The Sunday Surf Party Is Back!

Las Vegas and Rockabilly Weekend are in the rearview mirror along with a hectic week at work.  The time has come to turn to being a rock ‘n roller -- actually, promoting a show -- until the next flurry of real world demands comes.

Sometime ago, we prepared a show promotion checklist.  It expanded as we learned of places to hang posters, websites that allow events to be posted, and media people who actually care about local music.  The list contracted as poster-friendly businesses closed or changed their policies or as media workers realized that the print medium is withering away.  In some instances, a contact went on to a better -- or a more-demanding -- day job.  Our checklist is an ever-morphing work in progress.

Our goal is to get the message of instrumental surf music out to as many people as possible.  Probably back in Advertising 101, which I took before the internet was invented, some professor suggested that getting your message out would translate into “sales.”  With us, we are not making sales; we are hoping to put fannies in the seats.

Sitting down with the checklist sparked thoughts of what goes into promoting a show before hanging a single poster, sending a single email, or posting an event on some website.

Here is the short version.  Come up with a venue, the bands, and the theme for a show.  Design and work up posters and fliers -- in different sizes.  Get them approved by others on the bill.  Print up the posters and fliers.  Write copy -- something short but catchy knowing that, without a hook, we are indistinguishable from hundreds of other bands trying to get recognition on any day.  Gather photos, logos, and other artwork to accompany the copy.  Cross your fingers and hope that you have something that works.

Preparing for the upcoming show, this copywriter came up with: 
  • The Sunday Surf Party is back!  Surf and retro instrumental rock returns to the historic Capitol Bowl. Three bands will deliver different takes on a classic genre.  The afternoon will span the pure garage energy of the Lava Pups through the Venturesque clean sound of the Retronauts to the sophisticated stylings of the VibroCounts.  Eat, drink, and bowl in a comfortable and family friendly atmosphere. And listen to some really cool rock 'n roll!
My fingers are crossed.  Only time will tell if the copy was catchy enough or had a workable hook.

Maybe “Show Promotion 101” should be a session at Sierra Surf Music Camp this year.  After all, “Guitar Face 101” does not appear to be on the radar.

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