Facebook Promotion for Bands

Aside from texting your friends an hour before your show, Facebook is the absolute cheapest way to advertise your band. You can easily get more people to shows for as little as $5 if you know what you are doing.

In this ultra-affordable class you’ll learn:

  • the top reasons to use Facebook for promotion
  • the difference between “boosting” and “back-end ads”
  • the right budget for each type of ad and concert
  • how to target (or not) your ads
  • when to promote your show and when and how long to run your ad

We will start at the very beginning, and discuss what types of ads are more effective for shows vs. albums.
BONUS: The first 3 people to sign up will also get custom ads drafted for them.

Just $5, only 12 seats available. Pizza included. Tickets here.

Thursday, May 25th 5:30-7:30 pm

Cohere Offices

418 South Howes

Timo Massa is the Marketing Director of the Mishawaka Amphitheater and formerly the Aggie and Hodi’s Half Note. He has actively Marketed somewhere in the ballpark of 450 concerts, with marketing budgets ranging from $0-$250.

Cohere Bandwidth: It’s Official!

Cohere Bandwidth Lease
For some reason, this feels like the Snuffleupagus of blog posts (at least the old-school version, back when Snuffy was imaginary to everyone but Big Bird). But we swear, it’s REAL. It’s news that is so hugeand it’s been such a long time coming that it actually seems somehow anticlimactic now … but still. We’re writing because It’s Official. Cohere Bandwidth has a home! Truly. As evidenced by a SIGNED LEASE for the place where we will construct shared rehearsal space in Old Town Fort Collins. Holy. Cannoli. Amphiboly.

We have shouted this from the social media rooftops already, and have emailed the musicians who have reached out to be on the waiting list, and have told all our initial supporters from our Community Funded campaign. But we figured we’d make it Blog Official, too, just in case this is all news to you, our devoted readers.

Here’s the nitty gritty:

  • Cohere Bandwidth will be located in what was the warehouse portion of the recently closed Colorado Drum & Percussion store at 256 Linden St. (the corner of Linden and Jefferson)
  • our contractor is working on permitting, which is right now taking 4 – 6 weeks
  • we’re aiming for a demolition start date of 10/2
  • construction should begin 2 – 3 weeks later
  • we signed a 10-year lease — we are committed to being in the community for a very long time
  • we’re sharing a building with the Downtown Artery which makes us feel like this … in 2015 you can look forward to a building that houses artists, gallery space, musicians, rehearsal space, a crash pad/hostel for visiting artists and a new venue/cafe for ~100. We also plan to host events and classes to encourage musicians to meet up and talk shop. Squeeee!!
  • the plan is to have two hourly shared rooms with backlined equipment: PA + microphones, drum kit and throne (includes hi-hat and 1 crash), bass amp and guitar amp
  • we’re shopping for some other neat things while we wait for construction to get underway; you can email Angel or Shane if you have equipment advice, requests or curiosities. We want your feedback. And your input. << we can’t stop with the music and sound lingo, now that we’re “in the biz”
  • The moment we open, we anticipate we will be able to serve at least 42 bands. We need your help to help us spread the word to the musicians in our community! 

Pep Squad
So. Nearly two years later, away we go. And by “away”, we mean HOME. We are so very grateful to you for hanging in there with us. Our goal is to get this thing built and regularly occupied before anyone gets frostbitten during band practice.

In the meantime, please join us in enjoying the song we’ve been wanting to post every since we started this project. It’s finally, finally time!

 

 

 

 

Musician Field Report: A Case for Space

(Remember when we went on a field trip to visit Denver rehearsal spaces? Ian paid extra attention, clever musician that he is. We asked him to write this week’s post about his subsequent experience as a happy shared rehearsal space customer, and to fill us in on why a Fort Collins space is as important as ever for bands … and fans).

I have spent the past 10 years actively playing in the Colorado music scene with two different bands, Wire Faces and The Jimi Austin (RIP). Currently we are in our 10th rehearsal space, which daylights as a drum lesson room that sits directly below office space and an apartment. This equates to limited hours, no amplifiers, and no PA system; when we do rehearse, we plug our guitars and mics directly into an interface that allows us to listen via headphones. Although it works, it certainly does not provide one with the necessary experience needed to prepare for a big, loud show.

