Ingredients for Live Touring Success
It’s no secret that the modern music industry makes the bulk of its money out of live performances. The world over, performing artists are directing more and more effort into delivering a live experience that will draw in new fans, and encourage a core audience to repeatedly spend their cash on a single “brand” as such. This live experience often manifests itself as a tour – and financial success often depends on getting it right.
There’s no single secret ingredient as such that makes a tour a success. Wowing an audience and making a performer appeal to whole swathes of new fans isn’t a singular thing. Yes, bands can play their songs 100% accurately, with 110% effort – but sometimes this is not enough. If not co-ordinated with a production team that’s equally razor-sharp, performances can leave a pretty bitter taste in the mouth of fans.
Let’s start with the bare essentials. Every touring artist should closely examine their sound equipment and mixing technology. Established performers will have a pro sound engineer to produce the perfect mix, but it’s always worth making an extra effort to understand the tech fundamentals that are behind your signature sound.
Spending a little bit of time learning about the production element of tours (and with vast online resources and by mining your professional network, you may not even have to plug in jack), will come with big payoffs. An artists, whether amateur or professional, who takes a comprehensive and careful view of their performance is certain to garner a great reputation and see reward in the form of bigger crowds, returning fans and wider opportunities.
It sounds obvious, but not rehearsing in musical isolation is also so important. Finding the time to rehearse with the full production set up in action means that from day one, the “live sound” as a whole will be worked upon and the performance will run (hopefully) like clockwork. Today, audience expectations are high and unfortunately for many, getting up on stage and doing what’s traditionally worked will no longer cut it. Embrace the full picture and tap in to fan preferences early on, and you’re on to a winner!
No matter what the genre, “spectacle” is becoming part of the standard package. When you look at some of the top earning world tours at the moment (Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Adele and Bruno Mars for example) a large part of these shows are based around lighting cues, LED displays, mini movies etc. The added-value element of these features is why they’re used, so finding a budget-friendly alternative to A List investments will go far.
Well thought out, on brand and smaller scale performance spectacle is totally doable. Starter kits including light fixtures that create a suitable stage ambience, smoke to play with light effects, banners for crisp projections and a dynamic backdrop greatly enhance the experience and communicate that extra value, experience-led performance the modern audience demands.
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