Why You Should Be Throwing Free Pop-Up Shows

I’m back with another solo episode talking about why you should be throwing free pop-up shows!

I recently went to a small little show my buddy was playing in a park here in Austin, and it was a great experience. Him and his friends didn’t really promote the show either, they just messaged the GPS coordinates to their freinds, and everyone showed up!

Intially there were about 15 – 20 people, but then the park started to drag strangers into the mix. Eventually there were about 30 people or so that were all hanging out, dancing and having a good time.

That’s when I realized how much power there is in these types of free pop-up shows!

This type of show has the ability to draw in new fans, get contact information, and eventually throw an actual show in a venue where you can sell tickets, and sell out!

Find out why you should be throwing free pop-up shows in this episode of Electronic Dance Money!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why you should start throwing free pop-up shows
  • Marketing tactics for your brand 
  • How pop-up shows can turn into a paid business
  • What a pop-up show looks like
  • Ways you can take advantage of a free pop-up shows

and much more!

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Hey guys, welcome to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians
and producers.
Hey, what
is up guys, welcome back
to another episode of electronic dance money. I’m your post, Christian, Christian cassuto Hope you guys are doing fantastic. I think this episode’s probably gonna be a shorter one. We’ll see. We’ll see how long I dive into this topic. But this is an interesting one. Lehman like take many notes. Really. But I just a couple of weeks ago, like two, maybe three weeks ago, a friend of mine and a client reached out to let me know that he was throwing a show in a park, a local park here in Austin. Do you have been to Austin or you live in Austin, it was at zilker Park, you know, place. It’s a huge public park. It’s where they throw. That’s where they throw ACL, the music festival here in Austin, which has I mean, massive attendance of I mean, just a crazy, I think I don’t know, it’s got to be over 100,000 people that go to the ACL. It’s huge. I know some like some of the biggest artists had played there. Calvin Harris played one year, it’s huge. But he threw a little, like, pop up show in Zocor. And it was super low key. And it was awesome. It was a lot of fun. There was probably like, I don’t know, 20 of his friends and like some of the other DJs friends and whatnot. And this is the first time I had been there, I met a lot of really cool people, I think a couple of which are probably listening to this episode, hopefully.
then there were some like stragglers around the park that were kind of like, Oh, these guys are playing some music. And they had like, they had a nice speaker setup. Nothing too crazy, nothing too big, but enough to where like it was like a party. And, you know, some people were coming in from around the park, strangers that knew no one and were hanging out and dancing.
And it got me thinking
about how, and I
saw, you know, I saw at least one guy walk up to him in the middle of his set, and he handed him a business card. I was like, that’s when it really dawned on me, that’s when it hit me I was like, Oh, this is a really interesting business tactic that I see almost no one doing, you know, a lot of people, when they want to get into shows, they’ll find a venue,
you know, throwing shows,
they want to get into throwing shows, they’ll find a venue and see how much it would cost for them to basically rent it out for the night, you know, maybe they take a percentage of the door. Plus the bar keeps you know, all of the money they make.
And yada yada yada.
They throw show cost him $500, maybe $1,000
and they get 50 people in.
And you know, some of those might be friends some Not at all. But the part thing is interesting because you’re throwing a show with your own gear, your own equipment, with almost no marketing, just you know, inviting friends saying, Hey, we’re gonna be here on this day. Now, they didn’t really promote they didn’t, I don’t think they promote it on social media at all. They just hit their friends up and said, Hey, we’re gonna be playing some music in the park around this time. Come join you know, bring some friends if you want and a decent amount of people showed up and hung out the entire time. And to the point where they’re like, Where’s the after party? And some people were like, I wonder if it’s gonna get shut down, you know, might get shut down because the cops might come in. As far as I mean, I left like I think there was an hour left into them playing I left around like 9pm or something I’d I had something to do that evening, but
from the sounds of it, they never got shut down.
