Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many shows, tours, and festivals across the globe have been canceled. For many bands, this will ultimately lead to a financial disaster. Luckily, there are a couple of alternatives that you can offer to your fans that might help you during these times. We have gathered some ideas here.
Set up a possibility of donation
The first thing that’s important is that with whatever initiative you come up with, to have the possibility for bands to donate. Many bands alike have set up a PayPal account where fans easily can donate money to. Donating often isn’t obligatory, but many fans want to support their favorite act and will most likely want the chance to donate something rather than paying a fixed fee for whatever you are doing.
Twitch, so far, has been very popular among gamers, but now has found its way to musicians. Many bands have been streaming different alternatives there, from concerts, to Q&A, to playthroughs. The progressive metal band Fractal Universe, for example, has been each going through their latest album. Lost Society guitarist/singer Samy Elbanna has also explored the platform by talking about a variety of topics concerning the band, from explaining lyrics to talking about specific liveshows to shredding. The possibilities are endless, the fans are able to also donate through the platform, and as a bonus, there’s also a chat function to connect with them.
Q&A’s have been popular for many years, but haven’t always been a possibility for some bands, due to lack of time. Luckily, because many artists are staying at home and have had their shows canceled, the plethora of time can be a blessing for fans. Bands now can take the time to have a Q&A session for each band member.
Some bands have taken it upon themselves to go through with their concert and stream it to their fans’ living rooms. These live streams often have chats where fans can connect with each other and comment on the performance, or chat with band members. These streams have no audience, so can become a little bit awkward, but many bands are dedicated to giving their fans the best of the best. They often have the possibility to play a longer set and usually have extremely great setlists. The Swedish pirate folk act Ye Banished Privateers was one of the first bands who had their release party online. The band combined the performance with interviews, track commentaries, and much more. Fans had the possibility to donate and the band was also selling special T-shirts. They raised over 5000 euro through donations and were able to sell about 1000 euro in merch.
Not everyone has the opportunity to set up a professional live stream, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play and sing for your fans. The progressive metal band Myrath play their songs acoustically for their fans on a weekly basis, while answering some of their fans’ questions and talking about how they have been holding up. Since these sessions are happening on a weekly basis, they are short in time, but very effective, and give the fans a unique chance to listen to their favorite songs being played in a different version.
Entertain your fans
Often bands have a lot of time on their hands and don’t always know how to fill it. Ensiferum front man Petri Lindroos has taken it upon himself to host a weekly livestream of himself exploring cooking. The singer/guitarist every week shows his fans what he is cooking, while meanwhile interacting with the fans and answering their questions.
Streaming an old performance that wasn’t available
A lot of bands have also been streaming their performances that haven’t been publicly available. The thrash metal band Megadeth has premiered their show at Resurrection fest in 2018. This is especially great because they don’t necessarily have to come together and go through the hassle of organizing a concert stream, but they are able to show a concert to their fans.
Hopefully, you got some inspiration from these different options you can try out, don’t forget to give fans the possibility of donating some money, setting up unique merch, and most of all have fun while connecting more to your fanbase!
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