The rest of the time, we record in our drummer Shane’s bedroom… it’s very intimate, and he has a blanket with cats all over it and Cinderella pillows, which is nice but somewhat incongruent with a band known to play “wild rock”.

musiciansinbed

Each rehearsal space we have had over the years has ultimately resulted in us either being forced out or choosing to leave under some form of duress. We have never been disrespectful tenants, however generally people don’t want loud music next to their living space or place of business. We’ve practiced in living rooms, basements, storage facilities, and gone long periods of time without any place to play at all, which can get weird. Even if I tried, I could not estimate the number of shows we’ve had to play while forgoing a proper rehearsal, or any rehearsal for that matter. Thus creating a possible increase in pre-show anxiety and a much higher potential for missed notes, forgotten lyrics or chords, stick drops, and other unexpected musical blunders.

Subsequently, I have stumbled into seeing the true benefits of a shared space that charges an hourly rate (it only took me 10 years). Although it can be ideal to have a space in which all of your equipment is set up and ready to go the moment you walk in the room, we haven’t been able to find such a place in well over a year – before that we were usually on some sort of wait list or scouring Craigslist for options because whatever we had at the time was insufficient. But I digress. You get the point.

ampcramp

Fortunately, Wire Faces is currently utilizing RocketSpace Rehearsal Studios and Lesson Space, located in Denver. The space has proven to be extremely convenient, and I am not sure what we would have done without the ability to quickly book a few hours of rehearsal time in order to prepare for a big show. Our most recent experiences at RocketSpace saved collective our Wire Ass; without the availability of an hourly room, we would not have been able to rehearse before our trip to SXSW for the Colorado Music Party, or for our recent show for Red Bull Sound Select with The Joy Formidable and The Epilogues last Tuesday. Since we do not currently have access to facilities in Fort Collins that provide us with what is required for a genuine rehearsal, this has been a fantastic option. The downside: it’s not in Fort Collins.

RocketSpace provides a backline (drum kit, bass and guitar amps, a PA, microphones, and cables) and all we have to do is show up, plug in and play. Each room is retrofitted with professional acoustic sound baffling, adequate lighting, and ample electrical outlets and power strips. Did I mention it’s affordable, and they take credit/debit cards? Well it is, and they do. Funk, mariachi, metal, hip-hop, rock, even guitar and voice lessons are some of the diverse sounds emanating from each of the rehearsal rooms. During our last rehearsal at RocketSpace, a nice gentleman gave us his card and asked if we’d be interested in playing a show with his band because he liked what he heard from the hallway. These rooms not only provide a much-needed working space for musicians, but also cater to the inconsistent nature of a musician’s schedule, while fostering both networking and collaboration.

This is why we, via our support of Cohere Bandwidth, are so driven to create a shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins. Although there are already several locations in Denver somewhat consistent with RocketSpace, a counterpart does not exist in Fort Collins. These existing spaces have proven the business model, as well as the necessary demand; RocketSpace is actually in the process of planning an expansion. So although you may be growing weary of hearing what IS NOT (yet) available in Fort Collins, I’d like to remind you what IS possible. We are not giving up until a quality, affordable, secure, shared rehearsal space exists in the Fort Collins area. Our musicians deserve it, and so do their fans.

~Ian Haygood, field tripper, Cohere Bandwidth co-catalyst, Wire Faces guitarist

 

 

Love, Money (and the “we need some space” conversation)

Exactly one year ago today, I sent a text to a musician (a musicIAN, to be exact) to ask him about the logistics of band rehearsal space. Because, against all rhyme and reason, my business-minded friend Angel had a sense that solving  workspace problems for musicians might be not too very different from solving workspace problems for freelancers and other independent workers. One year later, the truth is: it is different, but not substantially so, because guess what? Musicians ARE freelancers and independent workers. In fact, the more Angel and I talk about it, the more connections we see between musicians and the more “traditional” mobile workforce. And we aren’t the only ones.

Daisy Girl Guitar

On this, our Valentine’s Day anniversary of the beginning of the search for shared rehearsal space, while the story continues to unfold (nutshell: we have found a quite plausible location, but as in any relationship worth embarking upon, there is now honest conversation, a dash of negotiation, and some compromise to be considered) the bottom line remains the same: sharing is good. And business is still business, but choosing to approach it from the heart AND the head is the only way I want to go about it. And, thank goodness, I’m still not the only one. It’s been a long road and we’re not quite there yet, but this much I know: I’m not stopping until our community norm is to equate musicians with business owners and treat them accordingly. <<Hell yes, I bolded that. Consider yourselves on notice. Happy Valentine’s Day.

