Planning a concert event – A complete guide for musicians and artists
If you’re looking for information about how to organise a music concert or a performance, you’ve come to the right place.
This guide is perfect for those with limited experience in planning musical performances but need to plan a concert for themselves, or other musical artists. You may have put on smaller concerts before and are looking to scale up or perhaps you’re a musician looking to plan your own concert – whatever your needs, we’re here.
This article explains everything you need to know, whether you’re planning classical and recital concerts, or if you’re planning a big band, folk, opera, jazz or experimental performance.
How to organise a live music concert
As with all types of events, there are a lot of different things you need to bear in mind when planning your live music concert.
Detailed planning is crucial in order to pull off a successful event that doesn’t go over budget – and most importantly, meets all your event objectives. When planning bigger music concerts in particular, you need to consider some factors that you may not normally consider when planning smaller shows.
For example, on top of planning your overall event objectives and total event budget, you’ll need to think about things like:
- Finding the right concert venue
- How you’ll find your performers (although you may have these in mind already)
- How to price your tickets
- How to market and promote your music event
- How to make your event accessible online
- The equipment you’ll need for the event
You can use the above list as your “planning a concert checklist” to help guide you as you plan the concert. Read on to explore each of these areas in more detail.
Your concert planning checklist
1. Set your music event budget
As with all events, you need to establish what your budget will be and where your funding will come from.
It’s likely that you’ll need to source a lot of the budget yourself. There are lots of ways to do this, but make sure you ask yourself:
- Will I need to borrow money to plan the event?
- Where from?
- What are the interest rates like?
- Can I reach out to investors or crowd-funding?
- Will I invest my own money into the event?
Once you’re clear on where your concert budget will come from, you need to allocate it to different aspects of the concert.
For live music concerts, there are certain areas you must consider when allocating your budget. These include:
- The artists / the talent
- It’s likely there will be a set fee you need to pay your performers. How much this is will directly impact how much of your budget you’ll have left over to spend on other areas.
- The event venue
- Where will your event take place?
- Does it have an appropriate capacity?
- Is it accessible and easy to reach?
- Does it have sit-down availability?
- Is the space optimised for a sit-down audience?
- Equipment hire
- Depending on your event venue, you may need to hire sound and lighting equipment for your concert. Finding a venue with appropriate equipment included in the hire place makes sense.
- Promotion and marketing
- To make sure people attend your concert, you’ll need to get on their radar. We go on to talk about this later on, and we have also written an article about how to promote an event online.
Once you have allocated each of your costs, make sure you keep checking in on the costs throughout the planning process to avoid overspending.
2. Find your concert venue
Finding the right venue for your concert is key to the success of your event. The venue sets the scene for your concert, but most importantly it will allow the performance to be the complete focus.
When looking for your venue, you’ll also need to bear in mind some of the logistical aspects, too. For example, you’ll need to think about:
- How big the venue needs to be
- Seated capacity for guests
- As concerts and recitals require guests to be seated, it’s important you find a venue that provides comfortable seating, and enough of it for all your guests. This is especially important when it comes to forecasting ticket sales. If you choose a smaller venue, you’ll limit your revenue possibilities by not having a large number of tickets to sell.
- What sound and lighting equipment the venue offers
- How accessible the venue is for guests – both in terms of venue location and general property accessibility
- If there is easy public transportation for guests or good parking
- If there is an Interval bar
- If there is a green room?
- If there is an experienced event team on-hand
- What the acoustics are like
Once you have found a venue that matches your needs, triple check that it aligns with your budget and get it booked in right away.
Logan Hall – Your London concert venue
If you’re planning a concert event in London, 20 Bedford Way’s flagship concert venue Logan Hall, is perfectly designed for hosting music performances.
Seating up to 910 people, the theatre-style event space offers the ideal venue for your live music event in London, whether your event is a classical music concert, a recital or an experimental concert. With outstanding acoustics and excellent sight lines, the venue also features:
- An entrance foyer
- A stage with curtains
- A projection box
- A green room with direct access to the stage
- 6 changing rooms with WCs and showers
- An entrance area with information desk (for registration or box office tickets) and cloakroom
- A reception area with refreshments area and interval bar
- An induction loop for hearing aid users
- A PA system (2.4kw)
- 60 channel stage lighting
- A selecon follow spot
- A concert piano
Find out more about hiring our affordable and central event space and ask our event team for help with planning your concert today.
3. Talent buying and finding your performers
Chances are you will have a main performer in mind and be looking for the ideal venue to host them. However, you may run into issues if you are looking for suitable support slots to complement the main artist.
