How can I put my gigs online?

When I get asked this question, it’s usually by young bands who have developed something of a following through touring, by being really active with their online promotion (typically via MySpace) and by keeping and maintaining a healthy and regular online mailing list.

Their idea is that they would like to perform concerts that fans in other geographic locations could ‘attend’ by going to their website and watching a live webcast of the event. Their second choice is usually to record the concert and post it on YouTube (or similar) and embed it on their site.

Now, it has to be said that live streaming is generally expensive, resource intensive and a bit of a pain – especially if you want more than a few people to watch at once. There are solutions to that, which I’ll discuss – but it’s worth mentioning that there are all sorts of other variations on the theme.


Is 'pay to play' ever a good idea?

Surface unsigned logo

This one’s easy. No, no, no, no, no (yes, occasionally) and no.

By and large, venues, festival organisers and promoters who insist that musicians bring a certain number of ticket-buying punters to their gigs should pretty much have their licences revoked in my book.

The argument goes something like this: playing at our venue / performing as part of our festival / taking part in our Battle of the Bands competition will be good for your profile – and you may even get a record deal out of it. Or something.

Promoters know it’s shonky, which is why they often go to some lengths to make it something of a secret that this even goes on. One recent local example is the rather shambolic PR disaster that is the Surface Unsigned festival.