With most of the world quarantined, big live shows are fast becoming obsolete. The new music live experience is the online shows cropping up all around the web. We have no doubt that many of Show4me users are also setting up the stage for their online concerts in their living rooms, bedrooms, garages, closets, and even gardens.
This experience the world is going through right now is taking the concept of a ‘bedroom musician’ – one who has the right recording and production equipment to create and record music at home, in their bedrooms – to the next level. Now the situation forces musicians not only to create in their homes, but to perform as well.
Many have taken to providing music lessons and tutoring and joint songwriting sessions to their audiences and fans.
Online shows are a thing.
But in the sea of announcements and web-events, how is yours different?
This is not just about writing a great description for your show that prompts your fans and supporters to join your live stream, it’s about creating an event that’s as memorable as your live events. And with people being on the other side of the screen, you can never know if they are on the same wavelength as you, if they are distracted, multitasking or haven’t had a moment to mentally switch from what they’ve been doing just before your show.
It’s easy to set up a show in your bedroom if you just want to share your music.
If you want to create an experience, that’s going to be more difficult.
And that’s what’s going to keep your audience glued to their screens and happy they choose your event.
Here’s what you need to do.
When you are making a show with your team, your producer, your venue, it’s easy to forget how much work goes on behind the scenes to set up the perfect set and sound. You have sound engineers making sure you sound great and they have often worked the location before, so it’s easy for them to fit it to your sound.
When doing your show from home, you have the advantage of full control as well as good knowledge of your own equipment and capabilities. Your major disadvantage is that you are doing it all by yourself (unless you are lucky enough to be quarantined with a sound engineer) and you might not think all the technical issues through, e.g. does Zoom pick up human voice over instrument sound?
Test your setup beforehand with a friend and make sure you are using the best mics.
Now you might not have access to cool props, costumes, lights or a smoke machine for your home show (unless you do?). But you still need to work on the visual concept of your event:
- What images can you use for promotion?
- What props and costumes and decor do you have at your disposal?
- Can you think of a coherent theme that unites several of the items you already have in place or can easily order online?
Browse social media for ideas of people creating a vibe using just a few ingredients. Say, a dark room and flashing lights combined with a house or techno tune immediately scream nightclub. Turns out, it’s the music that’s the key element of a party!
Brainstorm ideas to complement your music and highlight your genre, unique style or the topics you touch upon in your tracks. Treat this like a music video production or a photo shoot for your new album – your show has to have a defined purpose and topic for your audience to experience it as an experience and not just a string of randomly selected tunes they (or you) like.
This approach will help the show and your music be more memorable – you’ll attach meaning to the performance and the lyrics and melodies of your creations. This will strengthen your connection with fans and supporters and help them understand your music better and enjoy it more as a result.
Playlist and program
Finally, the way you will be taking your attendees through your musical journey is just as important as the technical side of the preparations and the style of your show discussed above (we discussed the decor and style first as you are constrained by what you have in your house or can order on short notice and will have to work with what you got – normally, your music and the message of your songs will be the starting point to developing your live show).
Work on the playlist in a way that will reflect your show vibe and gradually unfold a story you are telling.
Depending on your music style and genre, you can either start your show with a fire track to get your attendees on their feet immediately or start slow and gradually work to transfer your audience into the right state of mind for your event.
Alternatively, you can go for a more interactive show that makes fans feel like they are an integral part of the process:
- Allow audience to request songs
- Write an impromptu melody or rhyme on the topic your audience suggests
- Hold a live poll on which song to play next
- Run quizzes to let the audience guess the name of your next song
- Get your fans to alternate in using a randomizer to choose songs for you to play
- Throw crumpled colored paper with the names of the songs you want to play in a glass jar and take out one by one with audience picking a color each time
- Think of similar interactive, game-like ideas that will turn your show into a fun, one-of-a-kind event that will feel like a game night with old friends.
Over the last month or so, we’ve seen a flood of live streamed music events across the globe. From top stars like Chris Martin and Jennifer Hudson to unknown musicians and bands, music professionals have been working to produce their best DIY content to engage with their fans, support, raise money for charity or supplement their own income and living expenses, lost due to the global crisis.
The homemade webcasts had some winners and losers and ones that are best produced – either visually or in terms of content – are the most appreciated.
Stripped down, simplified vibe is making these online shows unique and attractive to audiences, but these also create the perfect background to your musical skill, so make sure you showcase it to the best of your abilities and choose show format, sound, style, playlist, and program that compliment your music and brand the most!