If you don’t already have extra talent for the concert, you may need to dedicate time to finding the right additional performers and artists for your event. There are lots of ways you can find the perfect talent for your concert.
How to find extra music performers for your concert
Depending on your budget, there are lots of ways to explore talent buying for concerts.
1. Approach local music schools
There are lots of incredibly talented musicians who are still studying at a high level who can put on an amazing performance. Many of these may also have a big following on social media, making it easier to market the tickets when it comes to ticket sales.
2. Use your contacts to recommend local professionals
Reach out to your event network and ask for recommendations around artists who have recently performed in other events. Try to find artists who have had success in recent concerts, as this will be a great indicator of how your event will perform.
3. Reach out to local performers and ask for availability
Go direct and seek out professional artists yourself. You can even approach agents and talent directories such as Mandy.com. This will allow you to find the exact type of artist you want for your concert.
4. Price your concert tickets
Once you have your talent confirmed and budgeted for, it’s time to price your tickets.
Pricing your tickets appropriately is a crucial part of concert planning, as your sales will determine what revenue you’ll make from the event overall.
How you price your concert tickets will depend on a number of factors. These include:
- What your event goals are
- If you’ve planned to achieve a certain return from your event, your tickets should be priced in a way that reflects all your upfront costs and projected revenue
- If your concert is a for profit event or not
- Remember – you may not need to think about pricing too much if your event’s purpose isn’t to generate revenue. As long as your event remains within budget, you can price your concert more.
- How your guests will access the event (in person or online)
- Hybrid events are set to be a key trend for all events into 2021, so you should be looking to include some online accessibility for your concert even. Bear in mind that you may look to price these tickets differently to the venue tickets – depending on the event and the accessibility.
5. Market your music concert
Now your event is planned, it’s time to make sure people attend it.
Marketing and promotion is a crucial part of getting your concert on the right people’s radar. If no one knows that your event is taking place, they won’t come!
To raise awareness of your event effectively, you’ll need to invest some time and money into an effective marketing strategy.
Your music concert marketing strategy
We’ve written a lot about event marketing over the years, especially when it comes to promoting events online. You can head to our event marketing article where we highlight a lot of key information about how to effectively market your event online.
When it comes to marketing your concert, there are some specific things you might want to consider:
- Getting external marketing help
- Contracting a music PR agency or someone who helps specifically with music marketing could help publicise your concert to the right people.
- Using online event platforms
- Event platforms such as Eventbrite or Facebook events can help you capture potential attendees interest and forecast attendance. They help you showcase what your guests can expect from your concert, and even offer ways to buy tickets. They’re also a great way to help people share the event with their friends.
- Use social media advertising
- Facebook and other social media channels are a great way to highlight to people with the right music interests about your concert. You can even approach music influencers to help shout about your event. We’ve written a full guide about Facebook marketing for events.
6. Plan a digital version of your music concert
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic forced the events industry into making the switch to virtual events. But now, even with hope on the horizon around the pandemic’s end, the online event trend doesn’t look set to change completely.
In fact, hybrid events are likely to become an even more established part of event planning far into the future. Hybrid events are venue-based events that also have an element of virtual accessibility, allowing guests to access the event online.
For concert events into 2021, you should look to include a digital aspect to your event which is still equally valuable to the attendee. This can include:
- More affordable tickets to view a live streamed version of the concert performance
- A virtual Q&A with the performers after the performance
For more information about planning an event with virtual elements, we’ve written a guide about planning a virtual event.
7. Source the right equipment
For a music concert, you’ll need certain equipment in order to make sure your event delivers.
Often, the venue should provide this, but if not, you may need to source the equipment separately and arrange for it to be delivered and picked up from the venue ahead and after the concert.
Some common equipment you’ll need to consider includes:
- Stage lighting
- Light Boards
- Mixing boards
- Microphone stands
- PA systems
Bear in mind that you’ll also need the personnel to manage and produce the concert. Again, if this isn’t something that your event venue can provide, you’ll need to find an audio technician to help with this, too.
A music concert venue in London
If you’re planning your concert in London, our venue offers the perfect space for all kinds of musical performances. 20 Bedford Way’s flagship event hall, Logan Hall, is perfectly designed for hosting music performances such as big bands, orchestras, operas and even theatre.
Seating up to 910 people, the theatre-style event space is located in the heart of London, complete with easy access both on foot and by public transport. We also have high speed internet allowing for seamless streaming and virtual event elements if you decide to run a hybrid event. Sound equipment hire and management is also available.
Main image: Crystal Palace Orchestra playing in Brisbane about 1929 via Flickr