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How to Setup a Benefit Concert

Updated on May 17, 2013

Alright musicians and music lovers a like, you must have been like me years ago when I had a cause that needed money and a band to help raise it but did not know how to put the pieces together. Well I have put together a simple way to guide you through the process of setting up a benefit concert.


First Step: You Need a Cause

Plan and simple is that you need a cause. Now I'm talking about a cause to make you money, or to get your band noticed. I am talking about a real cause. You can always put together on a "Cancer Sucks" concert or if you would like something more original why not raising money for recent disaster victims. To help with deciding the big question you have to ask is "Why?" Why would people want to support this? You have to answer that without any doubts. You may wonder why ask why. Well plainly people do not just donate money just because you asked. They really want to see a solid need begging for help.

However, once you do decide on a cause please let it be sincere. You have to really believe in your cause to be successful. Remember a benefit concert is not for you to benefit but to meet a need and in turn you will get your reward by meeting that need.


Second Step: Get Organized

There are a lot of organizations out there. It is hard to promote an event like this by yourself. You have to find some organization or group to help. I'm sure there have been people out there that have done it on their own. However, realistically the time and money it takes to put one on is more than one person can take. If you didn't have a job and a lot of money then be my guest but you will regret having a team to back you up when something very important was missed.


Third Step: Set the Goal

Once you have convinced your group and/or organization then it is time to set your goal. What is your financial need that you are shooting for? The difference between 8,000 and 80,000 can be more than what you can handle so it is best to find the right action for the right goal. Make sure this is practical and realistic. Double check your quoting source to be sure this is what will meet the need. You do not want to be too short or too high. It will make you and the organization look bad either way. If you do not meet your goal, that just comes with the job but if you didn't set the right goal the first time then that's on you.

Once you have your goal think about how many people you need to meet that goal. Also will it be donation or will there be a cover charge? This is an important question because sometimes people are more willing to come when it is donation and then donate more throughout the event. You also want to think about the venue. How big of a venue do you need? The cost of a venue for 1000 seats compared to 10,000 seats is more than reputation but the gamble of losing more money than what you started with. There is always that chance that no one shows up and you have a concert hall all to yourself worth about $15,000. Please do not make that mistake. I really want you to succeed.

Now to help avoid losing money there is a chance if your cause can win over the support of a big venue they may donate time for your event. Your local news station should be able to help with this if you get no response by letter or phone call. Public Relations are always a friend in deed for a friend in need.

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Fourth Step: Talent Search

Well this is the other big step: Talent. Just like you have to have peeps to fill the seats you have to have bands to fill the stands. Depending on your goal this will help reach it by obtaining the right talent for the task. If you want to raise $4,000 you could get by with some popular local talent. If you have the time, you might have several different concerts and break down the goals by quarters of the year.

If you have a bigger goal like $15,000 then you might need a "B" or "C" list band/artist and some popular local talent to get things started. If you are looking at $50,000 then that is when we are living on a prayer that a social media post liked 100,000 times, or an online video could implore the artist you need or want to come perform for your cause. If that does not work out there is always the plan of getting your local news station to do a story on it and keep doing concerts until you meet your goal.

Some things do not work out but I am one not to give up until I've done ALL I can. It does happen but it not all of the time. This is where planning and organization helps foresee if it is possible or impossible. My best advice if you didn't get the talent you need. Go back to your goal and see if a lower amount could still make an impact. Then I would see if any other big talent is out there that could help. In the entertainment business things change rapidly and almost overnight you could be back in the saddle.


Final Step: The Big Finally

Now it is time to set the date and get the word out. This is will take more brainstorming. Your cause may have a time limit. You may not have enough money to advertise. Free advertising can always come from your local news station. Local media always loves to support local causes because they are always trying to be public relating. I am not saying companies or news stations do not have a heart. However, business is business and this event is business.

Just like any sales person the most important part is the closing. You have to put on a great show. If your audience loves it they will be more inclined to give more. Also, if you can put a SHORT video together it will only help present your case for the cause. Again make it short, because please do not bore your audience. This will lose your intensity and in turn lose their intent to give more money.

The big finally must be great and make them feel it was worth their time and generously donated money. During the how event try to have an update on the money raised. A good visual would be a Goal Board. Something the people can see. This helps them feel this is not a scam and is genuine. This is the part where your sincerity will be seen. You have to own it. This is your baby and you're the reason this is happening. However, this is not the time to brag on yourself but to pass it on to the people in your cause. Your humility and sincerity must be true and if it is, you will (as they say), "Reap what you sow."

Thank you for reading. I am glad I could be of some help to reach your goals.


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