The two most important words for a show of any capacity are SOLD OUT.

Last night, NoMBe performed at the Troubadour – The show sold out three months ago.

It was an incredible performance, which beautifully channeled the nostalgia of the venue and its role as a stepping stone for artists on the rise.

After having launched a dozen acts’ touring careers, here are a few additional things we do at TH3RD BRAIN to ensure major market shows are special, SOLD OUT and set-up for success.

1/ Announce as early as possible 

Certain arena or stadium tours have been doing this for years, but for smaller shows, announcing 12-16 weeks out has typically been plenty of time.

However, a new trend is to announce with as much time before the show as possible.

In an era where tour dates are showcased next to music on multiple streaming platforms, the best form of advertising is for a show to be on sale. When a fan falls in love with the artist is the most opportune moment to sell them a ticket. If the show is not on sale, there is no chance of selling that ticket.

2/ Fill the guest list to the MAX 

Who has supported the artist? Who loves the artist? Who needs to support the artist, but hasn’t yet?

Create a list and personally invite them. Nine times out of ten you must initiate the ask.

The best way to establish a connection is to see an artist live. We are in the music business – Live shows are a privilege. Every slot on a guest list is an opportunity to build and grow a relationship. As artists get bigger, it becomes even more important to curate the list as opposed to honoring whoever asks you to come.

3/ Make sure the act is ready

If it’s an industry showcase, there is more flexibility here… The industry is willing to judge an act based on their potential. But if it’s a ticketed show in a major market, your act must be ready.

Ready consists of

a) having enough experience and therefore the confidence to crush it – While tempting, an artists does not need to play major markets first! LA and NY get a lot of shows – The crowds can be tougher or less enthusiastic. They’re not the place for an act to test their ability to perform.

b) there is enough demand for the artist to do the show – If you have doubts about selling ALL the tickets, in my experience, it’s better to be cautious… Which leads to the next point…

4/ Choose the right venue and capacity

Know what you want the vibe to be and find a venue that fits. What is the venue’s history? What is the viewing experience for the fan? What is the sound like?

We always aim to bring productions which are one venue size bigger than what is typically seen at that venue. For example, if it’s a 500 cap show, we bring a lighting package we would typically bring to a 1500 cap venue. If it’s a 5000 cap venue, we bring a small arena production.

As far as capacity, it’s better to shy on the side of less is more – It’s okay to leave tickets on the table. The most important thing is that the shows are SOLD OUT!

In NoMBe’s case, he had toured and released a few songs before we worked together. But we waited almost an entire year from the time we had our first release together to do his first LA show – an easy sell out at the Echo.

NoMBe’s album – They Might’ve Even Loved Me – came out on March 23. I believe albums or projects are more significant triggers of ticket sales than singles. While projects are listened to significantly less than singles, they inspire investment in the artist.

For the Troubadour show, when we put the last 50 tickets on sale we had originally held back for ticket buys, they sold out in minutes without even posting about them – That is the type of buzz and energy you want around your artist and show.

If you’re interested in more thoughts on touring, you can check out the Do’s and Don’ts of touring, when to Headline vs. Support, or How to Prioritize International Markets.

Leave a Reply