If fans should be able to find detailed information about your upcoming shows anywhere, it should be on your own website. We feel it’s important enough to have a Calendar page (which you can also call “Tour” or “Events” or “Shows”) as part of your main menu. That way, no matter where a fan is on your site, with one click they can find your upcoming dates.
So when organizing your website, be sure to make that information easy to find. Some bands place a widget somewhere on their Homepage, but once a fan clicks away to another page on your site, the information becomes less easy for them to find again, if they even noticed it in the first place.
Other bands place a calendar widget in a sidebar that appears on every page. Although this is better than simply embedding a widget on the Homepage, it can cause clutter on other pages where that information isn’t relevant. Plus, you can do so much more with a dedicated Calendar page.
Here are 4 tips for setting up your Calendar page to make sure that fans, industry, and media have all the information they need:
1. Add Relevant Show Info
Of course it all starts with having the info that people need to know about your upcoming shows:
Date: Include the day, date, and year.
Time: Besides when the show starts, you can also add details for when the doors open, and when exactly you’re scheduled to go on.
Venue: The venue name, address, link to the venue’s website, and link to a map and/or directions to get there. You could also mention if there is parking at the venue.
Ticket Info: How much is the show? Is it pay at the door? Can tickets be purchased in advance? If so, include a link to buy tickets.
Other Info you can include:
- Info about other bands with links to their websites
- Is the show All Ages?
2. Important Dates to Include
Besides your “regular” shows at music venues and bars, it’s important to include these other dates:
Private events: Although your fans can’t go, it shows people that you’re active and open to performing private functions, which can be good paying gigs.
House Concerts: Sometimes house concerts can be invite-only, but again, it’s important to show your activity, and lets people know you’re available for house concert gigs.
Conference showcases: Though not open to the public, when bookers visit your website, having conference showcases listed looks good. Also, for industry people at the conference, they’ll sometimes want to get details about your showcase, so it's a good idea to list it on your website.
College & University Gigs: Once again, it might be the case that these are not open to the general public, but it’s important to list them to show that you’re getting hired by colleges & universities. This could help lead to more college & university gigs, which tend to be well paid.
Fundraising Events: If you’re playing an event to raise money for a charity or an organization you support, list those shows as well. It shows that you’re active in your community and are willing to play benefit shows, which can make for feel-good stories in the media, and lead to increased exposure for your band.
Previous dates: Although not necessarily relevant for your fans, it can be a good idea to list your previous events to show bookers/festivals/media how active you are. This could be a full list of your previous events, or you could simply highlight some of your bigger shows.
Important note: If you don’t have any upcoming dates, don’t leave your calendar page blank. Let people know what you’re up to by adding a message saying that you’re currently booking shows, writing material for a new album, in studio, etc.
3. Spice up the Page: Add Visuals
Many websites that have a calendar page simply have a listing of upcoming dates, which definitely serves the purpose of the page, but you can make your live shows even more enticing by adding visuals.
The first thing you can do to make your calendar page more visually appealing is to include a show poster/image for each upcoming show. You can also add some of your best live photos to the page to give fans an idea of what the experience of seeing you live is like. Gal Holiday’s Shows page is a nice example of this: www.galholiday.com/shows
Even better than adding some live photos? Add your best live video to your Calendar page. Maybe a friend of one of your fans is checking out your page to get details on the show and decide if they’re going to attend. A great live video might help get that person to leave the comfort of their home to come check out your set.
More importantly, bookers will often visit the Calendar page of an artist’s website to see their activity and make a decision whether to book them or not. A good quality live video can say a lot to a booker about the level of performance you can offer and the experience you’ll give to the audience.
4. Add a Call-to-action
Last but not least, you should add a call-to-action to your calendar page. A call-to-action is meant to direct people to do something specific while on the page. For your calendar page, you could add a call-to-action encouraging people to contact you for booking information, and mention what type of gigs you’re available for (private events, fundraisers, house concerts, etc.), then provide a link directly to your Contact page.
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