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Case Study: The Quarantine Sessions

How Marina Albero
Uses Brown Paper Tickets
to Keep Music Alive

Who is Marina?

Marina Albero is a freelance jazz musician originally from Barcelona, now based in Seattle. She teaches music and performs in various local and national groups, including her own band. She now runs The Quarantine Sessions, a live streaming music experiment. Prior to starting The Quarantine Sessions, Marina used Brown Paper Tickets to sell admission to intimate house shows.

COVID-19, Gathering Bans, and Social Distancing

In early March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to escalate in Europe and then in Seattle, Marina watched as her upcoming shows were canceled and postponed one by one. March shows became July shows, and her immediate income dried up. Not only did these cancellations represent a loss of livelihood, but also a loss of community.  She knew that the longer this went on, the harder it would be for artists everywhere to bounce back.

The Quarantine Sessions

The Quarantine Sessions were born from what Marina calls a “survival instinct.” The premise was simple: bring live music experiences to quarantined viewers, while supporting local artists and their communities.

Marina’s first task was to find a venue. While she could live stream from her living room and had done so before, she wanted this experience to be special. She connected with a local studio, The House of Breaking Glass, who agreed to host the performance, allowing Marina to produce a show with top quality audio. “[You can host] a live stream in a house with technology that you have, versus a live online concert with a higher production value,” she says. “For me that is a beautiful difference.”

Her second task was to figure out how to host the event online. Marina wanted the show to be open to everyone, so she decided on a free Facebook live stream with pre-sales and a virtual “tip jar” through Brown Paper Tickets. It was important to her that the performance feel like a concert, not a fundraiser. Listing her event with Brown Paper Tickets provided her with a main landing page for the event that she could use to promote, generate sales, and preserve a familiar event experience for attendees.

I thought that Brown Paper Tickets was my best option. Anybody else who is doing a live stream has the same idea… you have your PayPal, you have your Venmo. But I like the idea of selling tickets to an actual concert.

Marina Albero

On the evening of the show, Marina and her band played an enthusiastic jazz set at the studio and streamed it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Live. Throughout the event, viewers were able to contribute to a virtual tip jar through the Brown Paper Tickets event page.

Marina Albero

The Results

The first Quarantine Session proved that if you make it, people will come. Fans watched, commented, and made contributions from homes across the world.

  • 1,600 viewers
  • 1,200 interactions
  • 135 contributors
  • 50% of contributions happened during the event

The Quarantine Sessions have grown into a weekly Sunday series showcasing local talent out of The House of Breaking Glass. Marina has also received mention in the New York Times.

Music >

15 Recommended Events in the UK in November

It’s November, that post-Halloween/pre-holiday season frenzy when there’s almost too much to do. Where to go? What to do? What to get your hard-to-buy-for aunt? Everything is kicking off, but how to sort it?

We decided to showcase unique events going on around the UK, the ones that might not spring to mind when considering the holiday run-up. You’ll find everything from classical music to a murmuration.


1.The Carrying Streams Festival
If you’re in Edinburgh and you love trad music and hearing new originals on the scene, this festival is a must. Various events throughout November, Edinburgh.

2. Moscow Drug Club
“Moscow Drug Club are a curious musical place where elements of Berlin Cabaret, Hot Club de France, French Musette and Storytelling meet.” November 9, Bradworthy.

3. Scots Fiddle Festival
It’s back with a stunning line up of performers and instructors. Of equal interest to fiddle players and those who simply want to listen. November 15-17, Edinburgh.

4. No. 1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra
How fantastic is the mere existence of a Ladies Accordion Orchestra? Catch them in Edinburgh, St. Vincent’s Chapel, November 9.

5. Georgie Fame
Jazz, rhythm and blues from a legend. “With his much loved blend of Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, Georgie Fame has consistently worked in the highest musical circles and has become an icon of the British music scene.” November 17, Glasgow.

