WHY ARTISTES NEED TO TAKE LIVE PERFORMANCES SERIOUSLY.
Undoubtedly, live performance is the most significant source of revenue for prominent artistes. The amount of money an artiste may make from a single show may take the artiste 6–12 months for the artiste to make that money from streaming. Although recording music is essential, it is through live performances that artiste can connect with their fans, get new fans, and make money. In this article, the writer highlights important reasons why artistes should take live performances and touring seriously.
First, live performances allow the artiste to build and increase their fan base. By performing at a gig, either as a supporting act, headliner, or opening act, the artistes stand a chance of leaving the venue with new fans, provided the artiste can win the audience over.
Not everyone at the venue knows you, your music or is a fan. This exposes the artiste to a new audience he may never have had access to if not for the show. Through the performance, the artiste can convince the audience to give him a shot or win them. The artiste can also deepen their connection with his existing fanbase and adhere towards them through his performance. For example, through his Made In Lagos tour, Wizkid could satisfy his current fans and make new fans who witnessed his performance for the first time. Depending on how well the artiste performs, his connection will be deepened because the existing fans will get to see the artiste perform live and even get the opportunity to interact with the artiste while performing or after his performance through pictures, videos etc. Also, those who witnessed it can serve as evangelists for the artiste by sharing their experiences on social media (through tweets, videos, pictures etc.), thereby creating a great buzz which will give the artiste more exposure and get more fans and generate interest. For example, clips of Burna Boy’s
performances usually find their way to social media. This fuels conversations about how great a performer Burna Boy is and will help drive interest and curiosity in the minds of people who may want to witness the performance live. Furthermore, live performance gives the artiste a chance/platform to show their skill or talent. If an artiste is a great performer, it is often hard for this skill to be seen in the studio whilst the artiste is recording.
Through live performance, however, the artiste can demonstrate their skills in a
the way those studio sessions may not be able to capture, such as dancing, pure unadulterated, and vocal abilities etc. With live performance, an artiste can try various renditions of their song, from acoustic to a completely different genre, and add new elements to the song to create an excellent experience for the fans. This can help show their versatility and innovation skills. For example, in Teni’s London show in 2020, during her performance set, she showed her vocal talent and range by doing a solo and enthralling her audience with her voice. Live performances also serve as an avenue for artistes to generate revenue and make money. For one, the artistes are booked by promoters to perform and are paid a performance fee in exchange for their services, or they get a percentage of the ticket sales generated. This can sum up to a significant amount of money, depending on the status/level of the artiste in question. Money can also be made through the sale of merchandise by the artistes.
The artiste can raise some extra money by taking merch to the venue and selling them. The merchandise can range from designed shirts to caps, key holders, posters, signed CDs etc. This is particularly useful for
artistes with a very loyal fan base. For example, Davido, in his o2 show in London in 2022, sold merchandise for fans to purchase. In his timeless show at Irving Plaza, he also did the same in April 2023. Depending on the calibre of artiste, they can also make money through sponsorship and brand endorsements. If, for example, the artiste is
performing at a large venue, a brand may pay the artiste to use their brand whilst performing to increase the brand’s exposure to the general public. Other earnings that artistes can get from live performances include performance royalties from the PROs like ASCAP, BMI & PRS for using their music in public, although they were the ones who used it.
Live performances also allow artistes to test new material and get immediate feedback from their audience. By performing live, artistes can see how their audience responds to their new songs and make changes if necessary. This feedback can help musicians refine their songs and improve their overall performance. They can also use their live
performance time to introduce new songs to the audience, promoting the song. In conclusion, performing live is crucial for an artiste, as it is one of the
various streams of income that an artiste can utilise. It generates money and serves a multi–faceted purpose, as it can help promote the artiste and help better their craft. The possibilities are endless, but they cannot be achieved if the artiste does not do live performances.
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