And you know, as artists, it’s a really interesting way to market yourself and potentially turn that into some sort of careers doing these kind of random pop up shows. And then letting your friends know a week two weeks prior Hey, this is this is where we’re gonna be playing. This is who’s playing you know, you bring three or four your friends who DJ, find someone with some speakers and they had just a little generator set up. I think it was like an electric. I don’t know what it was. The generator was like silent. So perfect. Now obviously, depending on where you’re living, you know, throwing a pop up show not my might not be okay with COVID and whatnot. But I mean, if you, if there’s a big park somewhere, I, you know, I’ve never been to New York, I don’t know what New York is like, but if you live in New York City, I’d assume you’d be able to go to Central Park and maybe set something some little thing up and up your friends, invite them out. You know, I assume that after dark, you probably wouldn’t be the best place to be is in Central Park, but I’m sure you get kicked out kicked out or something. And God knows, you know, with their regulations and COVID and stuff, you might get fine. So maybe New York’s not the best example. But Austin’s a great example, because I went to the show, and he’s throwing another one, it’s a really interesting way to, I mean, you can get a lot of really dedicated random fans. And that’s what I was looking at, for a majority of the time, I was seeing random people jump in. And if you can get like a small little visualizer board, or maybe even get a flag or some banner for when you play and put that up there. Maybe even with a QR QR code on there a big QR codes, so people from a distance can scan it, and all of your socials come up your Spotify, Apple Music,
SoundCloud, Facebook, Instagram, all that stuff,
you’ve got a really good, you know, good opportunity there to actually get a pretty organic loyal fan base, because they’ll hear you playing like this guy sick,
we follow him
even better if you have some awesome tracks on Spotify. But not only that, let’s also take it into the perspective of like starting a business, this is how really good successful businesses are started. based off of these really simple ideas where they go meet, my friends just want to hang out and listen to some good music. Next thing, you know, you’re pulling in a crowd of 5070 people in a park that you did not anticipate. And that’s where the sketchy stuff comes in, you know, you get liability issues potential for cops showing up people, you know, drinking or whatever, and you might be held liable. I mean, technically, technically, would you it’s, you’re not making money off the event, you’re just hanging out. So I mean, who knows, I don’t know the logistics and the legality of that sort of stuff. But the point is, is you have the opportunity to maybe start a business name and start presenting these little pop up shows as
this event is hosted by
so and so whatever the company is, if people recognize that, and you can dry in 70 people to a pop up show a through basically word of mouth advertising. Think about what you could do with a marketed event at a venue where people are paying $10 for a ticket to see your friend view and your friends play. And you can already guarantee that 70 people show up. And those people hopefully will bring you know two or three friends and you actually you know, maybe you put some put a marketing budget in that and pay some money to run some ads or whatever it is you want to do with marketing.
I mean, you’re looking at 70 people $10 a ticket 700
bucks right there.
Let’s say the you know, the venue itself is going to take 20% off the top, still not bad money around 500 and something dollars, you have the potential of people seeing you that you know, like I said someone walked up got business card, who knows who that person was, maybe he wanted to hire him to throw an event, which is a whole nother game, because now you’re talking about possibly charging $2,000 to throw some sort of show. You know, maybe you need to rent some gear and that costs you three $400 and you bring two or three your friends, you pay them each 100 bucks, maybe $200 each, and you’re able to leave in pocket 1200 dollars
1500 dollars.
That’s not bad money for throwing some sort of show that’s three, four or five hours long. It’s not bad money at all. That’s actually really really good money. You know, we’ve talked about throwing shows like these before, and a couple of episodes we talked about with so called productions back on episode 20. You know, they’re thrown they I need to get an update from them see what they’re doing during COVID but they were throwing a bunch of shows. And then same when we had DJ Sean Jay on you know, he talked a lot about DJing as a career events, he throws you know, doing corporate events, doing local bar shows and then obviously doing weddings. But what I’m seeing when they’re doing these pop up shows I’m seeing the beginning of Have a production company, I’m seeing the beginning of someone be, you know, I’m sure, I’m sure my buddy Ari realizes this, I’ll have to talk to him. But, I