Updated: Feb 25, 2019
I am no expert in this field but have learned quite a bit from the 7 Rap & RNB showcases we did in 2018, starting from May. The first one was so nerve wracking, but it has become quite comfortable with a little trial and error. Being on the concert committee for our neighborhood summer events has given me some very valuable knowledge as well. I think you will find this write-up helpful if you are thinking about throwing music events/showcases or any kind of event for that matter.
Going back to myself being on the concert committee, you really want to get involved with as many music related committees and groups as you can. People in these circles typically play music or know something about the music business. They can also refer you the right people whether it be the artists, venues, sponsors, etc... for your first show. Networking and going to events within your genre will really help as well, this is where you will find your target audience (artists, promoters, fans, small business owners) to start piecing together your ideas. The music industry is small so make sure you make great first impressions; show you are serious, ambitious, and want to help the cause.
Check out this video we edited from one of our Get Lit Showcases
From my experience, finding the artists at first was kind of hard as well as the venue. This has became much easier as we've networked thoroughly and have shows under our belt. A lot of the artists stay in rotation as they have had great experiences and really see what we are trying to accomplish. Always put the artist first, make them feel comfortable and appreciated. We usually setup a red carpet and artist lounge so they get the VIP treatment they deserve.
Now to finding venues, this still can be a little of a challenge at times. In our city of Milwaukee, WI hip-hop isn't viewed as bringing in the best crowd as lets say, a rock band. It's hard to land the venues that already have nice foot traffic on a Friday or Saturday. If you find a good one, I say stick with it for a few events if you can, it's always nice to have a spot locked down. But on the flip side make sure you rotate spots so they don't get stagnant, you want your crowd to stay curious. If you have to pay the venue at first don't be afraid to as long as you can justify it and will make it back at the door. Make sure you go over door money with venue owner, who provides security, their sound setup, and any rules they have you should keep in mind.
Our Halloween Party 2018
Now that you have your venue and artists, time to start designing flyers and promoting. We really like to emphasize to the artists that we all need to promote hard together so the show turns out the best it can be. Make a main flyer and individual ones so they can promote it like its their own show. Although we do print up some physical flyers, most promotion is done online these days. Pending your budget and sponsorship money, run some ads on your social media pages linking to the event page. It is a numbers game, the more people that see it, the more people will come.
Make sure you have an end goal in mind on how big you want your events to get. Think festivals, think Summerfest, think Coachella; the sky really is the limit if you stay hungry, innovative, and consistent. Now go out and make it happen, the world is yours!