6. Bournemouth Chamber Music: Season Ticket 2019-20
It’s the gift that keeps on giving into the spring for classical fans. Season passes for the Bournemouth Chamber Music’s last 5 concerts:

17 November 2019 – Katona Twins (guitar duo)
2 February 2020 – Frith Piano Quartet
8 March 2020 – Lara Melda (piano)
19 April 2020 – Emmanuel Bach (violin) & Jenny Stern (piano)
17 May 2020 – Solem String Quartet

7. Singing Workshop with Frankie Armstrong
Fancy making music yourself rather than simply listening? Look no further.

8. DD Day 2019
Fan of electronica? Make your own electric storm. Check out these workshops, “inspired by electronic pioneer Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001), the woman behind the Dr. Who theme.” Workshops for all ages and experience levels. November 23, Manchester.


9. Lewes New School Theatre
A series of theatrical performances, no two alike. It’s a lot fit into one month and everyone should be able to find something that they like. Various dates throughout November, Lewes.

10. The LAUGHeasy – a night of comedy inspired by the early 1900s
Try something new, including an improvised murder mystery. November 14, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

11. Untamed Burlesque
The name says it all really. November 9, Plymouth.

12. Murmuration
Be a flock of starlings in murmuration on the grounds of Torre Abbey. “For half an hour you will move alongside a large group of people following gentle prompts, inspiration and instruction through your silent disco headset.” November 9t, Torquay

13. St Andrew’s Day Tea Dance with The Swing Sensation Big Tea Set
Swing, tea, and something stronger if you fancy bringing it along. November 30, Kircaldy.

14. Made In Scotland – Festive Party Night
Scottish food, Scottish entertainment. November 30, Symington.

15. 40 Years of Wine, with Alan Nordberg
“In this special evening of tasting – and more than a touch of reminiscence – Alan will guide you through a range of delicious tastes, specially chosen from his encyclopedic knowledge of the last four decades of the wine business.” November 21s, Bath

So many incredible things to do. If you didn’t find your ideal event or gift on this list, explore Brown Paper Tickets.

Arts >

Glasgow in August: 10 Must-Attend Events

The Fringe Festival is about to unleash its unique brand of creative madness on Scotland’s capital. It has grown into such a phenomenon with so many people and so many events. The Fringe catalogue is big enough to make a deadly weapon (or at least a highly effective doorstop).

But this year, let’s take a look at our neighbour to the west.

Glasgow, just a 45-minute train ride from Edinburgh, has a vibrant arts scene and is an especially fine place for live music. If you want a respite from the pedestrian traffic of mid-August Edinburgh, or simply want to explore more of what Glasgow has to offer, start with events on Brown Paper Tickets.

Glasgow Food and Drink

1. Mono Beer Festival, August 11

Mono is a great venue-restaurant at King’s Court. They have an in-house independent record store called Monorail Music, and, if you thought it couldn’t get more awesome, they’re a vegan café and bar who have developed a grand reputation since opening in 2002.

For the Mono Beer Festival, they are teaming up with Williams Brothers brewing to bring, as they’ve put it:

“A full day of the best and freshest beers on offer, curated by the pros behind the scenes at Williams. With the best beer garden in the city, a dedicated food menu and outdoor BBQ and a full entertainment line up with Mono’s historically awesome flair, this will be one of the best ways to use a beautiful August weekend.”

Full details to be announced. It’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Music and Dance Events

2. Shoot Your Shot

Shoot Your Shot celebrates its 5th birthday August 3rd at The Poetry Club, 100 Eastvale Place. They are delighted to feature DJ CORMAC. As this is a club, it has a minimum age of 18. You’ll want to be prepared to have a good time and dance the night away. For a sample of the vibe, visit Shoot Your Shot’s soundcloud page.

3. Spinning Coin, Snout, Tarantula, Stuart McIntosh DJ

Not into clubbing? No worries! An alternative choice for August 3rd, there’s this excellent wee gig at The Old Hai. Starting at 20:00, this line-up is delightfully diverse in sound. From the samples online, Spinning Coin reminded us of The Smiths and Snout has wonderful harmonies and a unique ‘glam-tinged folk’ sound. Tarantula is a surprising whirlpool of riffing electric sounds, and of course there’s Stuart McIntosh DJ to end the night.

Listen to samples of the music and get more details.

