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How to Host Your Own Online Virtual Music Festival

With hundreds of festival and music events across the country being cancelled this summer, you may be feeling disheartened and stuck on what to do next. Below we give you all the tips and tricks on hosting your online music festival.

festival

Here’s how to stream your event, which platforms you can use, how to prepare a lineup, what equipment you need and how to develop your brand to promote your event. And ultimately how to make money for the performers or a charity.

How to host an online music festival

So, how can you keep your fanbase engaged when all your gigs are cancelled? How do you host a virtual event? Which platforms are best to use when running an online festival? And how to promote your event?  Below we’ve gathered all the information you need to make sure your online event is successful.  

Hosting a virtual music event

The music industry is all about gigs and performances, and connections and collaborations between artists, but the importance of self-isolation and social distancing puts a hold on the sociable side of things leaving us musicians in a rut.  

With your festival plans most likely being moved online, and ticketing being in aid of charities as opposed to a festival experience, why not host your event from the comfort of your bedroom? Being at home doesn’t mean musicians and singers have to put their career on hold. Online events may be the new norm for a while, so now’s the time to get to grips with digital platforms and streaming sites.  

How to run a successful virtual event  

It’s important to choose the right streaming platform for you. There are several options out there, some which are solely designed for online events, and others like Instagram and YouTube which have streaming options built into them. It’s a good idea to target the site that’s easiest to access and the one you have the greatest following on to maximise listeners tuning in.   

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Best online concert platforms  

  • Gigee is a great platform if you’re looking to schedule and promote a ticketed event. It’s free to use, although the site takes 20% of revenue off the event earnings, so if you’re planning on doing a non-profit concert then this isn’t the site for you. 
  • StageIt is similar to Gigee, but fans can tip you and you can set different charging prices for your fans.  
  • Twitch is a streaming platform for gamers, so it’s not specific to musicians, but there is an entertainment category and it’s a simple, free site to use.

How to host a virtual event on Facebook 

The easiest option is probably to stream through your social media account.  

Facebook Live is a very popular site to use. Live streams attract a bigger audience than prerecorded posts because it’s the closest people can get to a real festival at the minute. Joining in with like-minded music fans across the world creates a shared experience which could also encourage people to donate via a virtual tip jar, like PayPal, which can go towards your next gig.  

Instagram and YouTube are also great social media sites that allow streaming options. If you want to stream using your phone, you need at least 1,000 subscribers to go live on YouTube. If you want to stream using your laptop, you’ll need to verify your YouTube account (which can take up to 24 hours) and use a Google Chrome web browser.

What equipment should I use to host an online gig? 

The most important requirement is a performance space. It needs to be a quiet room, with good WIFI and preferably good acoustics. Soft furnishings or cushions will reduce reflected sound and improve the quality of your stream, it’s a good idea to test the sound quality before you go live.  

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This is the basic equipment you will need: 

  •  Lighting – if you’re streaming during the day, then sitting by a window with ambient lighting will work, or if you need artificial illumination the best option is a professional ring light- but you could use overhead lighting and lamps from around the house. 
  •  Microphone – you can use a built-in microphone on your mobile or computer, but a professional mic will massively improve the sound quality and professionalism of your concert
  •  Amps and speakers – if you decide to use a USB mic then you should plug it directly into your streaming device and you won’t need an amp, but if you use a lollipop mic then plug it into your amp and it will be picked up by the audio on your computer. For bands, you could plug each of your instruments into a mixer then into your computer to export it directly to your DAW.
  •  Phone or laptop/desktop – make sure your device is fully charged and has good internet connection or mobile data. 
  •  Instruments – whether you decide to use backing tracks or play instruments live as you sing, tune and test them beforehand to get the levels right and of course, warm up your voice.
  •  Cables – to connect your instrument or mic to your amp and/or mixer, the most common cable is the jack instrument cable, if you’re using your phone, make sure you have an aux to aux cable on hand.

Online concert tips 

Timing is crucial. It’s a good idea to carefully choose a date and time for your concert. Even though people may not be out and about as much, they’re still busy. Hosting a concert during the day isn’t a good idea, as people may be on conference calls or homeschool zooms. 

Virtual concerts  

You need to decide well in advance whether you want to plan a solo gig or a festival style line up with other artists which will require more planning.  

