Home > Uncategorized > Florida Music Festival : Great Line Up – Horrible Promotion

Florida Music Festival : Great Line Up – Horrible Promotion

ATTN Central Florida Bands: You’re Slackin’.

There are so many great bands on the bill this year. It’s pretty awesome. FMF has been improving every year, and again manages to bring you the best bands you’ve never heard of… unless you’ve really been trying.

For the bands involved in this three-day blowout, this is a great opportunity to a) Introduce yourself to the 4,000 or so Central Floridians who actually care about what you’re doing and 2) network with some moderately important industry types.

Here’s my concern: I’m not sure you’re taking this seriously.

I monitor all the major social networking sites pretty heavily. I’m one of the few who still believes MySpace is worth looking at occasionally. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress… I’m up to date on all of these. I’m hooked on the constant stream. And what I’ve noticed is, I’ve seen way more posts from people who are excited about FMF, than I’ve seen from the bands who are playing.

Two years ago, when all of you were still tied heavily into your MySpace pages, the feed was NON-STOP… Come see us HERE at THIS TIME or don’t bother to call yourself a fan. This year, everyone’s moved to Facebook because it’s so much easier to maintain. So, you set up an Event, “Monkey Brains w/Sweat Lodge, Camel Toe, and Mojo Filter @ 57West Thursday, April 7th 10:30 SHARP!!!” and wait for the invite RSVPs to roll in.

You make plans to load up 4 hours before load in, roll downtown, get set up, and play a show. You’ll load up as soon as the line at the merch booth disappears, walk down to the Social to see half a set from your friend’s band, and head home.

“Awesome! There were 200 people there! Plus, we sold like 3 shirts and 10 CDs! We can pay our rehearsal space rent with that!”

Cool… and you got like 15 new Facebook Likes. Awesome. You unmotivated, clueless sack of ramen noodles…

I could rant about how your brain is too full of tubes and Pantera riffs to understand the big picture, but instead, I’ll offer some positivity, in the form of suggestions on how to maximize your gains from this annual opportunity.


  1. Plan to be all over the place, all day, every day.  Make up some super cheap, business card sized fliers, with your band’s name and the time and place where you’re playing.  Split the band up, and have different members covering different venues.  Remember, one ticket gets you into all venues all weekend.  Go to every show you can, who cares what genre.  Someone into Tom Petty might also like Tool, and therefore your band.  Talk to everyone who seems interested, tell them honestly that you’d appreciate them checking you out.  A 2 minute personal connection with someone who’s randomly show hopping could win you a hardcore fan.
  2. Break into the groups hanging out at the back of the venue.  I don’t want to pretend like all of the most important people in music converge on Orlando during this magical weekend, but there are plenty of moderately important contacts that your band can get in good with.  The thing is, these people are surrounded with leaches who know how important they are and want to entertain them with their wits and humor.  Back off, sucker fish, I have a band to promote.  Scope it out, figure out who The Dude is, and introduce yourself.  The Dude, while buried under a pile of Jager shots, will be impressed at your motivation and might find a way to stumble to your venue, check you out, and supply you with free guitar picks for life.  That doesn’t suck.
  3. The Dude may also be The Chick.  There are a ton of connected and influential people in the Orlando music scene who rock the XX.  Club owners, photogs, promoters, managers, label reps, Radio DJs, and so on.  Most of them are pretty cute.  Suck it up, boys… I know chicks who AREN”T hot for your stage persona are harder to talk to, but you can do it.
  4. Befriend the other bands.  ALL of the other bands.  There was a band last year who had a really cool promotional idea.  I’ll skip the specifics, but they covered the downtown area with a mysterious logo with only a time and a venue.  It was a great idea!  They then proceeded to pull all sorts of prima donna crap with the other bands on their lineup.  1 hour before their set, the Orlando Police showed up and ordered them to remove all of their ingenious promotional devices or they would prevent them from taking the stage.  I have to believe that this was Band Karma.  Look, we’re all in this together.  If you want to be by yourself, feel free to starve out there alone.
  5. Promote online.  Incessantly.  Obnoxiously.  Personally.  Regularly.  Shamelessly.  If Facebook hasn’t given you a yellow card for spamming, you’re not doing it right.  It’s free, it’s easy, and it reaches more of your fans than anything else.  But setting up an event and sending out invites isn’t gonna cut it.  I need a reminder from you EVERY FOUR HOURS for the ENTIRE WEEK leading up to your show.  If you want to learn how to set this up quickly and easily, please contact me personally.  Otherwise, assign different band members to log into your account in regular intervals and send out SOMETHING that reminds me that I MUST see your show.
  6. Take this seriously.  “The only people that come to this show are frat losers / hipsters / jocks / etc.”  Who cares?  Do you want to play a frat party?  Sure you do.  Or you should want to.  “There’s no one important here.”  Wrong.  You aren’t looking hard enough.  Go big, or go home.

Get on it.  Take this seriously.  If you’re on the bill, you’re obviously trying to maximize your fan base.  Take some of my suggestions and promote.  I’ve only got 4 bands on my agenda, and I need more.


Here’s who you need to see @ FMF:


The Well Reds

Easy Star All Stars

Gasoline Heart


Maybe If You Hit It

Star City Meltdown

John Frank

Crisis In Hollywood



Categories: Uncategorized
  1. t
    April 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Went to FMF for the past 2 days. Saw about 55 generic rock bands all playing the same songs. Total bust this year. Can’t say I’ll be going again next year, and can’t say I’ll be dragging any friends with me. I wanted to discover some cool bands! Sadly, I simply discovered the same band over and over. -Fans

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