4. The Other Favorites & Reina del Cid at Stereo

Dipping even more into the folk and bluegrass scene, if you have a hankering for Americana, this gig is for you. August 22nd at 20:00 at Stereo, another fine vegan café and bar (and their building was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh). Read up on them here.

The Other Favorites are a duo made of Carson McKee and Josh Turner. The gained fame on YouTube and are known for their tight harmonies and string playing. You can see all their videos here on Josh Turner’s YouTube channel.

Joining will be Reina del Cid – “a singer songwriter and leader of the eponymous folk rock band based in Minnesota.” Also YouTube famous, you can find all her videos here. For this show, she is on tour with Toni Lindgren and they’ll present an acoustic set which they’re taking across the US and Europe.

5. Sgt Dougies Lonely Hearts Club Band

We don’t have much information (the name is intriguing enough), but if you know the band or want to try something new, why not give it a go?

6. Slomatis + Headling Kross + Dead Otters

Frustrated by current politics? Tired of the news? Experience catharsis with some heavy metal music. There’s always something happening at Nice N Sleazy and August 3rd is going to be one loud evening of fun. If you’ve not been to Nice N Sleazy before it’s a staple of the Glasgow social scene, a venue/restaurant/bar and a good friend to the indie and live music. Check them out here and follow the event link above for details and Bandcamp info.

Not so into loud music? If you’re looking for calmer activities, we may have just the thing.

Miscellaneous Events in Glasgow

7. Beyond Debating – An Introduction to Sociocracy

Want to learn about Sociocracy? Here is the definition on Wikipedia: “Sociocracy, also known as dynamic governance, is a system of governance which seeks to achieve solutions that create harmonious social environments as well as productive organizations and businesses. It is distinguished by the use of consent rather than majority voting in decision-making, and decision-making after discussion by people who know each other.”

This intriguing event will set you on a path towards expertise where Sociocracy is concerned. It takes place August 3rd starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Clyde Community Hall. Please note, this is a Gift Share Event but there is an attending deposit.

8. Simply Clear Decluttering Workshop

For the ultimate in a relaxing and rewarding experience, consider this decluttering workshop with Dr. Zem Moffat. End your summer and begin your fall with a freshly organized space, whether it’s your home, office, or garage. It takes place Aug 31, 2019 at the Queens Park and Govanhill Parish Church. You can find more information on the process and testimonials on Dr. Zem’s website.

Honourable Mentions . . .

There are two magic shows going on in Glasgow; they’re both sold out, but we couldn’t leave them out.

9. Bill Reid “Watch Closely” at The Bungo

10. Nothing To See

Mr. Davidson is entirely sold out for all his shows. We’re sad for those missing out, but good for you, Mr. Davidson.

There are still tickets left for Billy Reid’s shows from September onwards, just in case you fancy some close-up magic and “the most beautiful card trick in the world.”

These August events are just a smattering of what Glasgow has to offer. Don’t take our word for it though, take a day and see for yourself.

Arts >

5 Secrets for Designing Eye-Catching Event Posters

event-poster-designYou’ve secured a venue, entertainment and a schedule for your event. Now it’s time to start promoting. With a beautifully designed poster, you can build organic buzz around your event and watch it spread like wildfire.

Follow these 5 tips to create a powerful, effective event poster.

Event Poster Design Basics

1. Select tools and a style that suits the feeling of your event.

Use what you’ve got. Hand-drawn, painted, or cut-and-pasted collage posters are still relevant and can be quite successful, but if you feel comfortable in a graphics or word-processing software, go for it. Whatever your skill set, decide what style and effect you’re going for and back it up with your medium or application. Feeling lost? Do a Pinterest search for the particular type of poster you need to make and soak in the inspiration.

2. Choose engaging imagery and give it a great home.

Less is more, but there is a big difference between simple and plain. Choose central imagery that is clear but has enough detail to be interesting. A beautifully composed photograph of a performer can be effective, but so can a seemingly unrelated illustration. Many well-done show posters use visual metaphors to illustrate something about the experience of the performance in a somewhat off-handed manner. If you are borrowing imagery, make sure that you use high-quality images that are not pixelated, stretched, or distorted. Also make sure they are licensed for commercial use. Whatever approach you take, create a clear focal point with the imagery through placement. Try placing the image off center, using the rule of thirds. Also, when grouping multiple graphic objects present them in odd numbers so that they feel organic (I.e, 1, 3, 5, etc.).