mean, it’s it is the beginnings of a production company where they’ll be throwing some really awesome shows when things open back up, you know, once he, once he figures out a way how he can monetize this sort of thing. And in that setting, when it’s free entertainment like that, throw out a donation bucket, you know, put your put you include a Venmo donation banner of some sort, where people can scan a QR code, you know, what’s even more interesting here is you could set up a live stream as well. All you need is a hotspot of some sort. And you can do a live stream set up a couple of cameras, and live streaming on Twitch are live streaming on Facebook. And then you can set up a donation button where people can actually go and donate on a live stream, you know, you could get 30 4050 people on a live stream and then have 30 people hanging out in person. That’s an awesome event. That’s a sick show. Pop Up shows, I’m realizing I’d never thought about it. I don’t know why. But the this concept of having a pop up show is really cool. It’s a lot of fun. And you’re in this, you know, you’re creating, going into the psychology of marketing, you’re creating a lot of nice social currency for some of these people. And what I mean by that, in terms of social currency is, you know, people want to be a part of the in group, they want to be a part of a secret group that not a lot of people are part of think of a hipster. you’ve ever talked to a hipster about something. Most of the time, they’re like, Oh, yeah, I like that before it was mainstream. They like, you know, hipsters love having that social currency. They like acting like they’re in the end, that, you know, though,
they know things that
people don’t. So they’re cool. So they want to share with people about how cool they are. That people like that, inherently people like being a part of those secret groups to talk to people. But Dude, I went to this pop up show, I was just hanging out in the park, I saw these guys set up. And then two hours later, they’re playing all the you know, they’re playing a bunch of tunes for like, four or five hours, I went over, hung out with them talk to a couple people, I met some really awesome, met some really awesome friends. I can’t wait till the next show. And they start telling their friends you know, they take pictures, they take videos, they post those on social media. Now the only thing the the issue that he currently has, the hole that I’m seeing is that there is no promotion of any brand there. There’s no promotion of you know, no artists name, no production company, there’s not nothing to promote, when people do show up, and they do take pictures, they do take videos. Because think about the difference of taking a picture of video of this really cool random thing you’re seeing a park of these DJs playing and a bunch of people hanging out and dancing, but you don’t know who they are. So you take a video or picture and people are Oh, this is cool. Now what there’s no follow up, there’s no follow through. But when you see that there’s a banner or flag or something that says DJ so and so or so and so artist name or company name, you know, insert your brand name here. People can then go Okay, this is the company name again, take a picture, let me go like them on on Facebook. Let me go follow them on Instagram. Okay, now I can tag them, you know, tag the photo, so and so’s throwing an event in the park right now. Now their friends will see that now their friends can go like that page and get updated when they have their next pop up show. There’s a lot of really cool stuff you could do with this. And there’s plenty of ways that you can monetize it as well. One for I mean for the artists, they can get a lot of new organic fans that will probably start listening their music
almost right after
they leave, you have the opportunity to start actually throwing real events at I shouldn’t say that’s Yeah, real events at real venues where you can get heads in the door and pay and you know what it would be even better
is if you did some sort of some sort
or like I said earlier you know you can do donations as well accept donations. But what would be cool is some sort of giveaway to to doing in the middle of the event.
I don’t know what that giveaway would be you know, if you have an established company,
it could be a merged package that’s valued at like $100 or something. Spend $100 get it sure. A hat some stickers. If you know if a bunch of artists want to put their music for free on a USB drive something like that something really cool, unique, a fun experience, do a giveaway, and have one of your friends walk around and with a clipboard and have people basically enter in their information, you know, name, email, phone number, that sort of stuff, and then give them a ticket for the raffle. And in the middle of the show, or towards the end, I’d say probably in the middle of the show, you can do the raffle, maybe towards the end, because more people might show up, or have a set time when you’re going to do the raffle that will get people to want to stick around, you know, they get a cool merge package, they’ll probably tax you
