5 Data Driven Insights to Get Fans To Your Concerts
By: Hisham Dahud
As live concerts continue to reign supreme as an artists’ primary revenue source, those who actually take the risk of booking talent continue to the face the tough task of getting people through the doors – despite who’s on the bill.
In this growing age of OTT streaming, delivery-on-demand and heavy social media use, it’s challenging to convince someone to leave the comforts of home for a night of live music. This notion rings particularly true for a growing segment of “casual” fans of music, i.e. those who are perfectly content with playlists being their primary connection to music while the artists themselves remain single-serving.
Bandsintown – the largest concert discovery platform and one of the go-to apps for fans, artists and promoters globally to list their concert dates – surveyed around 600 fans for insights on best practices to get people through their doors and have them keep coming back.
Here’s what they found:
1. 82% of People Don’t Hold a Venue Bias
In other words, people don’t care about where the show is being held… it's about the show itself.
While a venue can be a draw for a myriad of reasons (lineage, great sound system, etc.), most people are far more interested in who’s actually coming to town. It’s up to the promoter (and arguably the artist, as well) to ensure they maximize visibility and engagement around a show to continuously offer compelling reasons as to why this is a can’t miss event.
What are some ways to minimize risk as a promoter / venue?
Book the right artists - understanding your core audience and patrons is critical to make sure you’re booking the right artists. Booking local acts that align with the tastes and interests of your core patrons can also be a great way to book more often.
Consider previous tour revenue and find out the number of tickets in each market for artists you’re looking to book.
Look through apps like Bandsintown for Most Popular Tours. You can also see the number of trackers for the artist they are looking to book and the number of RSVPs per show.
Check the artist’s Facebook Events and look through how many are ‘Attending’ in each market and examine the engagement rates.
Check the artist’s social media accounts where tour information is listed and view the engagement rates – do people actually care?
View the number of streams on Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube
Millenials in particular are looking for authentic experiences. Meet and greets, using the voice of the artists when posting to trackers, and anything else you can do to insert the artist into promotional efforts is key. Fan engagement is higher when authentic experiences happen close to home.
2. The Closer to Home a Show, the More Often People Attend
Bandsintown found that 25% concert-goers are willing to go to one concert per month, every month… if the shows are close to home.
This makes sense, which is why artists may sometimes play a relatively adjacent market if there’s enough demand within a sizeable population. The further away from the venue a fan is, the less likely they will be to attend.
Only 2% of concertgoers are willing to travel more than 2 hours every month versus the 25% willing to attend so long as they stay close to home. Bandsintown also found that, with some exceptions based on location, conversion to ticket sales tends to drop off almost completely beyond 60-mile radius of the venue.
There is one caveat: artists with highly dedicated fans ARE willing to travel long-distance.
Fans for artists like Coldplay, people are known to travel near and far for a show averaging at 150 miles from their location. Artists with most following on Bandsintown who have fans that travel miles for their shows include Phish, Slayer, Bassnectar, Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, and ICP.
3. Awareness is Key When Promoting a Live Show
If there are multiple venues in your market drawing similar audiences, there is a lot of competition. As a venue, you need to find ways to maximize awareness for your shows.
Some quick tips to maximize awareness:
Post all events to concert apps like Bandsintown
On average, fans RSVP 73 days (2 months) before a show date.
Message fans who track the artist on Bandsintown regularly with valuable content to remind them of the date, particularly useful for those on the fence on buying a ticket (the data showed that fans purchase tickets 28 days before a show on average).
Add dates to your website and always include a ticket link
Begin you marketing efforts immediately and ensure you’re promoting at every stage:
Offline and online promotion
Social media – both organic posts and advertisements
Stir the pot regularly in Facebook events
Run artist-led contests
Meet and greets
Deep dive into your specific demographic
Audiences may be similar, but they are not all the same. Understand their interests, buying behavior, and what motivates them to gather with other like-minded people.
4. 50% of Concert-goers Discovered a New Venue Using Concert Apps
While many music consumers, especially those in the before mentioned ‘casual music fan’ category already know what kind of music they like, they perhaps don't know where to experience it live.
Posting shows to apps like Bandsintown will increase the chances someone visits a venue for the first time, primarily based off concert listings being connected to the source of the music itself (like Spotify).
Beyond just the music, many concertgoers see this as an opportunity to meet and mingle with like-minded people as well. Once someone goes to a venue for the first time and enjoys the vibe, they’re far more likely to attend again.
Which brings us to…
5. One Visit to a Venue Will Likely Draw People Back for a Second and Third Time
On average, Bandsintown found a high number of fans who went to one venue twice went three times. As a promoter / venue marketer, it is key to give genuinely compelling reasons for someone to return.
Here are some quick tips to increase attendees to your venue:
Aim to build a relationship with your patrons so they look to you to curate a part of their lifestyle rather than a single-serving night of entertainment.
Offering discounts for returning visitors
Event planners are using email in a lot of different ways to attract new clients - driving newsletter sign-ups or promoting upcoming events. (Bandsintown Venue Calendar)
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bandsintown
Define Your Venue Marketing
Paid Acquisition (Facebook and Google)