3. Use fonts that connect to the imagery and keep it clean.

Fonts can make or break a great poster. Be unique but not over the top. You don’t have to use all of the fancy free fonts you’ve been collecting. Look to continue the shapes, patterns and textures of your imagery through the design of the letters you use. To be on the safe side, limit the use of various fonts to two or three, and don’t use them at more than four different sizes. Use more stylized fonts for titles and headings, at a larger size for easy readability from a distance. For body text, use a simple clean font that is easy to read at a small size. Pay careful attention to alignment and be consistent. Don’t casually jump back and forth between center, left and right alignment. Limit the use of all caps to headings, and be consistent with capitalization. The difference between the design of a professional and an amateur is often most evident through the treatment of text.

4. Be intentional when selecting colors.

Not sure what colors to use? Take hints from the colors of the imagery you’ve selected! If you’re using a photograph, use tones from the actual photo (you can utilize the eyedropper tool if you’re using graphics software). Choose contrasting colors. Neutrals are easy on the eyes for small type. High-impact colors like red, orange or yellow, can draw attention to sparingly-selected important details. Remember to continue to connect with the characteristics of your other elements with the selection of color – how does it make you feel? Does it make flow with the textures, forms, and lines of your imagery and fonts? This level of intention will help result in a cohesive end-product.

5. Balance your components.

You’ve picked strong imagery, exciting but readable fonts, and a beautiful color palette. Play with the elements until you’ve achieved good flow and balance. The eye should move easily from the engaging imagery to easy-to-read text. When arranged properly all elements should come together to create a single unified visual experience. Step back and take a look at the design at its actual size. If you are perceiving disconnected objects, rearrange them until the composition feels harmonious and cohesive.

Now that you have an awesome poster, create an event


Event Tips >

Q&A with AGNI, a Co-Creative, Transformational Yoga Festival

yoga festival poster

From June 2nd to 5th, AGNI Festival will take place on the outskirts of Barcelona. The festival comprises four days and three nights of yoga practices, shamanic ceremonies, ecstatic dance, meditations, healing arts and a range of workshops. It will include an open space for anyone who wants to offer a class, workshop, talk or ceremony.

The Agni Festival is inspired by co-creative transformational festivals around the world, based on creativity and innovation to celebrate life together with a good vibe.

It is organized by NowHere Yoga, a project inspired by the teachings of yoga now coming into a new era of global awareness. We spoke to NowHere Yoga to find out more about this incredible festival.

Q: When did NowHere Yoga start?

A: NowHere Yoga was born in the Monegros desert in 2014 at a festival called Nowhere, the European Regional Burning Man event. Inspired by the participatory, radically inclusive, creatively liberating environment there, we envisioned a yoga project that could bring together our backgrounds in the performing and fine arts with music, yoga, an inclusive and conscious community, and our dedication to presenting powerfully transformative movement and meditation practices in an accessible way.

Based in Barcelona, we started running yoga retreats and events in this area, eventually also branching out to teaching and running retreats internationally. This culminated in our biggest project to date, last year’s inaugural Agni Festival!

Q: What’s the Agni Festival?

A: “Agni” is a Sanskrit word meaning “fire,” not only physical flame but the way we experience fire as a symbol of the power of transformation in the Universe. At Agni Festival we have potent shamanic ceremonies involving fire such as “temazcals” (sweat lodge ceremonies), alongside the nourishing practices of yoga, a range of healers and bodyworkers offering workshops and private sessions, fire dance and performances, live music and DJs, sound healing, talks on everything from Ayurveda and permaculture to making your own soaps and cosmetics, and activities for kids.

So there’s a huge range of experiences to engage with. We understand that everyone has different needs to support their own personal development, and by focusing our attentions collectively in the ways we are doing at Agni we can co-create inspiring and transformative experiences for everyone who comes, no matter age or background.

