“Hey, Come to my show!”

Do you have musician friends who only ever contact you to come and see them play? Are you one of them?


Here’s something a lot of musicians do wrong. I’ve done it wrong in the past, maybe still do. I’m trying to learn from it and do it differently now.


I have a friend who is always inviting me to see them play live.


The problem is I’ve lost interest, because that’s the only time I hear from this person. They don’t take the time to ask how I’m doing or what I’m up to in life, and worst of all in this scenario, have never been to see ME play even once.


I’ve been to a fair few shows, show support when I can, but all relationships need give and take, and when you’re getting nothing out of it in return, feeling more like a punter than a friend, your enthusiasm fails.


This may sound like a whine and a moan, but when I think about the relationship between myself and this other musician, I have to reflect on how I relate to the people I invite to my gigs.


Who wants to be like that weird family friend at the party who is always talking about selling insurance?


Am I being a robot? Am I ‘Mr Sell-yourself’ all the time? I hope not. I try not to be. I’ve been making the effort to speak to people, or at least more people about what’s actually going on in their lives.


I’m asking from a self-interested point of view, but also I want things to be enjoyable for anyone who comes to my gigs. I WANT them to feel good, I WANT them to have a good time, because a) I’m that sort of person b) If they enjoy themselves they might come back.


It’s in my interest to do so.


The last thing anyone wants surely is for their friends to start associating them with a moan or sinking feeling.


I had another friend tell me ages ago she stopped looking at my invites and online messages as she figured they’d all be about band stuff. I couldn’t be upset about that because she was giving me honest feedback (although I had to take it with a pinch of salt considering how flaky she is….), but regarding the story I just gave you about this friend of mine, every time I get an invite to a show, I’m not even thinking about the show, I’m just reminded of all the other points I mention, which make me groan.


I liked the quote Fugazi gave in their film ‘Instrument’ which was something like “It’s not important that everyone comes to our show, but it’s important that everyone is invited”.


I agree with that, but then it’s also how you go about inviting people to things.


So how does one go about it?


2 Responses to ““Hey, Come to my show!””

  1. John Fullerton Says:

    I definitely agree but it also depends on the frequency of invites. One member of a band I know used to regularly invite me to their gigs on facebook, this was the only communication I’d had off them in a couple of years, and the invites seemed to come in far too frequently. It’s great being in the position where you’re gigging regularly but automatically inviting everyone you know to come to every gig through your personal page becomes irritating, I ended up just deleting them from my FB page. I’d suggest setting up a personal and a professional FB so you don’t alienate people you want to stay in touch with completely and can still invite all interested parties to your gigs…

    my 2 cents

  2. Hi John,

    I think you’re right, but that basically just covers the source you’re sending from – ie they can immediately distinguish between personal messages from you, and gig invites from your artist page.

    What this doesn’t cover is how any of that makes any difference to why your friends and acquaintances should be inspired to go to your gigs in the first place. Know what I mean?

    Thanks for sharing


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