How would you get 10 people to come to your next concert?

March 27, 2008 at 05:20 PM · How would you get ten people to come to your next orchestra concert or personal recital. Who would you invite? What would you say to convince them to come?

Replies (31)

March 27, 2008 at 06:23 PM · Laurie, my answers will vary depending on the time and place of the concert (who will be accessible? Is it a too short notice?), the program and who will be performing (who might be interested), and the price of each person has to pay for the ticket if it’s not free.

March 27, 2008 at 06:24 PM · Nobody's ever paid me money to bring in an audience, the question has nothing to do with a real situation.

To get people to concerts I send a mass e-mail nowadays although I remember back when I would send fliers in the mail. If I really want someone to come to a concert because I am playing a solo, or it's a recital then I also call them or tell them about it in person.

March 27, 2008 at 06:32 PM · I send our emails too, but a follow up phone call is always a good idea, perhaps the best way. Sometimes I've heard; "if you hadn't called I might not have bothered coming".

March 27, 2008 at 06:50 PM · Yes, I would feel more comfortable to do it not for money but for some charitable cause or supporting local artists. In such case, given a few weeks ahead of time, I’ll canvass people in the charitable organizations, at work and among friends by emails, phone calls and in-person discussion.

March 27, 2008 at 07:07 PM · I'm just saying, if you were really motivated, by money or anything else, how would you get 10 people there? Personally, making sure you get 10 people there. Not just send out a mass e-mail and hope they come.

March 27, 2008 at 07:18 PM · Tough question. I have a standard email list but most people who attend, I have approached personally, or they have come into town specifically for the event. It's frustrating because I have a lot of friends and co-workers who tell me to keep them informed because they really want to come to a performance, but when it comes time to actually go to a concert, 99% of the time they're no-shows.

To the original question, I'd first ask friends and relatives who wouldn't have to travel far and who have a musical background. I also find that if one of my orchestras has a performance, asking people in other groups with whom I play can generate interest - especially in those people who have kids who are just starting to learn an instrument. Also, I'd ask fellow musicians whose performances I've attended, as kind of a support network kind of thing.

March 27, 2008 at 07:49 PM · I'd offer to the ten (or however many) folks I invite to put their names in the hat upon arrival for a chance to win $100 - $200 in a drawing to be held by yours truly at the conclusion of the concert, must be present to win.

That's probably cheating, but, that'd definitely get folks to show up. I'd also consider offering food afterwards for whomever. If/when I get the chance to be an active part of a community orchestra's advertising & promotion group, trying to get the orchestra to do a finger-foods reception after the concert would definitely be a suggestion I'd make. Have each player bring a dozen cookies or some type of beverage or ask a local store to donate cookies & goodies and then invite the audience to mingle with the performers afterwards.

March 27, 2008 at 08:04 PM · Anything I've been involved with those that always like the music and shows past usualy came. But new acquaintances always seemed to be looking for something going on to get out of the house, take a date, throw produce (just kidding). But the shure fire attendies seem to have been the, "Oh yeah, right! Like you sing and play right, I/we will be there, we'll see!" And the majority seemed honest with, "You know, that was pretty good! Man, I didn't know you could do that, let me/us know when you're doing another one." alot of good friendships, for me, actualy began that way..Serious!

March 27, 2008 at 08:19 PM · I find it really discouraging sometimes when people constantly ask me to keep them "informed of my upcoming performances" and then never respond or come. I have 1 friend in particular who I got in a fight with over this very thing just last weekend! She's been saying she wants to come see me in concert for over 10 years and has never made the effort. This is not some odd friend, but one of my dearest. Some people can't be bothered I guess.

March 27, 2008 at 08:38 PM · I'd give each of the ten $20 to come, obviously.

March 27, 2008 at 09:23 PM · That's it people, I'm taking the money part out!

March 27, 2008 at 10:13 PM · i think when it really matters, i will have to go down the list of family and relatives, then friends, then business associates, then may be close clients, then may be library bulletins??? then stand at the intersection holding up a sign!

it is the same list for getting buyers for those $10 yucky cookies for school fund-raising:)

March 27, 2008 at 10:34 PM · Good food is allways wellcome! Everytime I finish a new instrument I will invite a high profile player to dine (shrimp raviole is one of my specialties), they never say no.

March 27, 2008 at 11:37 PM · At CIM, I remember the Korean students often had receptions put together by members of the Korean community. Those recitals ALWAYS had huge numbers in the audience. Free food (of excellent quality) is the way to go.

March 27, 2008 at 11:59 PM · Dear Luis,

I happily accept your dinner invitation! Oh darn...I forgot I'm not high profile. :-(

When I really want people to come to something I offer that one thing college students can't say no to. Beer? No. Extra Credit.

March 28, 2008 at 12:15 AM · Hi Kristin! You are invited! The problem is that I'm living in Sao Paulo, we are a bit far away... But if you happen to come to SP, come to visit me. You can also see my instruments with Greg Singer and Christophe Landon in New York.

I've just finished a new 41.8 viola in the white that I'll send to NY too. I'll string it tomorrow and play it in the white for some days.

March 28, 2008 at 12:19 AM · Tell them it's VIOLIN.

Never mind, that will just scare them.

Ooh, make food. That's the key.

Or play really cool pieces like John Cage's four minutes (or whatever it is called...I actually arranged it for violin...)

March 28, 2008 at 12:52 AM · It's the same as how do you get people to come to your party. For example, it helps if you're famous.

March 28, 2008 at 12:52 AM · Don't practice. You'll get 20.