The feedback we’ve had from people who participated last year has been so amazing to hear – people having breakthroughs in their lives, letting go of old traumas, having wonderful healing treatments, starting new creative projects with people they met there. And if you’ve seen the video of last year, you’ll know we had some great parties too.

An important part of what makes this possible is our focus on collaboration and co-creativity. Inspired by Burning Man, Nowhere and other transformational events which are currently blossoming all over the world, we’ve seen the power of a community of people who share their art, wisdom, work and play together. There’s an amazing creative synergy that emerges out of that space, that can’t be found in a cultural model that is solely focused on the “consumption” of an experience – in the way that we’ve just become very used to in the modern world (and we see everywhere in cinema, concerts, music festivals, etc). There are other ways to come together and more consciously co-create our festival experiences, and we are happy to be able to explore that with the growth of Agni itself.

Q: Why should people attend the Agni Festival?

A: There’s so much on offer at Agni, whether you’re into the yoga or the DJs, whether you’re a kid or an elder, whether you want to camp or prefer the comfort of a room in the house. Last year we felt a wonderful shared sense of beauty, and we know if it calls you at all, there’s something here.

Without being a “Burning Man event” adhering to the 10 Principles these festivals espouse, we feel very inspired by the burn culture and feel that Agni also has a taste of that same flame that burns brightly people learning how to celebrate creatively as a community.

Agni is a celebration of life, of healing, of the power of loving presence. We see the power of conscious community and the growing movements of transformative festivals around the world. We’d love you to come and find your fire too.

Q: Future events from Nowhere Yoga?

A: We are regularly running yoga retreats and events in, around and beyond Barcelona. We then have an intensive in Masía Soronells, a Buddhist retreat centre in Montseny National Park, 28th April-1st May.

After Agni we will be involved in a big Sant Joan celebration (23rd June) fundraising party, for our camp Here & Now that we take to the Monegros in July for the Nowhere festival. At Nowhere we run classes, workshops, talks, and parties, which we’ve used to inspire and develop other projects outside the festival.

We have some international guest teachers coming to Barcelona in April (Simon John Rowe, Prana Vinyasa Yoga) and July (Simon Borg-Olivier, Yoga Synergy), including hosting Simon Borg-Olivier on an immersion yoga retreat for the first time in Spain.

We always keep our future events and activities up on our website. We also send out monthly newsletters.

AGNI will be shining again this year to bring more consciousness to the world. Get tickets here. Or find more info.

Versión en español.

Arts >

Q&A with Michel Bénac, Singer of LGS

LGS_MichelBenac_Music Franco-Ontarian artist Michel Bénac, singer, musician and entrepreneur has prevailed in the music industry for the past two decades. His career is starting to take off to new exciting heights. Recently, his music brought him across the Atlantic to the land of his French cousins. We were lucky enough to catch up with him during his “Tour de France” and find out more about what he’s up to.

Tell us a little bit about your group, LGS and your career…

M.B.: Eighteen years ago, we launched our first album “La Chanson Sacrée.” It was an exploratory album, where we mixed traditional Canadian folk music with American pop. I am Franco-Ontarian and when I first started singing, I did not even think about singing in French. The only option seemed to be to sing in English. My career stalled real quick: media and disc companies claimed that my style was fake. But my culture was not anglophone. So I stopped for a couple years but still had the craving. I thought,“Okay, I am not American. I am Franco-Ontarian.” One of my grandfather played the accordion, the other played the fiddle. I had deep traditional roots. So in 1999, I decided to combine traditional folk music with American pop. It was totally avant-garde at the time. The album had the effect of a bomb. We launched it in April 1999. We had three shows that year. The year after we had about 10-15 shows and in 2001, we had 165 shows.

One or two concerts you will never forget…

M.B.: I played during the closing ceremonies of the PanAm Games in Toronto in 2015. It was totally insane. I got married on July 15 and I had promised my wife to not take any shows during our honeymoon. We get married and leave for San Francisco on a Friday. On Monday morning, I get an email from someone from the organizing committee saying: “The closing ceremonies happen in 6 days and we are looking for a francophone group to come perform. We’d love for you to be with us.” I had promised my wife not to take any shows during that week. I am always on tour, never home on weekends or on holidays. I thought, “I cannot do this to her.” And so I tell her, “This is what I just said no to.”

