Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why It's Important For Local Bands To Play Music Festivals

By Michael Fitzgerald

In the past 5 years alone, new music festivals have sprouted up all across the country, from major cities like Chicago and Austin, to places almost literally in the middle of nowhere, like a desert in Nevada or an unassuming campground in the Ohio Valley. But no matter where they take place, these music festivals always seem to attract huge audiences - and offer an amazing opportunity for local bands to get noticed. Local bands lucky enough to earn their way to a stage on a music festival not only get the chance to perform for massive crowds, but many record labels and A&R representatives take special note of these events and the bands that perform well on them.

When a local group gets to perform with a bunch of other bands and musicians in front of tons of potential fans - like they would on a music festival - they also have the chance to meet and make friends with other bands, brand new fans, and music industry personnel on a scale far greater than they would ever get to on a regular local show. These Music Festivals are also be a great chance for groups to sell band merchandise - the more merchandise (especially T-shirts) a band can sell at a music festival, the better the odds are that the attendees will take interest in the group. For local bands, a T-shirt is infinitely more effective that a billboard, a radio ad, or even a TV commercial. A fan of a local band wearing a band T-shirt has the potential to be a walking, talking billboard advocating the band. This can really create a buzz for the group, especially some place like a music festival.

As local music fests grow in popularity and more companies continue to hold these events, we will see more groups getting discovered from Music Festivals all across the country. There are a ton of success stories that start at music festivals. In 2011 at The Cleveland Music Festival - presented by Gorilla Music - Jeff Blue, the A&R representative who discovered Linkin Park, found guitarist Lance Dowdle performing in a local group, DNA. Jeff helped Lance get signed to Atlantic records, and he now plays guitar for the band, Emphatic.

Playing on a show where a talent scout or label rep is in attendance is a great way for a group to get discovered quickly. Currently, Jeff Blue is again in search of undiscovered talent, this time by working with Gorilla Music to put on The Jeff Blue Contest Tour in cities all across the country, where bands will compete for a chance to go to Los Angeles and actually write and record a song with Jeff himself.

Gorilla Music Festivals, like The Cleveland Music Festival, have always been amazing opportunities for local or unknown bands to get noticed in their city. Unlike most other music festivals across the country, Gorilla Music's festivals feature National headliners but are ultimately designed to showcase the local talent as much as possible. This is opposed to many other house-hold name music festivals which book 90% national or regional bands and leave very little chance for local bands to get much notice. Gorilla Music holds multiple Music Festivals every single year, the next being The Dallas Music Festival, which will take place May 30th to June 1st and will be held at venues in and around the Deep Ellum area.

About the Author: