Sorry, we are not currently planning any showcases.
Following is some fairly realistic information (mostly our opinions) about showcasing, its costs, realistic expectations, and what you need. Click on Red Underlined Text for additional details.
Serious About Your Music?
If you are serious about your music, have confidence in yourself and wish to advance your music career in Nashville, you already know it is of the utmost importance that you perform in front of the right people. We are talking about major labels, producers and publishers. The companies who can help you if you have what it takes.
Why Perform At A Showcase?
First is to display your talent to the people who can further your career, second is to get those people to come and see you and third is to do both affordably. The problem is that thousands of other talented country entertainers have the same idea, so the only thing you are guaranteed in Nashville is that it will cost you a lot of money, and time. The reason is that the people you want to see don't necessarily want to see you! Showcases are rarely a success.
It is why we don't automatically recommend a showcase unless the artist is really prepared. It's not only a waste of time - but can permanently close doors you may want open in the future. Nashville labels have long memories and short attention spans. Showcases generally come near the end of your trek to the top.
Want to Showcase? - What is the purpose?
We generally discourage Artist showcases because
Songwriter showcases cost very little other than your expenses
We don't mean to discourage you, quite the opposite, but wasting money is the biggest pastime in Nashville. If you have money to burn, and have a choice of either showcasing or flushing it down the toilet, then the showcase may be a better option - you notice I only say may.
When the timing is right, your package is professional, you are prepared, you get some good reactions from the proper people, and you can get those people to come to your showcase, then and only then is it worth considering. We do encourage doing some writers nights while in town, and we will be glad to meet with you, if we like your initial package.
If you still want to do a showcase, maybe the costs will wake you up!
Do Your Own Showcase
To do an artist showcase in Nashville, you will have to pay all your own travel expenses ($750 for 10 days), plus that of your band ($1,000 for 5 days), or hire a band in Nashville ($500), you will need a practice hall ($100), at least 2 rehearsals ($400 band), and a location to hold the actual showcase ($300). Karoake style is NOT acceptable in Nashville even if you are a solo artist. Your visit to Nashville will be about 7 to 10 days for you and 3 to 5 days for your band. So far you have spent $2,000-$2,200.
You must then market your showcase - advertise to get people to come. You will need posters ($200), direct mail to about 400 industry people ($800 nice invitations + postage), and about a week in Nashville visiting all the labels and producers trying to invite them to come. You will also need a follow up mailing ($400) a few days before the show. To intice them to come you will need an open bar and food ($300). No booze, no food - no people 100% guaranteed, With booze, food - still no people 99.9% guaranteed. You will also feed a lot of people who can't help you. Once again - the people you really want to come won't unless they already know you! Another $1,500-$2,000.
You need to have 50-100 demo tapes and packages to hand out. Although, you will probably take most of them home. You MUST have 3-4 GREAT songs (production quality must be radio ready and will typically cost you $1,000-$2,500 per song) on tape/cd ($4,000). You will also need a professionally prepared press kit ($1,000), If you do not have this stuff, and someone actually shows up - wow, you just blew it! The good news about this part is the big cost is once - and reusable for future showcases. Another $5,000 to $7,000. Good news this is only once if done right.
Your First showcase = $8,000 to $11,000 !
Additional Showcases = $3,000 to $4,000 each.
If you do your homework and prepare properly, you can do an artist showcase for about $3,500 to $4,500 plus the cost of your packages. Plan to do 6 to 10 before the people you want begin to come. If you live in Nashville you can do them for less (no travel), plus the cost of your packages, (which is why most move to Nashville). Your biggest costs are travel, food, lodging and the band.
Who shows up? In reality no one! Labels do NOT generally respond to anything other than what they call an "industry buzz". After doing several showcases, you luck out and begin to create a "buzz" about how good you are, if the industry begins to talk about you - then people will begin coming to your showcases to look at you.
The most recent success in Nashville was BR549. They played for free 1 to 3 nights a week at Roberts Boot Store on Broadway (downtown Nashville) for 1 year before the "buzz" began. This is another way to save money, but the package must be ready, and you have to live in town. You also may have to play 8 to 12 hours every week. It took another year to get Arista Records interested. They got a deal and are touring in Europe. Two years! And that is fast in Nashville. The average artist, who gets a deal, takes 4 to 5 years.
The Little Nashville Showcase
While we still recommend against showcasing, unless you are prepared, we can eliminate two of our own objections. The first being cost and the second being that no one shows up. We hold 2 to 3 showcases each year that are very affordable, and we can guarantee some great industry guests.
So if you still insist on showcasing, maybe we can at least make it affordable and see that a few of the right people at least get to see you. The Little Nashville Showcase is a very cost effective way of performing in front of the right people. The Little Nashville Showcase hosts some of the biggest names in country music to preview new talent. We have over 12 years of experience in Nashville. Our Guests are the people you want to perform for, an they are the top executives, A&R people and producers from these companies.
