By Jeri Goldstein
School’s in session, and here are some insights into playing the college market as you begin the fall touring season. Many acts successfully use colleges as a point from which to launch their careers, while others have found it leading to a dead end. As we explore both ends of the spectrum, keep an open mind about how this market might fit into your booking plans.
Five hot tips for playing the college market
1. Use a college date as an anchor date for a tour.
There are benefits to playing the college market, and money is just one of them. I’ve known artists who played the college circuit for years and made very good money. They were often getting three or four times what they were making working the club circuit. Use these dates as anchor dates and surround them with a tour of other lesser paying (though often more prestigious) club gigs. Often college dates may be booked during weekday nights and sometimes even during the daytime. This leaves the weekends for the clubs. A good paying college gig can often help fund other portions of a tour.
2. Do your own promotion.
When planning a college date, it is necessary to do your own promotion along with any done by the college. Get in touch with college radio and newspapers. Send notice to anyone on your mailing list in that area. Contact local media sources. Use the college’s PR person (if any) to coordinate your media surrounding the gig.
3. Use college radio.
Unless the campus station is a commercial station (and there are only a few campuses that have commercial stations), it is very likely that you can get airplay and a live interview on one of their shows. There are some incredibly influential college stations around, so don’t miss your opportunity to tap into the benefits they may provide. If you are going to tour colleges, you might consider subscribing to the College Music Journal (CMJ) to keep abreast of what’s current on the college stations.
4. Contact media in the college town.
While promoting your date on campus, don’t forget about the in-town media. Another benefit of playing college gigs is that most of them are open to the public. If you do some in-town promotions and get some non-college audience, that’s great for future gigs in the area.
5. Make sure your dates are reported.
Playing the college circuit gains you a reputation within the college circuit. There are reporting mechanisms from organizations like the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA – more about NACA follows) that help campus programmers review artist’s previous tours. So, if one campus reports that you did a great gig, it is likely that other campuses will be influenced by the report and also book you.
Read the remainder of this article @ http://blog.discmakers.com/2009/12/how-to-break-into-the-lucrative-college-market/
Written by Jeri Goldstein for Echoes
The Hit Music Academy | 2010
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