If you love live music so much that you want to start your own venue, then you already must have the determination and resolve like no other. It’s a noble business to get into, but a challenging one. There’s a lot to think about at once, from financing the whole project to attracting both the acts you’ll need and the audiences to come see them.
If this is your position right now, you might not know quite where to begin. You might have a vision of yourself standing behind the bar of a cool little tavern while musicians play in the background, but how do you get from where you are now to that vision in your mind?
We’ll help you with some tips, so that, one day, when people are online searching “entertainment near me,” your establishment will appear and be ready to welcome them in.
Know Your Purpose
Before starting in on anything specific here, it pays to know exactly what you want your venue to be about. What types of acts do you want to attract? What kind of atmosphere do you want to cultivate? Will it be a friendly place where everyone will know everyone’s name? Or will it be more of a hard-edged rock bar that brings in bikers and heavy metal acts?
Knowing what kind of place you want to be will help you much later when you’re doing marketing and advertising for both your acts and to bring in audiences.
Be a People Person
Next, you’ll have to be your own advocate to start out. That is, you’ll need to be the one to attract people to your place. Do you have relationships with any local musicians already? How about friends who know musicians?
Yes, this is the time to pull out the list of contacts you’ve been building and see who knows whom. Be prepared to be on the phone a lot to book acts and get the word out about who’s playing soon.
After a while, this type of thing might become easier, since, as you become more known, the acts will want to play with you or might just make you a regular stop on their tours.
Don’t Be Afraid to Self-Promote
Lastly, you’re going to need to get the word out about yourself. Advertising for free on social media is one thing, but then we’re talking about the whole separate issue of building a social media audience.
Here, we’re referring to calling news stations and newspapers to cover you, or advertising on billboards, or forming partnerships with other entities who have audiences that might like to come see you.
The point is, you can’t be afraid or too humble to do this. It will be necessary when you’re just starting out, and the people can then come and see for themselves what you’re all about. It will then be up to you to dazzle them, from the atmosphere to the food and drinks to the acts themselves.
You can do this if you set your mind to it and don’t give up.