Attracting customers

5 Simple Steps To Hosting Live Music Events At Your Pub

16 June 2018
3 minute read

Alex Woods

It’ no secret that the pub industry has been forced to evolve fast in recent years due to economic changes, and other contributing factors such as the smoking ban and changing consumer attitudes. And with 50,000 pubs operating today, owners are constantly looking for ways to keep their business relevant and rise above the competition. One way to do this is by hosting a music night - targeting punters in this way can not only generate more business but can also help put pubs back on the map!

We’ve put together a few considerations to help you get the most from your night:

Prepare Your Venue

First, you’ll need to check that your venue is fit for a music night. How many people can you hold? Do you have enough space for a stage? Where will the sound equipment go? Where would be best to put your customers? You’ll then need to consider other practical aspects such as where the nearest electricity outlets are and whether there is easy, safe access to entrances and exits.

As well as setting out where everything will go, you’ll need to check what time you’re allowed to play music until and whether you need a licence. You may also want to check in with your neighbours (if you have any) to let them know about your plans and how it might affect them.

Do Your Calculations

Of course, putting on a music night will cost money, but can also provide a great return!

When calculating the initial costs you’ll need to think about how much budget you have to pay the band or any expenses that need to be covered. You’ll then need to consider the hiring of equipment, any extra stock you’ll need to order and the cost of taking on additional staff to cover the event. You may consider sourcing some additional finance to support your event, such as a Liberis Business Cash Advance - a quick, flexible solution to funding business growth!

You’ll also need to decide if you want to make your event ticketed or whether you want an entrance fee on the door - or you could consider offering free entry before a certain time to try and get more punters through the door early on.

Book Bands

You can’t have a music night without a band! When it comes to booking bands, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to find acts. You’ll want to find three or four bands, with one of them as your headline act. To find bands, you can run a quick Google search in your area, attend open mic nights, watch YouTube videos, and discover talent through social media channels.

Next, you’ll need to contact the bands you have chosen (or their representatives). When doing this make sure you give as much detail as you can about the night you are hosting and your venue. Agree the terms upfront so that you won’t run into any problems later on. This could include what the bands will be paid, if their travel will be covered, what facilities you can offer (car parking, sound equipment), and whether they’ll be provided with food and drink.

Promote Your Night

Once your night has been planned out, you’ll need to tell people about it! There are many ways to do this and one of the most effective is through offline marketing. As well as putting up posters and distributing flyers in your pub, you could also reach out to other local businesses to see if they’ll do the same on their premises. It could also be worth getting your night in the local paper or entertainment guide to drum up as much interest as possible.

When it comes to online promotion, social media is your best bet. You could create a Facebook event and even put some money behind it for extra reach. Using Twitter can also be effective as you can tap into your band’s following by mentioning them and tagging them in your promotional posts to really get the word out there.

Think Ahead

On the day of the event, you’ll want to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Make sure you know exactly who is doing what and at what time - this will likely involve briefing staff beforehand.

You may also want to account for any unexpected emergencies that come up. What will you do if a band pulls out at the last minute? What will you do if your venue reaches full capacity? What will you do if there’s a problem with the sound? Thinking of everything that could go wrong and having a plan in place could save you a lot of hassle on the night!

It could also be a good idea to arrange a post-event debrief session to assess what went well and what could have been done better. And don’t forget to thank all the bands that played, your guests for coming along, your staff who worked the event, and anyone else who was involved!

Next Steps

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