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IHM Road Tips Vol. 5: How to Get on the Billboard Charts From Playing Just One Show Pt. 1

Posted By : IHM, Posted On : July 29, 2013

The following blog post assumes you have great music and a solid live show before hitting the road. Not sure? Contact Bram, head of IHM Artist Relations & Support about a show evaluation,, on twitter @bram_rocks or call 877.994.6446 xt. 2.

What if we told you its possible to get on the Billboard Charts from playing just one show. After your initial disbelief, you’d probably start asking questions like “How”? The answer lies in the economics of summer music festivals and reporting your live show music sales through indiehitmaker. In this first post of a two part series, you’ll find information on how to turn one memorable performance into everlasting social media buzz, and in part two, how to maximize revenues and awareness through merchandise sales and reporting.

How often do you get an opportunity to reach an audience large enough to sell enough recorded music to chart on Billboard? Every year when the festival season starts mid spring and carries through to late fall. If you missed the boat this year and didn’t secure any festival gigs, join the IHM Road Tips mailing list and we’ll send you information on how to get festival gigs before next year’s booking season begins. For those lucky enough to have an upcoming festival gig, here’s the first step to charting from one performance:

  1. Start with a Memorable Live Performance

    “We were going from playing in rooms that were 400, 500, maybe a thousand people…After that Coachella, and after a couple of things around that, we came back to California and the Palladium in L.A., which {has a capacity of} 4,000, and filled it up” – Explosions in the Sky guitar player Munaf Rayani

    All of your music festival success starts with the live show. Simply put, you must nail your live performance. If you’re unsure about the quality of your live show, or need ideas to stand out from the pack, contact for professional advice to make your live performance the talk of the festival.

    If you’re on the fence about having professionals critique and improve your live show, remember that many festivals like Coachella stream their entire festival on Youtube. And if the festival is not streaming officially, someone in the crowd is capturing your performance. Be sure you let the audience know how to connect with you while you are on stage. Remember, you’re not only engaging the many festival goers, but an entire secondary audience at home. As the quote from
    Explosions in the Sky attests, putting on a memorable live show at a music festival can change your career. Don’t be one of the many artists that overlooks the importance of investing time and money in preparing their live show knowing that 90-95% of most DIY and Indie artist’s revenue comes from playing live.

    A unique live performance not only transcends the stage, it puts more money in your pocket. Coachella
    had a pop culture moment in 2012, when a computer generated hologram of 2pac appeared on stage and performed alongside headliners Dr. Dre and Snoop Lion. 2pac was mentioned over 900,000 times on Sunday and Monday combined. Don’t think for a minute that type of exposure didn’t directly affect record sales ( With the right live show, you can find your own success by continuing with the next step.

  2. Be the Talk of the Twitter Town

    You put on a kickass live show that streamed to a worldwide audience over Youtube. Where does that streaming audience turn to next to continue the conversation? That’s right – Twitter. Consider the following numbers of twitter interactions from 2012 festivals totaling over 6,554,000 total mentions across six festivals:

    1. Coachella (@coachella and #coachella2012) – 2.7 million mentions

    2. South by Southwest (SXSW and #sxsw) – 2.5 million mentions

    3. Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza and #lolla) – 1 million mentions

    4. Austin City Limits (@aclfestival and #aclfest) – 125,000 mentions

    5. CMJ Music Marathon (@cmj and #cmj) – 120,000 mentions

    6. Electric Zoo (@electriczoony and #ezoo) – 109,000 mentions

How do you make a great festival performance last longer and reach more people? Hashtags. Each festival has its own hashtag, so every tweet you send leading up to, during and after the festival should include those hashtags.

In addition, create a hashtag for your band’s performance so fans on Twitter can feel like they are part of the show (keep hashtags simple, short and by all means shout them from the stage). You can use services like
Hootsuite to schedule mass tweets prior to, during and after showtime. Follow up with services like Klout and PeerIndex to measure the success of your tweets.

Now that we have you thinking about how to perform and support a festival gig, the next installment, “How to Get on the Billboard Charts From Playing Just One Show Pt. 2will show you how to close the deal at the merch stand.

Join the indiehitmaker mailing list and receive more updates on when to start looking for festival gigs, how to get them and who to contact, as well as more touring tips.

Have a question, comment or feedback? Tweet us @indiehitmaker #RoadTips or contact us online

IHM Road Tips Readers get one month free when you register for Indiehitmaker monthly live venue reporting services. Click to Register Now and use coupon code RTV0L2N3 an instant savings of $33.   Code lasts for a limited time only!

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