Benefit Gigs: Giving back to the community while doing what you love.
When you’re just starting out as a band, it can be hard to nail down gigs. You know how it goes – people don’t want to pay unless you’re famous but you won’t get there unless people come to see you. It’s a vicious circle. One solution is playing a charity gig. Not only does it help to get your music out there, it gives back to the community and gives you a chance to show people what you’re all about.
Any time you play a fundraiser, you automatically expose more people to your music. But let’s step back and clarify what fundraising is. It means more than donating ticket sales. Many important causes are in need of attention or financial support, but there are also many less fortunate groups in need of material assistance. So many people are in need of essential items like clothes, books, canned goods and so on. Why not hold a clothing drive for a women’s shelter or a canned foods fundraiser for your local food bank?
One of the questions you should ask yourself as an artist is “who is my fan base?” When you look in the audience at one of your shows, what type of people do you see? You need to find a charity that caters to the type of fans you have and their demographic interests so you can ensure your fans connection to the charity as well.
Once you have your charity on board you can look for venues. Fundraisers are a favourite for venues because it usually means a good turnout, while giving them the chance to pitch in and do some good while promoting their business as well.
So how does all this benefit the charity? Well, you can obviously sell tickets, but a more meaningful way to get involved may be by giving people an incentive to come to the show. For example, let’s say the organization you choose to work with is having a winter coat drive. You could offer fans a deal where everyone who brings a winter coat to donate gets a free t-shirt or CD. These incentives are great for cross promotion and merch sales, and of course, attaching your band to a good cause can bring you positive publicity.
There are many ways that you can partner up with a charity as a performer, but it’s important that you have a real connection to the cause you’re supporting. Don’t be that band that does it only as a PR stunt. People will see through it. The most important reason for doing this is because you want to. Music changes lives and gets people through hard times. It brings us all together. So find a charity and organization that you really care about, do your research, and give back to the community while doing what you love.