March 28, 2008 at 03:03 AM · Go to the local retirement homes and offer a group discount along with a Senior discount. My community orchestra does this. At one time, we had 4 busses of people from the local retirement homes.

March 28, 2008 at 02:52 PM · i'd say something like this:

let's jam this friday

we are due--its been waaay too long since last

gee,someone has to make music

we cannot hear if we do not perform

keep in touch,just to retain your fingerpads.

food and drinks will be provided

just play and be civil and polite

you will be afforded the likeness

friday 4:14pm till ?

if you like,bring a dish

but bring your fiddle

everyone here will need an escape

because we admit to being human and we all would enjoy a piece from your fiddle---which takes us to a different realm of existence.

extra strings will be free of charge

do not expect any money

just play from your heart and play well

play my request and make me weep

soon your playing will be replaced by another

we will remember your presence oft

but may soon forget,because we become lost in the lilt of your playability.

feel free to play your feet,for we enjoy all !

just be here for a moment of forever with your violin;sing to us and lift us away above our impending destination and make us happy in the attempt.......

March 28, 2008 at 03:32 AM · Marina- My heart goes out too you. I bet it does hurt that your friend doesn't show up.

Luis- I hope that you and your cooking will look me up if you are ever passing through Laramie, Wyoming!!! Mmmmmmmm!

I've never had problems with turn outs, seriously. Even people who only liked the music, I was satisfied knowing at least there was one thing they liked about me/us. Once, just for kicks and giggles we brought our instruments to my guitar player's friend's get togeather. We played from 3pm to 10pm and people began to show up which we thought were invited from the friend. Turned out, and I am not making this up folks, people were calling other friends of theirs from the pay phones at the 7-11 down the street. The total count was something like 128+ people. My parents took pictures of this it was a flippin' blast! People were telling us that so and so called them about this band/group/troupe whatever, you've got to hear it, they're great! Go figure. Having the local radio stations play CDs you've made of yourself also really helps alot!

March 28, 2008 at 03:57 AM · From Mendy Smith

Posted on March 28, 2008 at 03:03 AM

Go to the local retirement homes and offer a group discount along with a Senior discount. My community orchestra does this. At one time, we had 4 busses of people from the local retirement homes.

Mendy, I think I now know why we both work in high tech. My first thoughts long before I'd scrolled down to your post was, "Easy, bus 'em in from the old folks home." Or as I like to call it "The Homer Simpson Plan"


March 28, 2008 at 04:27 AM · Well, I have a head start with my husband and three children....that leaves only six.

March 28, 2008 at 04:48 AM · Joe, oh that is sweet!

March 28, 2008 at 07:49 AM · Get busy getting more famous would be one way.

It's like the two bad guys who've just fallen into the water in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', the British movie, if you've seen it. The one says to the other, "I can't swim!!" and the other says, "Well, get busy learning or get busy drowning!".

An alternative would be free grog, to get in the winos. Other than that, family, and old ladies and old gentlemen in Church, things like that. Free tea and biscuits. I'd go along myself for that.

Depending on friends to give up their Saturday or Sunday afternoon for you too many times might stretch the friendship. Emails and fliers sound good, and old people's home bus trips sounds a win-win situation. If I was stuck in a boring old people's home I'd be very keen on the idea of hopping on a cheap bus to go for a short trip somewhere nice and convivial. Then back to the prison to chew the dentures until the next outing.

A daring article in the newspaper about a ravishing woman violinist might help. Or if you are an overweight bloke the older side of 70, you could try this: "SEE and HEAR how Paganini played. Be astounded at the beauty of the music (if not the player's physiognomy)!"

Or: "James (or Simon, or Bruce) once rounded up cattle out on the plains. Now, he's wooing the ladies and rounding up all the folks with his amazing playing" (photo of smiling James, or Simon, or Bruce, standing there with a pretty girl in each arm, one holding his bow and the other his violin).

Or (more controversial): "Mandy (or Simone) once communicated with aliens. Now she's in town to communicate the music of Mozart to YOU!!" (photo of Mandy, or Simone, her gaze somewhat fixated and perhaps slightly worrying, staring out at you from page 5 of the local rag).

Less controversial, and much more representative of truth (aliens being a bogus concept in my opinion): "Janine wants to bring you closer to God with her music" (photo of Janine in Church, instrument cradled in her arms, looking up dreamingly at the sunlight streaming in through the chancel windows).

I suppose this business side of the art of music is a game.

March 28, 2008 at 02:58 PM · well, my next orchestra concert has Bruckner 7 on the program, so I have just been telling all of my brass friends (esp. horn players... horns and Wagnerian tubas!) to come.

March 28, 2008 at 03:34 PM · Ah Tommy, when I become a major fan of tremolo I shall attend a Bruckner concert. Even after playing a Bruckner Symphony under Kurt Masur (the reigning master of Bruckner) I was still bored and can't remember which one it was.

March 28, 2008 at 06:32 PM · Bruckner 6 actually doesn't have that much tremolo - I was surprised. After having played the fourth dozens of times on tour, I was prepared for the worst, and VERY happy to find out it was different!

March 28, 2008 at 06:36 PM · Incentive to come to concert - would have to be some kind of meal or drinks before and after. Done with lots of emails, cellphone text messages and phone calls containing much persuasion.

April 15, 2008 at 11:27 PM · wait for fellow musicians to call you

eventually,they will contact you

then,all is good.

when you know musicians are coming to your place

invite others----others WILL attend !

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