bands up to people)
Make sure the band's are co operating or helping you.
All i can think of, off the top of my head.
also, to add to it;
CDS: if possible, have lotsa cds, nothing special, just a few good songs, give em to people into local bands

SPRAY PAINT: i've heard teh Dead Kennedys DK symbol is so kids could idealy spray paint it outside of clubs, i also heard black flag had a artist paint the 4 stripes everywhere, cops showed up at the shows, band just said 'not us, just our fans, we're not responsible, waka waka',

WHEAT PASTE: if you wheat pasting blank pieces of paper, it's fun, if you'r doing ones with shite on em, same thing, go to my graffiti artist's group, there's two graffiti groups here

BAND MEMBERS: dunno if thats your technique, but if your advertising for a band, talk them fuckres into helping you, also check out has some neat stuff, change teh shite from radical to music promoting

GET ORIGINAL: think fight club, think banksy, innovative, just cause you spray paint a band name somewhere like on a bank, doesn't mean they can prove shite

WORD DAWGY: like the other guy said, spread the word..or words.....dawwwgy....

WALK INTO A CAFE': pull a 'filth and wisdom, see a guy listening to a cd player, sit with him, take the cd out, put your in, play it, wait for him to nod, drink his coffee and leave

as the anarchist cookbook says, 'the best scemes you aren't going to get from this book, they're the ones you're going to get when you sit down and think about something new"

Slainte' ye?
Most of these idea's are being done. Except for the street team thing, people in my city are too damn lazy. I also hate the fact that metal heads won't go to punk shows but the punks go to metal shows. It's supporting bands, ya know.

But.... 1) I'm not going to buy blank discs with my own money to burn a bands music onto and give them to people to sample. I'm already paying for posters, handouts, the band itself and the venue. Also, I don't think too many bands are wanting to give out there music for free when they're trying to sell CD's. 2) Spray Painting really wouldn't work unless it's a bigger band, which I don't deal with. I prefer the bands that are making it across the country in a borrowed van that's falling apart and eat canned food for three months.
You can also set up a fan group on Mohawks Rock. It works kind of the same as FaceBook, except that if its a non-mainstream punk band, having a URL with in it is going to look way better than FB. Although they are pretty big I'm a fan of Mindless Self Indulgence so I set up this fan page.

There are other smaller bands on the site and bigger bands too (a very unknown favorite of mine)

There is even a group about sharing bands

Also don't forget about spray painting the bands name into your mohawk. Can't tell you how great of ad space that can be. Lots of members are here after seeing mohawks rock sprayed into my hair on google images. You could do the same for your bands.
haha yay for broken vans ;-)
as far as these bands not wanting to give out their cd's, they need to play catch ups! its the 2000's and the best way to get music out there, is to give it for free! get it stuck in peoples heads so they wanna go to the gigs =)
yea unfortunately in reality if u want to promote shows either u gotta have an actual promoter with the money to get the bands out there or have the time and stress of planning your own show. luckly i befriended a lot of promoters but now theres no fucking venues in my town cuz the citys gay and made them go out of business.
Apparently, the Cobalt in Vanvouver was shut down....


    I walked away from putting together shows in my wasn't that I wasn't making money....or losing a little money...


It was losing good sized amounts of money and feeling continually frustrated.  My last show was a big local bands only show that ended up getting raided and shut down by the local police's organized crime unit!   I had already walked completely away from putting together regular events at that time and had gone to organizing one off events.  My only motivation for getting into that sort of things in the first place was purely selfish...I wanted to go to the sort of things that I (and in some cases, some truly wonderful other people and I would co-organize/promote).  Happily, I found there were actually still a few souls left in this city that had like minded interests. =)   Unhappily, I found most of them wouldn't pay a cover....and that was long after I finally figured out how to get them to show up in the first place.



What sort promoting do you mean exactly?   Promo'ing can mean a lot of different things....Are you just trying to get new bands exposure to a new listening audience?  Are you trying to set up shows with touring acts in your city?  Are you trying to attract people to shows others are organizing?    It is hard for me to know what experiences I've had would be most useful to you.


The reality is you are going to have to spend SOME is a strange little beast in that manner...the adage, "You gotta spend money to make money" is somewhat true no matter what sort of promo'ing you mean.  However, it doesn't have to be lots and lots of money to pull of some effective tricks.  When was first learning, social networks weren't as popular as they are now....the advent of them made a big difference in how you reach your targets in a cost effective manner. 


One of the ways I learned most of what I used to put together shows was by working as a "promo girl" or "spokes model".  And the term model is really mis leading....For one thing, I'm 5 foot 4 and even a decade ago my body was and is not the typical fashion model type.  I basically would push anything for a pay check...The hours worked with my course load as I could take the jobs I wanted since I was working as an independent contractor.   And the pay was better than what the going min. wage was at the time.  However, in trade for acceptable shift hours and good pay for a college kid, I did many unglamorous promo jobs such as Spam Girl.  I got paid $16 an hour (and this was almost a decade ago) to hang out on an RV made to look like a giant can of spam and hand out little mini spamwiches in front of a Wal Mart. I also got neat gigs where I'd be on a military base handing out vodka samples.  Many of the jobs let me keep a lot of their 'swagg' - the freebies they give out with obvious logo placement.  The more people see something, the more likely they are to not only recognize it as familiar, but will likely form a positive association with the brand because they got some piece of plastic crap for "free".  So I when I got around to putting together the shows I wanted to see, I learned that post card multi color flyers are amazingly cheap to mass produce, I had several talented artist have really awesome looking flyers and lots of them....hand them out as early as possible as often as possible...people will keep them because they look neat...which means they are more likely to form a positive association to the flyers image...and if you've timed it all right and the weather doesn't suck and the bands have a pa because the venue's pa blew out yesterday and the cops don't raid the see why I got out of the game.

I often took gigs for a certain major credit card company before the rules on credit cards all changed here....I hated the gigs, but what I was doing (convincing people to fill out an application to apply for a credit card with said company and then giving them a "free" t-shirt or bag or whatever they gave me to give out)  the company was making so much money of handing out these "free" shirts at things like biker ralleys and really weird trade/speciality shows that they often did not want to pay for me to send the left over free crap back to was mine to "destroy properly".  So those t shirts and things often ended up in the hands of more talented friends who would home made screen print their bands logo onto....this sort of networking is important...the credit card company kept me hooked for more gigs with them even tho they were some of the worst promo jobs....i was able to make good networks with local bands here by passing what was boxes o' crap to me on to them to put to entertaining, if not good, use.


 if you're doing the school thing, you might also consider a few marketing classes....I ended up with a minor in marketing thanks to the promo gigs getting me interested in the whole sheebang to begin with...not all of that stuff was really practical on a small independent scale...but some of the theories were useful in helping me make things come together.


I wish you luck! It is a difficult, thankless, and frustrating endevor.....However, I have memories (well, fuzzy ones towards the wee hours...) of nights I helped make happen.  I'm glad I did it for a while. =)

hang in there man! people are just closed minded now days :( Feel free to check out my band. The Drive In Ghouls


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