Every famous musician was once a local artist with a big dream – and their success wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the support of their community. As a creator, you can play a role in keeping your neighbourhood’s music scene alive, and maybe even book the next big star.
Why is it important to support local music? Uplifting music
cians in your area not only encourages artists to follow their goals but also supports music education and keeps local businesses thriving. In this blog post, we’re highlighting events that incorporate local artists and give them a space to perform for their community. We’re also including top tips for how to promote local music.
Ways to support your local music scene
1. Host an open mic night
Open mic nights provide benefits for musicians and the local music venues that host them. This type of event also draws in a crowd because the participating artists will invite everyone they know to see them perform. Ambitious performers get to showcase their passion, and businesses enjoy an extra boost in revenue – it’s a win-win!
East London’s Apples & Pears Bar does a fantastic job with open mic events. Local musicians are invited to sign up on the night. Then, performers are chosen based on the order on the sign-up list. Artists get 10–15 minutes (or 2–3 songs) of stage time each, so they’re encouraged to bring their A-game.
2. Hold a battle of the bands
A ‘battle of the bands’ event is another fun way to support local music. On behalf of Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club, event organiser Greg Palethorpe will be hosting a battle of the bands featuring eight talented bands – including some professional musicians. Of course, you don’t have to go out and find a star to participate in your battle of the bands. Tap into your social network and get in touch with a few local celebrities or social media influencers to see if they’re available.
The Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club event promises to be extra-special because the money raised on the night will go to six inspirational charities in the area. So, attendees get to support local bands and give back to their community. Partnering with a local charity not only benefits your community but can also broaden your reach – the organisation you partner with can help advertise your event.
3. Invite local bands to open for touring acts
Most budding performers dream of opening for a big star. You can make this dream a reality if you’re a concert promoter. One way you can find local talent is to get active on social media. For starters, you can join music-related Facebook groups and scope out musicians. Instagram’s geo-tagging is another way to find local artists. Plus, hashtags help you narrow your search and connect with bands and performers in your area.
Once you have a list of dazzling musicians, keep them on hand for when a touring act needs an opener. You’ll also be giving artists the chance to get increased exposure.
4. Organise a themed music festival
A music festival is an obvious way to support your local scene. And depending on where you live, you may want to dedicate the event to one specific genre.
Portsmouth-based collective DIY Together are running a 10-year anniversary ‘It’s Not The Punk Fest By The Sea’ event for local punk lovers, featuring bands from this genre. This year, they’re welcoming back many bands who played previously, along with some new treasures.
5. Host a local music series
Even if your venue regularly hosts prominent musicians, there’s always room on the calendar to spotlight local performers. The Temple of Art and Music has a local band, The OGGs, who performs weekly at their ‘Jazz in the City’ series. Similarly, their ‘Word of Mouth Fusion Jazz’ series invites a guest singer to grace the stage every week.
These types of events generate more community interest in your venue, and can also be offered at a lower price point to get attendees through the door during the week. Having a solid schedule of events can also result in loyal fans.
6. Add music to other events
DJs are often the go-to for party entertainment and provide background ambience. But they aren’t the only option for events. Instead, hire a musician from your area to provide live background music.
London’s Taste of the Caribbean Food & Drink Festival, for example, features some of the UK’s best Caribbean food vendors and performers. Patrons can relax under umbrellas, enjoy some of London’s finest Caribbean street food, sip rum punch, and revel in the sounds of local musicians. Live music gives attendees a reason to linger and discover new music – and also gives artists more exposure.
7. Think outside the (music) box
Wondering how a small business can support local music? Get a little creative. Forró Academy hosts a weekly party featuring live Brazilian forró bands after their ‘Free Dance Class’ events. Some guests come for the dance lessons, and others come for the music, which adds up to more guests through the door.
Clapton-based event organiser Emily George hosts a series of life drawing classes featuring live music. That’s right: the ‘Hacknakey’ events feature both nude model art tutoring and sounds from a local guest musician.
All these events are perfect examples of how you as an event organiser can support local musicians and bring people together. Hosting music events in your area doesn’t just support your community, but also builds a stronger local economy.
Ready to amplify your local music scene? Host your event with Eventbrite for access to effective, easy-to-use tools.