Sometimes the hometown crowd is the toughest. It's easy for fans to get burnt out, especially if you play frequently in your city. If you've been seeing your local show attendance and interest drop, how can you re-invigorate your home base and pull off a stellar show?
We've got five easy tips to make your next hometown show a home run!
1 - Stop Playing
Yes, you read that right. Have you ever spent a week eating nothing but pizza? The next week, if anyone even mentions pizza, you groan in disgust, and probably mutter something along the lines of, "I never want to eat pizza again!"
If you play too often in your home city, your local fans could be experiencing that same feeling. If you play 3 times a week in the same 50 mile radius, your fans are going to get burnt out. Try taking a break from shows for a couple weeks to write or record some new material. Try focusing some of that booking energy on getting a few gigs in the next city over, and building a fan base there.
We're not saying you should never play your hometown. But by decreasing the frequency of your hometown shows, you will help to create demand for your shows. Then your fans can get excited about when you do play in your city.
2 - Create An Event
I'm not talking about a Facebook event, although you should probably create one of those too. I'm talking about making your concert special. Some obvious events are a CD release show, or a hometown show celebrating the end of a tour, but there are almost endless possibilities for creating events.
Depending on your band and brand, you could come up with some pretty crazy events to get people excited about your shows. Try a "Christmas in July" show, and grab a couple other bands to play some holiday tunes in the middle of summer (this is also a great time to start rehearsing and recording your new Christmas album!). You could do a birthday show for a band member, or a birthday show for your drummer's 15 year old pug! The possibilities are endless.
If you want a less frivolous event, you could partner with a local charity and donate proceeds from the show. You could also use a concert to film a live music video. Invite all your fans to come out so they can be the stars of your video. In addition to creating buzz for the show itself, this is also a great way to get some free promo, because people are more likely to share the video if they are in it!
3 - Try An Out Of The Box Venue
Everyone has seen artists play at the local downtown club. But there are lots of other places where you can perform that can drum up some additional interest. House concerts are the obvious choice for this, but there are many other places people don't expect to see a live show. Why not contact the city to see if you could find a way to play an acoustic show while standing in a fountain? Why not be the first band to play a show in a small town museum or a fitness studio? Shows in odd places will have their own unique challenges, but the novelty of the show might be the kick in the pants your fans need to get out to a show!
4 - Create Exclusivity
Scarcity inspires excitement. If your fans will spread the word, a secret show could be a great tool. Or a show in a venue half the size of what you usually play. You could try only offering tickets to people who subscribe to your email list, or who retweet your last music video. This concept also applies to tip number one! The less shows you play in your hometown, the more excited people are going to be about coming out to see you!
5 - Bring Your Fans In
Everyone likes to feel like they are a part of something. Bringing your fans into the process of planning and executing a show can help get them excited about attending and bringing their friends. You can get fans to give input on the set list, or the band's wardrobe for the evening. You could conduct a poll to decide which never-before-heard-hilarious-tour-story you're going to tell onstage. You could even go a step further and have a contest to invite a few fans out for a post-show dinner and announce the winner at the show.
Have you experienced hometown burnout? Have any great tips to get fans in your homebase excited again? Let us know in the comments below!