“Work is love made visible.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Progress Rocks!

No, not prog rock — you read it right the first time. PROGRESS. In our search for a shared rehearsal space location that we can call home for Cohere Bandwidth, we’re making progress! In terms of pace and overall coordination, it still looks a little bit like this:
 … but we’re content to be “winning the race” by letting things unfold a little more organically, if not more quickly. Trust is still the key, and the musician comes first, so we want to get it right. It hasn’t exactly been rabbit-rapid.

However, in a nutshell/turtleshell: we believe we have found a location (!)

  • …that we may be able to lease — we’re working through those logistics right now
  • …that has heat, electricity, and even bathrooms with running water
  • …that we can make more secure with a minimum of fuss, relatively speaking
  • …that has neighbors (but neighbors that are likely more tolerant than most when it comes to bands practicing next door)

That said, we still have some hurdles to clear, the biggest one being our old frenemy: soundproofing (there are also a few horror stories about the space that involve sewer backups of a magnitude requiring hazmat suits, but somehow those pale in comparison to the sound barrier).

Other good news: we finally got a response from a firm specializing in architectural acoustical consulting! This is a miracle in and of itself because apparently a hot new small business technique is to not to return phone calls inquiring about estimates. There are times when we weep for the future of entrepreneurship. But: these folks got back to us quickly and professionally and politely.

The less-good news is: the acoustic architects tell us it will cost $2900 for a site visit and recommendation (see also: hyperventilation and panic). Yep, that’s the price for the sound experts to come see the space and tell us what to do with ONE ROOM. We could spend half the money we have raised thus far just to get a plan — no materials, no labor, no rent, just an expert opinion.

Le sigh.

If you’ve been reading along faithfully following our story, you know that every “le sigh” has thus far been followed by a “woohoo!” It’s a good thing, too; otherwise, we might have thrown in the towel a zillion times already. So, having just scratched the surface of the harsh reality of soundproofing costs, our most recent woohoo! has fortunately appeared in the form of an opportunity to apply for a grant from the City of Fort Collins — a grant which requires matching funds (which luckily, we have, thanks to the crowdsourcing campaign many of you helped us complete last fall). Woohoo!

There are many bits of information to compile for this opportunity, but we’re definitely going for it, because what do we have to lose? Sleep? Already doing that, might as well do it in pursuit of some possible funding assistance. One way you can help, if you feel inspired, is to send us a letter of support to include with the grant application. It needn’t be fancy; think of it like a Mad Lib of sorts. “My name is (your name goes here) and I am a (your title here, ranging from “concerned citizen” to “community leader” to “not starving but kinda hungry artist” — whatever). I am writing in support of Cohere Bandwidth, a shared rehearsal space for local bands. I believe our Fort Collins music community needs affordable, secure shared rehearsal space because (your reasoning goes here, ranging from “our musicians need a place to practice their craft so our music scene can continue to drive visitors, attract and retain a creative workforce, and foster local economic growth” to “I can’t stand up to play my viola in our practice space and that impedes my ability to be 100% artistically awesome”). Then your name, contact info, any other (nouns) and (adjectives) that come to mind. We’ll need to collect these by Jan. 27 to really be able to pull it all together, so if you’re up for it, don’t think too hard, just write.

You can contact us for more information about providing letters of support, to hear more about our long and winding road to rehearsal space, to ask us how you might help in other ways, to tell us you want your name on the list for rehearsal space when it opens, etc. You can also just stay out there sending your supportive vibes, and basking in the excitement of woohoos! with us. Things really do feel incredibly positive right now, and we’re reinvigorated all over again. Let’s give this town a jolt, shall we? Woohoo!

Here’s a little Patti Fiasco inspiration for you in case you’re feeling le sigh: 

 

 

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  • When your sales goal for the month is $1,800, and you're a full week in with only $168
  • Our management team is rocking in full force this week!  Catch Stella Luce at @surfside_7 tonight and @wirefaces at the @downtownartery this Thursday!
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