Fun story: in the “teenaged rebellion” chapter of my life, I was a country singer-songwriter. Raised away from mainstream North American culture, on classical singers and city-slicker etiquette, I had an affinity for the genre ever since my first trip to a knock-off CD shop – paying the equivalent of CAD $2.00 for a pirated disc hoping for the best based off the pretty blonde girl on the album cover (the power of branding, I’m telling you).
As I’m sure many of you know, one of the lyrical staples of country music is the glorification of that American Small Town™. However, despite being romanticized to the point of cliché, very few musicians give them a chance when plotting out their tour dates. This article makes a case for small town gigs, and why they should be given equal consideration to city venues.
No Musical Competition That Night
The biggest issue when living in a city full of musicians? They play gigs too. As a result, music fans can get overwhelmed and exhausted with the multiple options for shows on any given night of the week. If you book a small town show carefully, you won’t be dividing your crowd between two events, and can even bring a local band in as an opener.
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Not Much Competition In General
On top of concerts every night of the week, cities are a place of potential new experiences every night: from sports games, to parties, to simply having a countless choice of restaurants. It can be hard to convince lukewarm music fans to choose you. In smaller communities, however, you can be the talk to the town if you put on a fun, interactive show.
An Attentive Audience
Last but not least, this is your chance to interact with the crowd. Buy people drinks. Talk to everyone after your set and during breaks. Personally introduce yourself and thank them for coming. Make friends, not simply fans. An 80-cap pub is a pub, no matter if it’s in the big city or a small town. One just might be overlooked. I hope you saw some fair points in my case for small town gigs.