How to Plan Release Events in the Music Business

By Loren Weisman

Differentiate every show, whether it’s a release party or a gig. In the music business, every show should be more than just a gig and although you might put a little more promotional money into a release event, keep in mind that every gig should have something special about it. This helps it to stand out from all the other bands that have shows or events at that time.

Making it stand out from a normal gig

Give free release copies to the first few people through the door, or to those who help sell a certain number of tickets. This is one way to make this gig stand out from others. When doing a release event, see if you can dress up the venue or club with things like streamers or balloons.

Give those attending a sense that it’s a special party for that night. Shop at a party store or a dollar store and buy some inexpensive party favors that make the event more festive and leave a positive impression on the audience.

For those who help poster or promote online, give free copies of the release or other merchandise items for their efforts. Take pictures and short videos of happy people with their new swag. Document what others missed by not being there. Some may have skipped the event because of disappointing “events” that were nothing more than shows. By posting images and sharing some short clips, you enable others to see what you mean when you say it’s a release party.

Release parties don’t always require a live venue

Just because you release an EP or an album doesn’t mean you have to have a live show at a live venue. You can have an album release listening party that focuses on the album itself.

Finding a bar, restaurant, coffee shop, or live venue for the listening party enables you and other band members to talk to those attending as well as media that you invite. This type of event is the exact opposite of the louder environment of a live show where you’re on stage most of the time.

Some who aren’t fans of live shows more than likely will come out to these types of low-key events, and you can have the new album as well as other previous releases playing on the sound system.

Joining forces with others

Consider looking for another band or even a new product that could partner with you to make an even larger event. This can also tie into sponsorships from a restaurant that might supply some food, a liquor company that might pair up with you, or even a company that has nothing to do with entertainment or hospitality that helps with flyers, social media ads, or other types of promotion.

A great event can cost an arm and a leg, but you can get a helping hand and a leg up by tying in your event with another and looking for different types of sponsorships.

The more you personalize an event through sponsorships door prizes, specific themes, and unique giveaways, the more the event stands out. Another way to make the event even more special is to offer specialty food and snacks as well as drinks created just for that night.