5 Things bands need to do in order to have a thriving scene with no pay to play.
A lot of bands complain bout the music scene for one reason or another. From my opinion most
of these bands aren’t thinking of the bigger picture, or outside of their band for that matter. I
started Orange County Music League to put an end to pay to play. Bands are not a dollar sign.
Here are some things that local bands are going to need to start doing in order to build a thriving
1. Get out and go to at least one local show a week that your band is not playing, or at least
share the flyer.
This is how it begins. The people in the scene need to support the scene, not just their own
shows. Imagine is there were 6 other bands at each show, that is 2030 more people. At every
show. This also shows everyone who is only in it for themselves. If you can’t physically make it
out, post a show flyer and let your fans know there is a great local show that night. It’s not all
about you and your band.
2. Promote their brand, music, and shows on Social platforms yes, but more importantly going
out and making face to face connections with new people.
Nobody is going to promote you more than you. This is one of the keys to being noticed. If
you’re passionate about it tell the world! World of mouth is the best form of promotion. People
can hear all the details, and they can see how passionate you are about it. They are more likely
to be interested and more likely to want to check it out to support your passion. You can not
convey this over a social media platform.
3. Accept playing free shows and make your money that night on merch sales.
There is no better way to brand your band then selling merch and your shows. You can make
extra money, personally connect with new fans, and know people are out there repping your
band! If you are a serious band, you will have merch and be willing to make that investment into
your branding your band name and spreading your music.
4. Play weekday shows. Bands who only play weekends are hurting the scene.
If you only play weekend shows, you are in a way being selfish, but you are also excluding a
large potential fan base from ever seeing you. I have found it easier sometimes to get someone
out to a free local show during the week than a $10 local show on a Saturday. The day with the
most competition. Obviously school and work may stop a ton of weekday shows, but the
occasional weekday show help build a scene. People go out every night, not just on the
weekends. They’re more likely to choose a local show on a weekend if they have already
experienced great local live music.
5. Never bad mouth or bash promoters, other bands, venues, or anything of the sort.
You look unprofessional and immature. Even if you have a reason to be irritated or angry, when
you bash people on public forums, outside people are likely to not want to work with you. Even if
your band is good. We are all in this together and if we don’t act like it nothing will get better or
It starts with the bands, but ends with the fans.
Thanks for reading. If you liked what you read give it a share.
President Orange County Music League