Marketing music artists for a show is a vast topic. Truly. There is a lot to this subject. Today, I’m going to impart a few general tips for promoters to empower their line up to fuel the attendees at an event.

The role of promoter vs. artist is often debated. Many artists choose to believe the full responsibility of the promoter is to cash in on their job title, promotion. Promoters are often dissatisfied by artists lack of promotion, especially when footing the bill and workload to launch an event. No matter the scale of the show, the artists on the line up must compose of an audience draw and ultimate sale of tickets for anyone to have real success.

As promoters, you can’t expect artists to effectively market your show unless you empower and communicate with them. Strategizing a massive social media launch is nice, but not always needed. The following rules can be applied to massive budgets and scaled down to the DIY local events. Creativity and hustle with tried and trued marketing principles can be a more effective resource than cash budget.

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Freddie Gibbs in Seattle (Photo by Dyllyn Greenwood)

Strategy (Part 1)

I believe your strategy should be first, but it also is broken into two parts. You must have a general idea of your plan and budget before you finalize your strategy.

Audience Targeting

If you can understand the audiences you want to pull to this show, how your line up fits in with said audiences, you can provide marketing assets to artists and achieve the goal. The following things should be taken into account for your audience.

Location – How far will the majority of people realistically travel for this event?

Age – This is a simple question to answer. Age will determine what methods, outlets, and language you want to speak with. Young kids act and move differently than an older audience. They also use platforms differently online. Facebook is popular amongst older audiences, Snapchat is popping with the youth, and everyone is on Instagram.

Interests – What are some popular things your audience would be interested in? Use them on your digital ad audience and reference to wearing and what should be used in marketing.

Multiple audiences – I’m a firm believer of spending 85% of your budget on the core audience within a high priority location. Then reserve 15% for a bit broader audience of people either still within core demographic but slightly further locations or a bit broader audience all together that may still be interested in the event.


Your budget should be reflective of what you anticipate sales to be. I recommend building out what you think you’ll make off the show and setting aside a number you feel comfortable spending on marketing. Now make the numbers something you’re comfortable with if sales are lackluster. That is your baseline budget. If you’re saying “there’s nothing here,” you don’t need to be doing this show in the first place! The budget will determine how many deliverables and how far you can leverage others getting them there. Focusing finances on killing the execution of one area and supporting in another area or two is a great route to go.

If you have the budget, produce video content, pay for social media ads, or pay the artist to do guaranteed post if it makes sense.

Marketing Assets

Marketing assets are items of value that are used to market your event. These can be flyers, hard copy tickets, online ticket link, graphics, or videos. With the ease of delivery and cost for digital assets, it can be wise to provide artists with customized marketing assets to market themselves for a single show. To print a poster, you pay a designer and then pay for posters to be printed and posted. Digitally, you pay a designer and can likely get a bulk deal for your entire line up from a single branded template.

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Just like different audiences are on different social media platforms, different assets perform better on different platforms. Think about where these will be put which will determine how much text/info to use on graphic and how much to use, how to size,

Strategy (Part 2)

Once you’ve got ahold of your budget and marketing assets, you can put together your delivery and finalize your overall strategy. Getting the assets to artists and management, and building out your plan to consistently release fresh content while promoting the same event. Timing everything out is great, but you will likely have a terrible time wrangling all artists to cooperate on schedule. While it’s wise for artists to use shows as personal content, the “art” and ego side of things may get in the way. The best thing you can do is arm them with weapons and provide some guidance along the way.