If you decide to do a solo concert, it’s easier to go live on the night. But, if you’re curating other artists performances to showcase, then it may be a good idea to prerecord some of the elements to ensure smooth user experience.  

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Trademarking Your Artist Name as a Singer

Trademarking your artist name as a singer or musician is worth considering. Especially if you’re going places in the industry. It gives you the exclusive right to create, record and release music in that name. This protects your brand and prevents duplicates.

Trademarking

Trademarking your artist name as a singer or musician

The music industry is a business. As such, if you’re ‘trading’ in the music industry, you may decide to register the right to use your business name. This protects your brand, which is especially useful if another singer comes along and tries to steal your thunder.

Or if someone pretends to be you. It means you also have the right to your name on social media and on websites – meaning you can campaign to have any duplicates that arise, shut down. If you do go ahead, you’ll be able to use the ® symbol next to your name to show that it’s trademarked.  

Trademarking is similar to copyright in that it’s about rights. But trademarks must be registered. Whereas copyright is automatically granted to the creator or owner of an original piece of work. Copyright protects artistic works, whereas trademarking applies to all industries.

And copyright lasts a lifetime whether or not the creator is still active in that field. However, the registered owner of a trademark must continue to use the name and brand, to be eligible to maintain registration. 

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Do you need to trademark your artist name? 

No. It is not compulsory to do so and many artists never do so. However, if you’re serious about a recording career and have your sights set on big success in the music industry, it may be a good idea. If you don’t and someone else comes along after you and trademarks the same name as yours, they may be able to stop you using your name to make music.

If you’ve already had thousands of downloads and garnered hundreds of followers on each social media channel, this is a problem. You may be made to stop using your name and fans will struggle to find you.  

So if you do decide to trademark your name, the sooner you do it the better. Depending on your name a duplicate scenario may be unlikely though. We’ll take a look at who should and shouldn’t be trademarking their name, shortly.  

Can two music artists have the same name? 

Yes. There’s nothing to stop this. But therein lies the problem. Imagine plugging away for years, building up and reputation and following, only to find another musician arrives on the scene with the same name. This would confuse your fans and may result in them being redirected to the other musician’s tracks and ticket sales. Worse still, if they act inappropriately, or offend influential people in the music industry, you may be tarred with the bad reputation too.  

You may have heard about actors having to change their name because someone else was already registered with the same one. This is because the British actors union, Equity, only allows one registration by each name. So if yours is already taken by a living member, you must create a new one to join.

But this is not the case for the Musicians’ Union, as not all members are working in the same field or genre. It doesn’t matter if you, as a rock singer, have the same name as a cellist for example.  

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Should an artist trademark their name? 

If you’re considering trademarking your name, here are the factors to take into account when making the decision.  

  1. Are you planning a high profile career by yourself? If, for example, you gig on a part-time basis and teach music the rest of the time, it may not be worth the hassle and outlay. 
  2. Are you a solo artist, or part of a band? If you’re part of a group, is it worth trademarking your name as an individual? Similarly, if your band is taking off, you should think about trademarking the band.  
  3. Can you afford it? There will be fees involved, which we’ll explain further into the article. 
  4. How unique is your name? If you have a super unusual name and self-manage a relatively low profile career, it’s probably not necessary.  
  5. Do you sell merch, have a domain name, and big streaming/album sales? If so, you need to protect your overall brand, of which name is a part. So a trademark is sensible. 
  6. What’s your role? If you’re a bassist in a band or a session guitarist, it may not be relevant to trademark your own name. Not all working musicians operate as a business brand in the way a solo artist or pop band would do.  

Trademark database – how to check if a business name is trademarked  

Before you can trademark your name, check if it’s already taken. The UK government website has a search tool for trademarks. As well as checking here, it’s worth researching whether any other – non-trademarked – artists are operating in your name. They may not have a copyright. But if they’re already out there and prolific in music, it may be worth changing your name to avoid confusion. When searching, also check similar spellings to yours (ie. Katy and Katie, Girls and Girlz). 

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Blogging

7 Things to Do as a Musician Stuck at Home

You may be wondering how to practice effectively as a musician stuck at home? Being at home doesn’t mean musicians and singers have to put their career on hold,  and there are plenty of  things to do as a musician stuck at home.