She answered, “Are you crazy? Let’s go to Toronto!” We got there the following Friday. Sound check on Saturday afternoon and on Saturday night, I was playing on stage in front of 50,000 people at the Rogers Centre and 44 million on TV. I’ll never forget that night. It was magical. We opened for Pitbull and Kanye West. Unheard of for a Francophone-Canadian group.

Another memorable show for me was in November, 2000. We were doing our first showcase at the Francofête en Acadie, in a small bar in Moncton. About 30 people attended the showcase and we gave it all that we could (which is why we got booked for 165 shows the year after). After the show, I got to the bar and a bearded man came to me to buy me a beer and told me, “I love what you do.” I answered, “Thanks, my name is Michel” and he said, “My name is Cayouche.”

Cayouche is a Acadian legend! It was a great honor.

Any advice for young artists?

M.B.: Be patient. You cannot make a career if you don’t work on improving your lyrics and your melodies. Be original. Don’t be scared to be yourself. Most artists did like me at the beginning: you start imitating the artists you love and you forget everything about your own integrity. We hide behind our idols. Be honest. Be who you are. Accept it and give it back to your public. After that, it’s about 80% business and 20% talent! Work, and work, and work and you will be successful.

You have also started your own production company…

M.B.: Over the years, I noticed that many talented Franco-Ontarian artists I respected disappeared from the market and the stage and I wondered why. That’s why I decided one day to produce Franco-Ontarian artists. We are still at the embryo stage in French Ontario. All the francophone disc companies are located in Montreal, Quebec. If you are not from Quebec, it is very difficult to get a contract with these people, unless you already work abroad and are coming to Montreal. But I am proud of my Franco-Ontarian heritage, of our differences and nuances. I want to participate in the genesis of the Franco-Ontarian industry. My production company La Fab currently has 2 artists: LGS and Gabrielle Goulet, a country, indie pop artist who has just released their second album. I am currently looking for a third artist.

Do you have to self-produce as an independent artist?

M.B: All the time. Even in French Ontario. It is a new experience for us: we have to rent a venue and sell our own tickets (and working with Brown Paper Tickets on that has been fantastic). It is a lot of work on top of working on your art, lyrics, music, and driving! We have to make sure that the media will talk about us, that the tickets have been sold, that the promotion has been made. But the potential for success is a lot more profitable for my company and my band. I have learned a lot from the dozen shows I have produced and I know I will have to do it again. Hopefully I can start delegating the admin part at some point because my main goal is to remain a singer.

Image © Caroline Planque

Music >

Street Team Marketing: Here to Stay or Fading Away?

StreetTeam-PostersGrowing up in independent music, I heard the word “street team” thrown around quite a bit. Fans signed up for a band or label’s street team and got a package of stickers, buttons, maybe some t-shirts and posters and informed friends and others about said musical entity. Street team members got into shows or VIP events for free and were continually sent free merchandise, and all they had to do is tell people about records and upcoming shows.

With the social media era however, street teams have mostly faded out … or so I thought.

My friend (we’ll call her Jane) recently brought street teams back to my attention. She was a part of the street team for What the Festival (WTF) earlier this year.

This intrigued me, as I haven’t thought about street teams for awhile. So I talked to a few people to try and find out whether or not street teams are relevant in 2016. Are festivals still using street teams? What about indie bands and labels?

A quick search revealed that Summer Camp Festival, Summer Set Festival, The Untz Festival and Bonnaroo (among others) have active street teams. Extending to the punk scene, Gainesville’s The Fest has a street team.

Colleges, businesses, trade shows and nonprofits also utilize street teams, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on the music industry.

The Details
I thought that, since I already had the EDM-insider from Jane, I would reach out to Sarasvati from The Fest and see how they use street teams. After all, I’ve always wanted to go, so if there was some sort of free ride in, I wanted to know about it.

