Creating a buzz for yourself can be difficult. Short of just asking people to read my blog, it is an ongoing battle to get traffic. I have found that a combination of quality content and consistent posting is the best way to guarantee a steady flow of site visits. I am seeing an increase in traffic the longer I write and matched with affiliations with organization all over the United States, my hits are coming from all over the world.
But in an effort to create more local traffic, I have started thinking outside the box a little bit. Without a budget it’s tough. That is when Jason Firebaugh said to me, “Why don’t you have a concert or an event and feature some of the bands that you have worked with?” Sure enough, I loved the idea and I ran with it. Five months later, I hosted rickyleepotts.com presents six bands for six bucks at Birdy’s Bar & Grill.
When I first started planning the event, I was nervous at how much work it would be. I have worked on shows before, but never anything like this. This event was going to feature six local acts, all of different genres, playing on one stage. I would be the one promoting the show, the one organizing the ticket sales, scheduling the night, booking the bands, collecting sponsors, and handling just about everything else that would go into this event.
Gathering bands was the easy part. Being that rickyleepotts.com was the one presenting this event, I wanted to make sure that all of the bands on the bill I had worked with in some fashion or another. Seeing as how every three blog posts on my blog are interviews with bands, I figured that was the easiest way to narrow down my selection. I have interviewed over two hundred bands from all over the world, so I had plenty of options.
I figured that it would make sense to have Jason Firebaugh on the bill. I met him about a year ago and we have stayed friends ever since. He is a solo acoustic singer/songwriter and he just loves to get on stage and perform. From confirming him the rest of the bands just fell into place. Like I said, I wanted it to be six different bands but also six different genres. My intention was to have different crowds mingled in the same room to hear new styles of music and to share fans left and right. The night went from acoustic to country to rap and beyond. It was truly a unique experience for a lot of the folks in the crowd.
The lineup for the night was set within just a few weeks of planning. I had Jason Firebaugh kicking things off, Digs Bridges on second, Brad Real up third, The Post Script next, then Ironsides, and The Will Woodrow Project finishing things off. I also had a local comedic poet, DDE, perform some of his material during set changes. And of course, I can’t forget about my good friend Johnny Teater who emceed the event for me.
The process of planning a show like this is no easy task. It takes a lot of effort to get bands confirmed, to get a date confirmed with the venue, even to find a venue was a challenge. Having worked with Birdy’s in the past, I knew that is where I wanted to have it. And the next one will be there as well. I am looking for a mid to late February date for the next show. I just hope that I can get a little more support from the local media next time around. Considering that I am a local writer (regardless if my traffic is localized or not) and that I featured six local bands and a local poet, you would think that more local media would want to be involved. But this entire event was a process for me, and a learning experience if nothing else.
I also couldn’t have done this without my sponsors. Again, I had never done an event like this before so asking for sponsors and then working out what these sponsors could offer was an experience as well. The list of sponsors included IndyCouponDeals.com, Indiana Uploaded, Dad’s Root Beer, J. Lauren Photography, Morin Creative, Indiana Drinking Team, Shane Brown Art, and My Car Doc. Each one of them offered something that helped make this event that much easier to plan.
The night of the show I was done. I was finished promoting and I was just ready for a night of great music and to share in the fruit of my labor with all my friends that came out. It was great seeing so many familiar faces in the same room for an event that I had put together. It is the execution of these ideas, and the planning that went into this, that made the night all worthwhile. As much as the bands meant to the event, and the sponsors allowing me to fund this event, the fans meant just as much. Because of you guys I am having another event. I want to keep this ball rolling and continue to work with local bands helping them gain more exposure on a national level.
I could type an entire blog post thanking each and every one of you. And perhaps I should. But I want to do that here, by simply saying you all are what makes what I do so special. To have a night like that come together, to see so many people in the same room at the same time for one purpose, is why I do what I do. I am already working on the next event, not even twenty-four hours after the first one ended. In six months I will have six more bands and another list of great sponsors to showcase. I have already confirmed my first sponsor, Melissa Brewer Photography.
So again, thank you all and I look forward to more events like this in the future. If you were there, please leave your feedback. I am curious what you guys all thought of the event. What could I do better next time? What did you like or dislike about the event? Lets make the next one bigger and better than this one.