Great Peacock Went on Tour. Here's How it Went.
Sweetheart Pubstack #36
We’re Rachel Hurley and Frank Keith IV, co-owners of the Sweetheart Pub. We’re music industry veterans with over 30 years of combined experience in the music business, having worked in licensing, talent buying/booking, label management, tour management, and more. Once a week, we’ll publish a new edition of this newsletter, where we’ll share some philosophy and actionable advice on all facets of the music industry.
We’ve been putting together a weekly playlist of seven songs (just enough to keep your attention) every week — check out The Sweet Spot to hear what we’ve been listening to.
What we’re thinking about this week…
On the road again
Frank here, reporting from home after hitting the road for the past three weeks with Great Peacock (and bracing myself for nearly a full month in June).
It feels like it happened overnight — someone, somewhere, announced a spring tour, and the floodgates opened. I remember when we received our “announce next week!” email from our booking agent back in March. It didn’t feel real at the time — were we jumping the gun? Would half of these shows get cancelled before we ever cranked up the van? Straight-up, it felt too early. None of us were vaccinated. At best, it felt like a shitty gamble; at worst, downright dangerous. I was advancing the shows with promoters who were in the same boat; still bringing staff back from furlough, everybody clenching their collective behinds hoping the vaccine rollout would continue in a positive direction. “We should be good by May, right?”
I’m happy and relieved to report that we were not too early, and all of the shows went great. The entire band was vaccinated by mid-April, and every stop along the way we were hearing from more and more folks getting vaccinated, relaxing restrictions a bit...slowly getting back to normal.
It’s still market-by-market & promoter-by-promoter as far as distancing / safety protocols are concerned. Some venues aren’t back to full staff; advancing shows was dicey at times, but everything worked out in the end. Fans, bands, and venue staff constantly mentioned every night “I’m just glad we can all do this again.” It’s not just a win for us musicians, but for EVERYONE in our ecosystem.
The best and most well-attended / well-received shows were those at outdoor venues, because who doesn’t love an outdoor show (weather permitting)? Whether you’re doing your own booking or have an agent, I’d suggest looking to breweries and other non-traditional venues that have outdoor space, as they are going to be “the norm” for a while until our beloved small clubs open back up (which is going to be the very last thing to happen, as running a 200-cap room at limited capacity makes no fiscal sense for the venue).
The “table / pod” shows at indoor rooms always felt a little stiff — capping sales at 200 in a room built to hold 1200 definitely sucks the energy out of a room — but acknowledging that it’s awkward for both the attendees and the band early in the set worked as a nice icebreaker. Again, all parties involved were just happy to BE THERE.
I’m also happy to report that we had ZERO hecklers and ZERO anti-maskers (where masks were required)...and we sold more tickets than we ever had on any run in the “before times.” Fans/consumers are just as ready to get back to live music as we are.
I’m tired, y’all. I’m not sure there’s a lesson here, so much as an optimistic report on our collective future. Get bookin’ — the shows are there to be had.
I can’t wait to get back out there, and can’t wait for y’all to do the same. My social feeds are back to mostly tour / show announcements … nature is healing … and I LIKE THAT.
p.s. here’s me advancing a show post-pandemic:
S*** You Can Do Today
One of the biggest complaints we hear from press outlets is the lack of a cohesive plan from artists to share the content they publish about them.
With that in mind, we made a simple guide for sharing press to your socials that will show outlets that they should work with you again.
Post a reminder on your FB profile 2-3 days before the opportunity is to be published.
On the day of release, go to the outlet’s post and share it.
A week after the event, post an “ICYMI” reminder - this is when you can post the link natively.
Don’t forget to interact with the posts of all shares and from the outlet (Create a conversation!)
Be sure to tag all relevant people - then they will be notified and hopefully engage with and share the post also.
Instagram [Posts + Reels +Stories]:
The day before publication - make a Vertical Video of up to 30 seconds informing people of the press. You can upload this to Reels, FB Stories, Twitter Fleets and TicTok.
I know you are going to screenshot the press and make a post about it — but be aware — Press Outlets HAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE this. If you screenshot the whole article and out it on your IG, why would anyone go to their website? And if they can’t get your fans to come to their website to read the story they wrote about you, why write about you again? RESPECT THE “ANALYTICS” ;)
Be sure to tag all relevant people — then they will be notified and hopefully engage with and share the post.
Post a reminder 3-2 before the press is published
Post links on the day of the release - retweet the outlet.
Post an “ICYMI” reminder a few days after - and then as many times as you’d like after that!
Don’t forget to interact with the tweets from the outlet and your fans (Create a conversation)
Be sure to tag all relevant people - then they will be notified and hopefully engage with and share the post.
TikTok of the Week
Just for Fun
Music Rookie Podcast
Have a follow-up question for one of our guests? Got a tip? Did we (*gasp*) get something wrong? Our line is always open -- hit us up and if we use your question or response in a future newsletter, we’ll give you credit and link your socials.
As we often receive requests to work with artists who don’t have the budget to afford a full campaign, we’re launching an “Office Hours”-style consulting service where you can book us for 30 or 60-minute blocks of one-on-one time.
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