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Discloser: This Blog is experience-based and for information purposes only.

Before I get started I would like to acknowledge the promoters and event planners who support artists in every way they can by building platforms that cater to the success of Music Artists. While we all are supposed to benefit from our gifts this blog is to help Indie Artists avoid scammers who take advantage of artists.

Have you ever come across promoters who expect artists to pay for the privilege of performing? It's a frustrating trend, especially in the hip-hop scene. But let me share with you why this irritates me and explain why as an artist, you have the power to succeed without relying on these promoters. 

In 2014, when I first entered the music industry, my knowledge was limited to making beats and having a basic understanding of the music business. However, my journey took an exciting turn when I relocated to Colorado and had the opportunity to meet a remarkable woman who happened to be my graphic design teacher. What I didn't realize at the time was that she was not only a talented designer but also a passionate supporter of music, organizing events that showcased incredibly talented acts. Joining her team opened my eyes to the possibilities of hosting my own shows.

Later on, I had the privilege of working with Fayro, and together we took control of our destiny by organizing successful shows, promoting ourselves, performing, and ultimately making money. We soon realized that the shows with the best turnout were the ones we put together ourselves. Additionally, we were fortunate to collaborate with amazing promoters who recognized Fayro's talent and were already established in the industry. However, for our shows, we made it a priority to focus on ticket sales and street promoting to ensure that all artists involved received their fair share.

The Issue with Pay-to-Perform:

Unfortunately, many promoters charge artists to perform, resulting in empty shows where only artists are present. With a lineup of over 20 artists, you end up paying the promoter, who then pays the club and pockets a profit. But how does this benefit your career as an artist? While networking opportunities exist, the chances of gaining dedicated fans from fellow artists are slim. Additionally, these "opportunities" often lack genuine support for artists, as promoters are more interested in profiting from your performance than in supporting your merchandise sales.

The "Bring 5 People for Free" Trap:

Another common tactic is the "Bring 5 people to perform for free" offer. However, when you calculate the cost at $20 per person, you realize that you're still essentially paying to perform. It's a deceptive approach that doesn't align with the notion of fair compensation for your talent and hard work.

Redefining the Role of a Promoter:

In my opinion, a true promoter is someone who fills the room with an enthusiastic audience. While artists should certainly play their part in promoting shows, the responsibility of packing a venue primarily lies with the promoter. However, many promoters exploit the difficulty of attracting a crowd and capitalize on artists' desperation for exposure.

Taking Control: Throwing Your Own Shows:

One aspect I take pride in is our ability to organize successful shows. Fayro and I have never faced an empty crowd when we took the reins. We've performed at venues where we were invited and encountered dismal turnouts, but that didn't stop us from achieving success on our own terms.

Using Shows to Promote an Album Release:

Instead of relying on promoters, I encourage you to seize control and throw a show centered around yourself. Use it as an opportunity to promote your album release and connect with your audience on a deeper level. You have the power to create an engaging experience that aligns with your goals and vision.

Tips on Booking a Venue for Your Show:

1. Research suitable venues that align with your target audience.

2. Contact venue owners or managers to discuss availability and negotiate terms.

3. Create a budget, considering expenses like venue rental, promotion, and equipment.

4. Plan your lineup, ensuring it complements your style and attracts a diverse audience.

5. Promote the show through various channels, street promotion, utilizing social media, local media outlets, and partnerships with local businesses.

6. Coordinate logistics such as sound and lighting requirements, ticket sales, and equipment setup.

The music industry can be challenging, but it's important to remember that you have the power to shape your own career. By taking control and organizing your own shows, you can bypass the frustrations of paying promoters for empty performances. Embrace the opportunity to connect with your audience, promote your music, and achieve success on your own terms.

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