on social media when they win that.
But if you you know, if you’re thinking the way I’m thinking, if you’re thinking like a marketer, if you’re thinking like a business owner, if you’re if you’re in this business minded sense, you’ll realize that something very significant happened here. You got their contact information, you got their email, you got their name, you have that information, which you can then utilize later on, especially if you’re a production company, especially if you’re going to be throwing shows later on, you can use a mark email marketing service like MailChimp, send a mass email out to all those people. Hey, super glad you showed up to the event. Last week, on this day, we really hope you guys enjoyed it, we’re gonna be sending out some more emails whenever we have more pop up shows. So if you stay on this list, if you want, if you don’t want any more emails, hit the unsubscribe button. Otherwise, go to our social medias and follow like you there’s so much power in this sort of thing that you know, taking just a very small investment in something like a merge package or some sort of giveaway, you have the opportunity to actually collect emails to then market with later on. Once you start throwing those shows at the venue, you can, let’s say you do this for an entire summer, you just throw these free pop up shows and test out some different marketing tactics. And, you know, I will say What’s really unique about his position right now is that a lot of the stuff he’s doing is word of mouth. So try to stay within that, because that’s going to reduce your marketing costs,
invest in little small things like giveaway type stuff, or setting up a live stream, anything like that, whatever is going to improve things, test those out, see how they go. But if you do that for an entire summer, and let’s say you get 300 emails, 400 emails, that huge, three 400 people that actually pay attention, you know, let’s, let’s go conservative, you got 300 emails, but really 200 people are paying attention to or 200 people are interested in your pop up shows, the pop up shows now get too big, you get kicked out, you can’t That’s awesome. If you get kicked out for too many people, you’re in the perfect fucking spot, you’re throwing a great party, you know what that means it’s time to get into the venue. Because if you can pull 200 heads for your first show of venue, the venues gonna love you, they’re gonna want you to throw show every single week 200 people $10 a ticket, do grand, you know, pay your DJs a couple hundred each, or 100, whatever you want to do, the venue takes 10% whatever, it’s going to be 10% on that much at 200 it’d be 20% of the door 400 plus the bar, they make decent a decent amount that that night, if 200 people spending money at bars, you know, you figure 100 people are gonna buy two drinks each at $10 they they themselves are gonna make two grand off of just the bar, if not a little bit more, you know, two to $4,000 plus the two, you know, two to $400 again make off view then he’s gonna love you. But that’s pretty much it. I you know, I have this idea for this episode, I kind of wanted to wing it and work through this because this is a really interesting topic. This is a really interesting idea that I think a lot of people should be utilizing you as producers and DJs you probably want to be playing shows. You want to be practicing, throw your own damn pop up show for free invite your DJ friends, just get the gear get what you need. and invite 10 people each Hey, we’re gonna be at this spot here and send coordinates you know you can get coordinates that’s how he does it. They take GPS coordinates of where they’re gonna be located. So you just go to the park flip on you’re walking to this location you walk there you see them hanging out you know they were drinking they were hanging out is it was it was awesome. I highly recommend this. highly suggest it. That’s it for today’s episode, guys. I really hope you enjoy it. You know, like I said, Go through your own damn show. Have fun with this stuff. You know, business is fun. marketing’s fun this time. You know when you see a success story like this. It’s To me it’s a minor success story. They’re not doing anything big but it’s super exciting. For the shownotes had to Envious audio.com slash Episode 39 guys, we’re almost at Episode 50 we’re getting close I might have to do something special, maybe a live episode, some sort of live stream or something but Envious audio.com slash Episode 38 if you need a mixing or mastering help, you’re struggling with that sort of stuff. Just go to Envious audio.com fill out my contact form. join the Facebook community electronic dance money community on Facebook say What’s up, let me know if you need any help. Thank you guys so much. I appreciate your support and I will see you next time.

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