Stuck

How can you keep your fanbase engaged when all your gigs are cancelled? And how should you spend your days productively when you can’t get to the studio? Below we are 7 things to do to ensure you keep your career as a musician on track during these hard times.

Things for singers to do while stuck at home

The music industry is all about gigs and performances. Connections and collaborations between artists. However, the importance of self-isolation and social distancing has put a hold on that side of things, leaving us musicians in a rut.

You may be disheartened that your recent gig has been cancelled, but take this as an opportunity to focus on your musicianship and follow our simple guide to keep your career on track.

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What to do as a musician stuck at home

From online festivals to bedroom production skills, it’s important to keep working on your career as a musician. Don’t let the Corona virus demotivate you from being a musician and definitely don’t take your foot off the pedal. Although easier said than done, being a musician requires consistent marketing and a level head.

Here are the seven tips to musicians and singers about how to keep their career on track during the Corona virus outbreak:

  • Reschedule gigs
  • Focus on your branding
  • Learn a new skill
  • Engage your fans
  • Support other artists
  • Practice your instruments
  • Write new music

Social media and online tools mean that it’s still possible to collaborate and share your music, it also means artists can support each other and spread a bit of love and community spirit.

7 things for singers to do while stuck inside

#1 Reschedule your gigs

Easier said than done, but it’s really important to email venues and follow up performance opportunities that have been cancelled amid the current climate.

Pubs and clubs being temporarily shut down doesn’t mean they will never be looking for artists to perform at their open mic nights again! So, drop them a message and remind them that you’re still interested in performing once they reopen. If you had lots of payed gigs lined up, then get in contact with the venue and try and reschedule your performance for nearer the end of the year (giving you extra time to practice!).

#2 Focus on branding

Now’s the time to really work on your marketing skills. What makes you stand out as a musician? It’s all about branding and creating a consistent look across all media platforms.

Why not set up a website? This doesn’t have to be expensive, there are many free website making tools (e.g. wix and weebly) and having a website makes your artist profile seem more professional. You can share upcoming performances, social media links, photos from the studio or recent gigs and even snippets of unreleased original music to create a close relationship with your audience.

#3 Learn a new skill

Whether you’re a singer, a guitarist or a budding studio engineer, maybe now’s the time to learn production and mastering skills that make home recordings sound that extra special.

If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘bedroom producer’ then what better a time to practice production than when you are confined to your house! If you can’t get to the studio, then bring the studio to you. Starting with the basics is always a good idea if it’s your first time recording from home.

#4 Engage your fanbase

More than ever, people’s eyes are on social media. With online platforms being people’s main source of communication when stuck at home, it would be a good idea to put a lot of energy into building up a strong following on all socials.

Why not post a daily cover video on Instagram? Making the song your own is really important.

#5 Improve your instrument

Now that you have time to spare, it would be a great idea to focus on improving your instrument and honing in on any elements that need extra practice.

If you’re a singer with regular singing lessons, you may be worried about how to carry on strengthening your voice whilst lessons are cancelled. You can look online for singing teachers offering virtual lessons. It’s good to support your local and independent teachers, community Facebook pages are a great place to reach out and ask for recommendations.

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#6 Make contacts and support other artists

All emerging artists are in the same position, feeling as though your career is being put on hold during this hard time, adds another layer of anxiety. So, it’s really important to support one another even more than usual.

Focusing on community projects can not only brighten your spirits, but also open up your contact book to loads of musicians following a similar path to you. Online choirs are being set up to unite voices across the country. Signing up for this sort of project could introduce you to possible artists for future collaborations.

#7 Write more music

Finally, without your typical day to day distractions, now’s the time to really tune into your creativity.

Original music is the key to success, so why not take this opportunity to write as many new songs as you can. Put some lyrics to that catchy melody, write a verse to go with that chorus.

Remember, it’s okay to not fall in love with your first original song, sometimes you have to write a hundred verses before the perfect one comes to you. It’s all about trial and error, so don’t be too hung up on a leading line if it doesn’t fit with the rest of your song.

Categories
Blogging

7 Things to Do as a Musician Stuck at Home

You may be wondering how to practice effectively as a musician stuck at home? Being at home doesn’t mean musicians and singers have to put their career on hold,  and there are plenty of  things to do as a musician stuck at home.