We make sure you get in front of the right people. No wasted time, no luck, we cut through all the red tape and politics. You just perform. And we can save you 80% to 90% of the cost of doing your own showcase.
Our showcases are very, very limited, and we only do them when we feel we have some really good talent lined up. Unlike commercial showcases where the main goal is for the promoter to make money off of the talent at the showcase, our goal is long term. We only divide the expenses and actual costs among those showcasing. We have never made a profit from a showcase itself! Period! It has never been our intent.
We setup showcases in Nashville, TN and Colorado, and select our talent through auditions, packages and other contacts, when we have enough talent we plan a showcase for 6 to 10 bands or artists. We provide everything except the travel/lodging/food costs. We hand pick a band for backup (you can bring your own if you wish), provide the location, provide the sound equipment, and invite 2 to 4 specific labels/producers to attend. They come because we invite them, they are often our close friends. They know that the talent we present is worth listening to. Your cost as is only your share of the cost of the event. We divide our costs between the participants. Our showcases cost about $4,000 to $5,000 to plan and stage. Typically that equals about $400 to $800 per artist/band. You get 20 minutes on stage, And more . . .
Would you ever believe that you could sit down privately with industry leaders just to talk about you and your music career! Well, believe it, because after your showcase you get 10 minutes privately with at least one of our Guests.
This is your opportunity to sit face to face with one of our Nashville Guests. You pick the topic of discussion, ask the questions you want, and get honest answers. You can even present your package! This is the ultimate dream of all those who pursue a music career.
You will also get a written critique from each of our Guests. No one in Nashville gets any critique, much less a written one! If you do get anyone worthwhile to show up, they usually plan to leave before the end of your set to avoid personal contact.
We do get reaction (good or bad), and each of our performers can then learn by their mistakes.
We also setup showcases in other cities, we still select our talent the same, and we still provide all the arrangements. Our traveling showcases cost $4500 to $6500 to plan and stage. The cost to each artist is a little higher, $750 to $950 per artist/band, but then there are no travel cost for them either.
Who are our Guests?
When we say labels, we ONLY mean the majors, who have full distribution, marketing, heavy national radio airplay and several current national artists on their roster with capabilities of investing the $500,000 to $1,000,000 it takes to break a new act. When we say publishers, we mean only those with current hits (top 10) and several. When we say producers, we mean the ones currently producing the top acts for major labels. Oh! And the people we bring from these companies are Presidents, Vice Presidents, top A&R personnel, and Producers. They are the decision makers.
And success does happen! Thus far our 14 showcases (65 artists/bands) in just four years, have resulted in one male artist from Polygram, one invite to Nashville for a female artist by Starstruck that did not materialize, and 2 bands were invited to Nashville by Sheddhouse, nothing has come of that to date. That's an opportunity ratio of 1 in 16, and a success ration of 1 in 65.
Our success rate is high because of two things. One. We are VERY selective. So getting in a showcase is not automatic. Remember, money is not the purpose and does not get you in. Two, the major labels trust us and have always been impressed with the talent we present.
Russ Zavitson, President of Magna Sound (which is Harold Shedd's group - who discovered Alabama, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Shania Twain) said our showcase was one of the top 2 or 3 he had attended in years! He especially liked the ability to meet with our artists one-on-one and our unique showcase critique for each artist by each guest.
Ramona Simons, International Director of New Artist Development for Arista Records, really likes what we do and has told people that one of the best things a new artist coming to Nashville can do is to meet Barbara - our president. More testimonials are available at our site.
I hope all this babble was of some interest to you. We are very different from anyone else. We do not rely on any income from unsigned artists. We can afford to be honest, we don't want your money - yet. You don't have enough! But if we all do our jobs, you will be able to afford us, and then you will pay us.
Most people don't like to hear what we say, and that's OK. We know we are right, we've been watching artists get taken for 15 years. And we believe that everyone has the right to be taken if thats what they really want. You'll just have to go somewhere else.
If you really think you have what it takes, and can compete with the current acts on radio - because that's who you compete with - then send us a package. We are looking actively for real talent - not money! We are free if we like what we see and hear. If we don't feel we can help you, we simply pass.
First step is that you submit a complete package to us, if you don't have a package (3-4 song demo of high quality original songs with good production quality, several photos, PR clipping, video, epk (optional) and bio), then you are not yet ready to showcase. Either way send us what you do have, and if we like what you have so far, will then discuss your options.
Our Past Guests Have
Sony Records, Starstruck Entertainment, Arista Records, Shedd/Millhouse, BNA/RCA Records, BCI/Amria Inc., Sony/Tree Publishing, RCA Records, Curb Records, Sony/Epic Records, ASCAP, 422 Management.
Songtek Publishing, Inc. (BMI)
SongTrek Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)
1811 N. Dixie Hwy
Suite 104 - PMB 110
Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Phone: (270) 996-9136
Click Song & Material Submission Form to submit songs or materials to our publishing company.
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