In my last article, I provided you with a small list of pointers on how to make a good impression in a writers round . Let’s say you’ve run through a few already, really like the way they operate, and would like to host a writers round of your own. It’s a great way to further your professional music career and build upon your community outside of the Muze family.
For a series of years, I had the pleasure of hosting several different writers rounds and artist showcases here in Nashville. I learned a few things along the way, so if you’re interested in hosting writers rounds and are unsure of where to start, here are some useful tips to bear in mind as you move forward after you’ve locked down a good venue (it should be one that already has a PA/stage available so you’re not hauling your own sound system through the door every time).
1. Stay organized
Keep a list of who you’ve already booked and utilize that calendar app on your phone. Google spreadsheets are perfect for staying organized when you start hosting writers rounds. Keeping things tightly compiled through a systemized listing program that contains dates, names, contact information, and all other details will help you to avoid double-booking artists on accident and any other unnecessary little mishaps that are liable to arise if you don’t keep things properly ordered.
2. Learn about the artists
Before the show, ask about any and all upcoming singles/albums the artists might have coming out. Familiarize yourself with their names, their backgrounds, where to find their musician websites, etc. so you can throw out a few fun facts about them before their round starts. It shows you actually care about your musicians and it keeps the crowd engaged.
3. Don’t hog the stage
The people are there to hear music, not listen to your stand-up routine. The musicians should be your top priority, so don’t overstay your welcome on the stage. Get up, give intros, cheer them on, and step down.
4. Book decent artists
Make sure you’re selective about who you throw up there. No matter how good of friends you might be with someone, don’t book them in place of a more superior musical artist simply because you feel obligated to do so. Scheduling good artists keeps the crowd eager to keep coming back, and it offers the musicians wholesome opportunities to collaborate with other talented professionals (you can also take to Facebook and Instagram in order to find local musicians).
5. Stay cool under pressure
Things are going to happen. Someone might forget their microphone, someone might not show up, things might run behind schedule a little bit, etc. You might make a cheesy joke that no one laughs at and feel like a fool, but it’s all good. Stay calm, roll with it, and keep your confidence. As long as you do those things, everything will continue to run smoothly.