Musician

How can you keep your fanbase engaged when all your gigs are cancelled? And how should you spend your days productively when you can’t get to the studio? Below we are 7 things to do to ensure you keep your career as a musician on track during these hard times.

Things for singers to do while stuck at home

With the current climate causing a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty worldwide, musicians like yourself may struggling to maintain a successful career.

The music industry is all about gigs and performances. Connections and collaborations between artists. However, the importance of self-isolation and social distancing has put a hold on that side of things, leaving us musicians in a rut.

You may be disheartened that your recent gig has been cancelled, but take this as an opportunity to focus on your musicianship and follow our simple guide to keep your career on track.

What to do as a musician stuck at home

From online festivals to bedroom production skills, it’s important to keep working on your career as a musician. Don’t let the Corona virus demotivate you from being a musician and definitely don’t take your foot off the pedal. Although easier said than done, being a musician requires consistent marketing and a level head.

Here are the seven tips to musicians and singers about how to keep their career on track during the Corona virus outbreak:

  • Reschedule gigs
  • Focus on your branding
  • Learn a new skill
  • Engage your fans
  • Support other artists
  • Practice your instruments
  • Write new music

Social media and online tools mean that it’s still possible to collaborate and share your music, it also means artists can support each other and spread a bit of love and community spirit.

Related:- 3 Account-Based Marketing Examples to Inspire You

7 things for singers to do while stuck inside

#1 Reschedule your gigs

Easier said than done, but it’s really important to email venues and follow up performance opportunities that have been cancelled amid the current climate.

Pubs and clubs being temporarily shut down doesn’t mean they will never be looking for artists to perform at their open mic nights again! So, drop them a message and remind them that you’re still interested in performing once they reopen. If you had lots of payed gigs lined up, then get in contact with the venue and try and reschedule your performance for nearer the end of the year (giving you extra time to practice!).

#2 Focus on branding

Now’s the time to really work on your marketing skills. What makes you stand out as a musician? It’s all about branding and creating a consistent look across all media platforms.

Why not set up a website? This doesn’t have to be expensive, there are many free website making tools (e.g. wix and weebly) and having a website makes your artist profile seem more professional. You can share upcoming performances, social media links, photos from the studio or recent gigs and even snippets of unreleased original music to create a close relationship with your audience.

#3 Learn a new skill

Whether you’re a singer, a guitarist or a budding studio engineer, maybe now’s the time to learn production and mastering skills that make home recordings sound that extra special.

If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘bedroom producer’ then what better a time to practice production than when you are confined to your house! If you can’t get to the studio, then bring the studio to you. Starting with the basics is always a good idea if it’s your first time recording from home.

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How singers can be productive from home

#4 Engage your fanbase

More than ever, people’s eyes are on social media. With online platforms being people’s main source of communication when stuck at home, it would be a good idea to put a lot of energy into building up a strong following on all socials.

#5 Improve your instrument

Now that you have time to spare, it would be a great idea to focus on improving your instrument and honing in on any elements that need extra practice.

If you’re a singer with regular singing lessons, you may be worried about how to carry on strengthening your voice whilst lessons are cancelled. You can look online for singing teachers offering virtual lessons. It’s good to support your local and independent teachers, community Facebook pages are a great place to reach out and ask for recommendations.

#6 Make contacts and support other artists

All emerging artists are in the same position, feeling as though your career is being put on hold during this hard time, adds another layer of anxiety. So, it’s really important to support one another even more than usual.

Focusing on community projects can not only brighten your spirits, but also open up your contact book to loads of musicians following a similar path to you. Online choirs are being set up to unite voices across the country. Signing up for this sort of project could introduce you to possible artists for future collaborations.

#7 Write more music

Finally, without your typical day to day distractions, now’s the time to really tune into your creativity.

Original music is the key to success, so why not take this opportunity to write as many new songs as you can. Put some lyrics to that catchy melody, write a verse to go with that chorus.

Remember, it’s okay to not fall in love with your first original song, sometimes you have to write a hundred verses before the perfect one comes to you. It’s all about trial and error, so don’t be too hung up on a leading line if it doesn’t fit with the rest of your song.