Last Sunday, Bandcampus held it’s second SXSW PREP where we collectively prepared and reviewed band’s digital and physical toolbox in an effort to prepare them for playing SXSW. Over 15 bands were in attendance with a range from seasoned SXSWers to new bands that had never played the conference.
Also at Bandcampus: SXSW PREP we announced the winners of the community voted contest to select bands to play at the second annual Houston@SXSW party. Over 1000 votes were cast over a 72 hour period. We are all very impressed with the work that bands put into contacting their community to get the vote out. If these Houston bands are working that hard in other spheres we’re going to be hearing many more about them in the near future.
The bands that were selected, the bands that will be representing Houston at the Second Annual Houston@SXSW party will be:
Here’s the remainder of the recap in mostly bullet point form for your skimming pleasure:
Tips for Bands playing SXSW (contributed by everyone in attendance)
The first agenda item of the day was to discuss what you could get out of SXSW by playing or even just attending. The overarching tip that should be considered when planning anything is to Cut Through the Noise. Too many people are at SXSW and you need to think about ways in which you can connect with these people in a substantial way. That does not include overplaying, that does not include talking to everyone you meet. It does include thinking about effective ways to communicate your message. It does include novel ways of getting the word out.
- Biggest tip: Cut Through the Noise!
- Don’t overplay
- bring extra equipment
- Make a game plan
- Playing is half of the goal
- Networking needs a goal
Digital and Physical Preparation for bands
No matter what level a band is at, they should have a digital and physical toolbox that they can use at a moment’s notice to get discovered, sell merchandise or showcase their craft. At the Bandcampus session we reviewed the basics of a digital and physical toolbox that bands can set up easily. The components
- Digital Toolbox
- Central band email address (gmail or unique band domain recommended)
- Pictures posted online
- Videos (Live, Produced) posted online
- Unique Band Domain Name
- Music posted online in several locations
- Testimonials/Writeups from press posted visibly on online properties
- Booking information
- Short biography of the band
- A Home Base that is not Myspace, Facebook or any other online property not owned by yourself
- Digital Outposts at places like Myspace, Facebook, ReverbNation, Bandcamp.com, etc.
- Physical Toolbox
- Music for sale
- Merchandise for sale
- Business Cards (Recommended by Marie Angell of The Snake Charmers)
- Elevator Pitch (Worked on at a previous Bandcampus, demonstrated by Insert Name Here)
Several experts were on hand to give bands a review of their online presence and physical marketing materials. These people donated their time and deserve thanks and also should be considered for the future if you are looking for copy, marketing materials, or general direction for a band’s career.
Bands in Attendance