“We send posters and postcards for street teamers to put up around their area. That’s the only job we ask them to do,” replied Sarasvati upon me asking her what a street team member did. “There is no compensation.” I asked how many members their team had and where they were located. Sarasvati’s answer surprised me. “We don’t actively look for members … we had less than 10 people email us asking to participate this year. They were from all over the country.” Hmm… is this a sign that street teams are dying out?

I compared that to what Jane told me about WTF. “Basically, [I promoted WTF] through social media, and I did posters last year too,” she explained. “I had a ticket link and when people used my ticket link, I got points toward a free ticket and prizes. Some of the social media posts also got you points toward your ticket.”

WTF seemed to have a more effective street team and intriguing incentives. I asked Jane if the people who bought tickets from her would have bought them regardless. To my surprise, she said yes. “All of my friends went, so it was just convenient that I had the ticket link to get points. It’s more about who you know, and we happened to have a big group of us going to WTF, so they just helped me out by using my link.”

The Verdict
It seems that with large, well-known festivals, traditional street teams may be unnecessary, as people who attend those festivals would do so regardless. That said, street teams work well if the end goal is to get a crowd energized and build excitement, not necessarily to sell tickets. For example, Daft Punk did a creative online and traditional street team campaign to promote an album launch.

Get Street Team writes, “The key to street team marketing success, whether executed online, offline or both is recruiting fans who are truly passionate about your brand.”

Other Options

Email lists
Subscription lists are not spam … or at least, they don’t have to be if done correctly. Essentially, if you can get people to sign up for your email list, you can let them know about your next event. If they care about your brand, they’ll probably be interested in what you’re doing, and if they’ve signed up for your list, you have their permission to tell them about it.

Booth Marketing
Consider booth marketing at a festival within the same genre to spread the word. Avoid the same season as your event, so that you’re not in competition. Give out cool swag and ask attendees to sign up for your mailing list or follow you on social media. Personally connecting with potential attendees and answering questions on the spot can extend your reach and help gain new fans.

Keep in mind that my opinions come from an outsider’s perspective. How do you use your street team? How effective is it? Comment below or let me know your thoughts on Twitter @Robolitious.

Event Tips >

How to Build Brand Trust with Your Event Lineup


Love all different kinds of music? That’s great and all, but if you’re a festival organizer just starting out, you might want to refrain from including a diverse array of music in your lineup.

Here’s why.

Many nascent festival organizers think booking a wide variety of genres in their lineup will pull in an eclectic crowd and possibly sell more tickets. That’s a common mistake. Audiences want to know what to expect and be surrounded by folks with similar tastes.

Careful curation of acts keeps your brand consistent.

This isn’t to say that an event with a varied selection of acts can’t be successful, but generally, those festivals and events have already established themselves as a reliable brand. An event like Bonnaroo can get away with a range and feature hip-hop, indie rock and metal acts, but they’ve spent years building their brand. When they were starting out, their curation was dialed into jam bands and folk rock.

Pickathon in Happy Valley, Oregon is a strong example of a carefully curated event that established a reliable brand before branching out. Founded in the late 90s, Pickathon started as a party in the woods for like-minded music lovers.

While Pickathon was fairly laid-back in its early years, careful consideration was given to the acts that played the festival. Generally, they were acoustic, folk-inspired bands with “alternative” leanings—a genre that didn’t have many exposure outlets at the time.

Attract a Devoted Audience

By choosing gifted acts within a specific genre, they attracted a devoted audience that stayed faithful to the festival. Fans began to trust that the event organizers would deliver a quality lineup every year.

As the years progressed, this trust allowed Pickathon to become more adventurous with their booking while still drawing crowds. Once their identity was established, they didn’t have to rely as much on the bands or a specific genre to pull people; the people came because they trusted the festival to deliver quality acts year after year.

Now the festival features many bands that fall outside of the “acoustic” genre though it is still based heavily on acoustic-based acts. Audiences are turned on to incredible up-and-coming artists year after year. In fact, organizers estimate that 80 to 90 percent of Pickathon’s lineup consists of bands the audience is unfamiliar with.

It’s a testament to the quality of the lineup selection that audiences trust them to deliver their next new favorite band.

