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3 Major steps for a successful CD release party for local bands and musicians

This is not a good way to promote your CD Release Party, but this article will show you how.
This is not a good way to promote your CD Release Party, but this article will show you how.
Damian C.

So you've worked months or years on your band's new record and you're wondering how you can take a wise approach to your next crucial step and that is throwing your CD release party. This article will provide local bands with the most important steps in making sure you throw a successful and unforgettable show.

It takes more work than just picking a location and performing while expecting your album's sales to instantly go up. There's a lot of prior procedures before the big day and the more time you have between the show and your plans, the better your chances are in throwing that successful CD release party. Below you'll find the most important steps that need to be taken in order to accomplish that important mission for your band's big day, plus examples from Miami's local acts.

1. Pick a good venue!

The hotter the spot is, the better that the outcome will be the night of your cd release party. If you can negotiate with a venue that you already know has a good number of attendees on a certain weekly night, then you're already a few steps ahead of the game. A perfect example is Rebel's CD Release Party for their "INTRCPTR" EP, this party was thrown at The Vagabond on a Friday night last year. While they had the house packed with their fans, they also had the typical Friday night Vagabond attendees which were possible new fans.

Other tips on picking a good venue include choosing a venue with plenty of parking, cheap drinks, picking a weekend night over a weekday night, and most importantly, do not choose a far location from your fans residence.

The point here is to eliminate any excuses to attend to your CD release party. Remember to put yourself in your fan's shoes because they're there to support you and you have to meet them halfway, literally. It's obvious your fans attend local venues to listen to live music, therefore, chances are they know the venue well enough to know their parking situation. So make it easy for them to eliminate another possible excuse, by making parking more of a breeze. Sure it's hard to find the perfect parking arrangements in the city of Miami, but it's easier to distinguish the huge different between twenty-dollar parking around Club Space or seven-dollar parking at The Vagabond. Picking a weekend over a weekday will bring you more occupants because most people work on weekdays and while there's still people out there working on weekends, the greater majority have themselves programmed to have fun on a weekend night regardless, especially Miami party people. If at all possible, try to aim for Friday or Saturday night show.

2. Advertise Wisely!

If you were your own fan, how would you discover you had a big show coming up? That's the best question to ask yourself before getting to the next step. First off, make sure you have months to advertise before the day of your CD release party. This will give fans a chance to mark their calendars ahead of time before making any other plans. It might even give you plenty of time to make changes in case a majority of your fans are going on a Spring Break vacation out-of-town. As mentioned before, you want to try to eliminate excuses. Another very effective idea is to be creative with your advertisements. A great example of creative advertising was Radioboxer's world-wide campaign video where the band asked their international friends to video tape themselves wearing the "fox mask" and flocking the streets while the edited version of the video played the intro track to their album, 'Magic City Ruse,' the band even had a website to hype their CD release party with a countdown website. Radioboxer included humorous ways of promoting their show through their Facebook and Twitter statuses. So quite obviously, wherever your fans are, make sure they're constantly reminded, but DO NOT SPAM because that'll have the complete opposite effect. Include an email list, e-vites, Facebook event invites, and other forms of invitations that'll keep possible attendees focused and reminded about the day of the show.

3. Invite the local media, industry people, and other local websites/bloggers personally!

This tip goes multiple ways. The local media outlets like the Miami New Times love new content for their websites or newspapers. The media attracts a large number of readers weekly, if not daily. Putting an ad on their physical newspapers or website would gather a lot of attention to your show by subscribed or avid readers of that source. Websites like Antisteez are more niche oriented towards music promotion or other similar content that are not usually as focused as the local media sources. Websites like can coordinate interviews and album reviews close to the date of your CD release party as another forms of promotions. These blogs or websites are geared towards certain niches which will increase interest of readers that are more targeted as opposed to readers that just like to know what's going on in the world (or city), therefore, it's important to determine the difference between both these websites and the local media outlets. Be sure to have free CDs or mp3 files of your entire album to hand to these industry people for your reviews, it is very important.

Make sure when you're inviting these industry figures with a personalized message. A lot of times these industry people may not be fans, but due to business reasons, they may attend your shows. For an example, the local media love new content and A&R people are scouting for new talents for a numerous amounts of reasons, whether it's getting you signed to a bigger label or for future paying gigs. It's a big difference from inviting your fans that love your music, because industry people are there to work. Make sure you personalize these invitations because personalized invitations are more professional and it makes them feel special.

More helpful similar tips can be found in these books:

The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician

I Don't Need a Record Deal!: Your Survival Guide for the Indie Music Revolution


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