At the heart of every great concert is a venue that breathes life right back into the music. Every beat, every note, and every chord must resonate carefully within the space. Finding the right venue when planning your concert is both an art and a science. After all, the venue sets the stage (quite literally) for the entire concert. It helps in shaping the atmosphere, acoustics, and overall experience for both performers and the audience. Before booking your next show, consider these 6 tips on your search to find the perfect venue.
Set a Budget
Money always plays an important role in concert planning. Understand how much you're willing to spend on rental costs for your venue. Start by making a list of your “must-haves,” then determine what you’re willing to be flexible on. When going into your search, you’ll also need to work out any additional expenses that the venue may not cover, such as security. Get quotes from venues far in advance for different days the week, month, and year, to make an informed decision on the most budget-friendly time for your event.
Indoor or Outdoor?
This is also a question that you’ll want to answer early-on when planning your concert. Indoor and outdoor venues have their own pros and cons, and your decision will likely lean on the climate you’re in. While it’s true that outdoor venues provide an unmatched atmosphere, they also come with the risk of unexpected rain, snow, or other weather hazards disrupting all of your plans. For this reason, indoor venues can provide more stability. Additionally, since indoor venues have walls, they are designed to provide the best sound possible. Not all outdoor venues are created equally and sound can end up bleeding into the open air. Finally, don’t forget that outdoor venues may also need additional amenities factored into your budget, like a tent, heaters, or fans. In either case, make sure that you have a strong contingency plan in place to mitigate any risks.
While it may be tempting to book the same venues where you’ve seen your favorite big-time artists play, you need to consider how many people will be attending your show. An overcrowded venue can lead to discomfort and safety hazards, while a venue that's too spacious may make the concert feel empty. Your performer feeds off of the energy in the room, so it’s wise to find a balance between the two by choosing a venue with a capacity that aligns with your expected attendance. This will help to create the right overall atmosphere.
You don’t want to blindly host your concert in any part of town. To encourage a higher turnout, you’ll want to select a venue that is easily accessible and convenient to attendees. This comes down to answering questions such as:
- Can the venue be easily accessed by public transportation?
- Is there likely to be heavy traffic before or after the show?
- What does parking look like?
- Is the surrounding area safe and welcoming?
- Are there other activities or amenities nearby to enjoy like restaurants or bars?
Think about the overarching experience guests will have, not just what happens when they step inside the venue. Failing to address these questions may deter some guests from attending.
Acoustics and Technical Equipment
When planning a concert, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you need it to sound good. Making sure that your venue has top of the line sound and acoustics to support your concert is essential. To do this, spend some time with the equipment before your concert to verify it is still in good shape. Also get acquainted with the venue’s sound engineer, or bring one from your own team to help out. When your venue has high quality sound, your audience is able to enjoy the music to its fullest potential.
The overall vibe of your venue should match the music being played. If you’re hosting an energetic EDM rave, then an intimate venue with low ceilings isn’t the best fit. Think about the type of atmosphere you want to create and find a venue that compliments that. It can be helpful to research what type of acts have performed there before and what kind of crowd the venue draws in. When all of these details come together, that’s when your concert really comes alive.
Turn Up the Music
When you’re planning your first concert, there’s a lot of big questions that need to be answered. Your choice of venue will be one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make. Keep these tips in mind when planning your next concert and you’ll be sure to find a venue that everyone loves.
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