You’re in a band. Or you’re a performing artist. Or you manage an artist. Or your record label represents a band. Sooner or later, there’s probably going to be a live performance. Of course, your website will promote that live performance — and during that live performance, you (or your onstage representative) will say “check out our website”.
But here are some ways in which the live and the web components can be more fully integrated to the benefit of both — and to the benefit of your promotional and economic ambitions.
1) Record the gig
Copyright complexities notwithstanding, you should make every effort to record every live performance and then make them available to the two groups of people who would be most interested: those who attended that particular gig; and those who were unable to attend that particular gig. It’s a fantastic way to provide a souvenir of a positive experience with your music — and should you wish to monetise the recording, there’s a way to get the audience to spend just a little bit more on that night out they spent in your company. You could divide it up into individual tracks if you want to do a little bit of post production in exchange for a slightly more friendly product, or you may simply want to present a whole as-is, where-is full mp3 (or flac?) download. For your own purposes, it’s also a psychological inducement to give the performance of your life — and a means of critiquing your own performance later, as well as tracking your progress.
2) Take a photo of the audience
The promise that their faces will grace the front page of your website the following morning is a far more sure-fire way to encourage your live audience to check out your website than simply asking them to do so. You may even wish to promise to circle the face of one lucky attendee and reward their attendance with free gifts. Go to the website tomorrow to see if you’re tonight’s lucky punter.
3) Encourage the use of phonecams
Have the audience submit their own photos to your website for inclusion into the gallery. Get them to photograph themselves as well as the performance. Having your audience contribute their own content to your website is a great way to stimulate a greater level of involvement in the other aspects of your site as well. Like the download shop, for instance.
4) Make a live ringtone
I wish I could remember the name of the young punk band I heard that did this — but I think it’s a superb idea. Live on stage, at each performance they did, they would sing a rough, impromptu ‘ringtone’ that was recorded by the guy at the mixing desk. It was uploaded onto their website the following morning for sale to the punters who had been in attendance. I believe that the lyrics of the 30-odd second tune went along the lines of ‘Your phone is ringing, pick up the phone – pick up the phone – pick up the phone… [Band name] live at [venue] want you to pick up the phone and see who’s on the phone…’ — of limited enduring appeal, but again — a nice souvenir and a few extra pennies in the coffers.
5) Swap a review for a CD
Announce that if the audience emails you a review they have posted about the gig on their blog or MySpace page, they will receive a freebie of some description. Encourage them to link to your site in their review to qualify. They do press and promotion, you give them a present.