Find Your Identity  

BPT_Music_Festival _Graphic-01Careful, considered curation allows event organizers to dial-in their branding and discover their audience. While it may be tempting to be wildly diverse right out of the gate, your event will take longer to find an identity.

If you lack identity, it is hard for fans to identify your brand.

Be consistent in the beginning. Build trust. Once they trust your brand, expand your roster. Include acts that may fall outside your focal genre. Just make sure there’s something that will appeal to the audience you have built. They trust you to deliver, so don’t let them down.

Building that trust should be your number one goal as an event organizer. Once you have that, the sky is the limit.

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3 Best Washington State Music Festivals for 2014

9407113070_468b48cc6dI’m sure you all have noticed music festival announcements happening left and right in the past month, signs that music festival season has indeed arrived once again. Here in the Pacific Northwest, after being shrouded in clouds all winter, we like to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Throw in a ton of incredible local and national acts and it’s a no-brainer. The only problem is, we have so many great festivals to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones to choose.

Don’t fret. Today, we’re featuring our 3 picks for Washington’s 2014 music festival season. The Fisherman’s Village Music Festival in Everett, located just a half hour north of Seattle, is celebrating its inaugural year this weekend. Timber! Fest is celebrating its second year in the idyllic setting of Carnation and features some great national names alongside local talent. And, finally, Chinook Fest, located in beautiful Naches, Washington, in the heart of Central Washington’s agricultural lands, has an amazing lineup for lovers of roots-rock and Americana music.

Fisherman’s Village Festival

The good folks at the Everett Music Initiative have an incredible lineup in store for music lovers this coming weekend, Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17 in Everett. 60+ bands will perform on four stages in Everett’s beautiful downtown district. All venues are within walking distance from each other, including the historic Everett Theatre, the oldest running theater west of the Mississippi.

Northwest favorites The Moondoggies and singer Mary Lambert hail from Everett and this festival is all part of an effort to raise Everett’s profile as a bastion of local talent.

Festival organizer Steven Graham says, “After two years of putting on shows in downtown Everett as the Everett Music Initiative, Ryan Crowther and I decided it was time to launch our own festival. This is all in an effort to bring more quality music to Everett and make it a better place to live, work and play. Events like this festival help shine a light on some of the great talent we have up here in our city.”

The Moondoggies will be performing one of their only shows this year at the festival alongside Rose Windows, La Luz, The Grizzled Mighty, The Maldives, Fly Moon Royalty, Hobosexual and more. Be sure to pick up your tickets in advance as they’re going fast!

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Artist Ticket Picks: El Radio Fantastique, Burlesque in Black & White, Derby and more Derby

347963-250Welcome to this week’s Artist Ticket Picks. The Artist Ticket program gives our customers a way to donate to causes that we care about.

If you’re an event producer, you can allow your ticket buyers to purchase limited-edition tickets printed with original artwork in your event settings. The ticket buyer will pay a small, additional charge of $0.25 and receive a limited edition, collectible ticket imprinted with original artwork. The current charity of our choosing will receive 100% of the additional charge. Physical tickets must be enabled on the event.

If you’re a ticket buyer, check to see if the limited edition ticket is available at the beginning of the ticket check-out process or by visiting the Artist Ticket page. You receive a small piece of collectible art and support a valuable cause just by checking the box in the Artist Ticket widget when you’re purchasing your tickets.

Saturday, April 5 I El Radio FantastiqueSeattle, Washington

Led by its creator, the charismatic singer, songwriter, dumpster diver and one-time gravedigger Giovanni DiMorente, EL Radio Fantastique is a collection of talented and electrifying musician-performers from the small farming community of Point Reyes Station, California.

The overarching musical influences for the group derive from DiMorente’s coveted record collection scavenged from abandoned tenements in New Orleans and a lifetime of dumpsters. EL Radio Fantastique comprises a unique menagerie of sights, sounds and musical styles. Indeed, the vibration emitted from this group defies all genres as much as an archaic knob would turn on an antique radio. EL Radio Fantastique is known to put on bewitching and alluring shows with steamy theatricality. Consistent with DiMorente”s folklore, witnesses have remarked that the band’s players appear to be charmed and somewhat possessed, inspiring a visceral and enchanted concert experience.

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