Starting a Folk Club


As someone who writes a weekly folk column for the Coventry Evening Telegraph, I would suggest that you are more likely to get decent local press coverage if you send out news releases in good time (approx. 2-3 weeks before the event) and include a good quality photo of the guest act - hard copy rather than electronic image. Don't add to the journalist's workload by expecting them to scratch around on the internet to try and find a decent picture and biography. Come up with an interesting angle for the news release (not just 'the Fred Bloggs band is playing here') and include a couple of quotations, either from the artist or from yourself as the organiser.

Over the years as a performer, organiser, audience member and eventually media mogul, I've seen so many potentially good clubs fail through abysmal publicity.

  1. It doesn't cost much more to make your publicity materials look decent - ask other people's advice about what you're turning out and if they're honest and will tell you it looks amateurish/naff, don't take umbrage, find somebody to do a better job.
  2. It's not just me. Every single regional and local magazine editor will tell you that getting information out of clubs for FREE listings and news items is like getting blood out of the proverbial stone. All will give you endless horror stories about disastrous gigs that achieved no audience because organisers thought that just by booking a big name, loads would turn up due to telepathy. If you don't believe me, see the new issue of Taplas just received! Yet it costs you virtually nothing to do this part of your job better.

And the cheapest form of publicity is to build up an e-mail list of interested people and send out reminders before each event. Easy to do, costs next to nothing. A web site could come later.

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