Hey, All You Dumb-Idiot Local Bands! Here’s How to Draw Bigger and Better Crowds in Five Simple Steps
Since the dawn of the roller rink and underused social clubs, man has longed to draw larger and more quality crowds for their ~experimental Community College-core~ music ‘projects’. As a young-ish twenty-something who grew up in middle-America and has a penchant for ‘going-in’ on cases of beer with friends, I feel particularly qualified to help guide bands into drawing these mythical crowds. I’m not going to lie: it’s not going to be easy, and it will likely take years of hard work and practicing these steps to fully master drawing the perfect crowd, but this is a necessary skill in order to survive today’s harsh musical landscape.
But what exactly does ‘ drawing the perfect crowd’ even mean? Well, from an objective point of view, this means including people of all shapes, sizes, race, and genders. (NOTE: this will change based on how much you are willing to appropriate Indian culture and stretch the definition of what constitutes a venue.)
So, how does one draw a larger and better crowd? More and more often these days, I see bands defaulting to shooting out invites to Facebook events to people they’ve barely ever met. While this definitely works in attracting 19-year old girls who are ‘still figuring it out’, I definitely don’t enjoy being disappointed with invites in time signatures as irregular as your band's. I only have so many ‘INTERESTED’ statuses to give and your shitty ‘plural noun’ band is probably not one of them.
“Well, then,” you might be asking yourself, “how do I do it?! How do I draw the perfect crowd?!” If you answered QR codes, strategic use of snapchat, streaming services, splits, avid touring, a hit-single, or ~making zines~, then you are big, dumb, fucking idiot.
But, that’s okay. I was too. Once.
Through many years, tears, and beers, I’ve compiled this handy list to help you (yes, YOU!) draw the biggest and best crowd possible!
STEP ONE: Draw a circle
Like when you first saw The Miracle of Life in fifth grade, you’re probably wondering how this helps. That’s okay. I would never lie to you. This is going somewhere.
STEP TWO: DRAW SOME LINES ON THE CIRCLE
Okay, so it actually might not be a circle. It might actually be more of an oval. But, who knows?
You want to draw the the lines to roughly outline where the eyebrows and eyes go. Where the horizontal lines meet the vertical line is where you’re going to want to place the nose and mouth respectively.
Make sure that when you go to sketch more figures in your crowd drawing, you change up the angles of the circles and lines. You want people to get a sense of how head banging-ly rad your music is just from looking at your crowd drawing. For examples, see figure A.
Step Three: Repeat the Previous Steps Until You Puke and Then Add Detail to Your Faces
This is the part where you get to be a little creative! Think long and hard about human faces should look and transfer that information into your drawing. For example, let’s pretend for a moment that I am in l*cal band. In this alternative universe, I like to pretend that in my audience is none other than 2008 Primetime Emmy nominee, Howie Mendel! This is just one fun example of what you can do with circles and lines:
STEP FOUR: Give the Heads Bodies and Also Detail Them and Also Make Them Bigger and Also Better
This step is pretty self-explanatory. After all, you don’t want any pesky disembodied heads floating around in the aether on the page, do you? I didn’t think so! Unless their bodies are obscured by others. Make sure you also account for proper lighting and geometrical reasoning during this step. This is what separates the professionals from the amateurs. Here’s my example of what I think the upcoming American Football tour will look like:
STEP FIVE: Use Your Band as a Mirror
A wise man once said that people should be able to tell what kind of music your band plays judging by what kind of audience you draw [Citation Needed]. Is it ‘ex-hardcore’ that is basically indie but you call it emo because you have a singer who chooses keys with the roll of a dice? I better see some goddamn cardigans. What about local ‘supergroup’ comprised of the four people in the town’s music scene who can’t be pigeonholed into a genre because they all can’t agree on what they should sound like but they have to stay together because, who else is there? There better be AT LEAST two DSLRs. Prog? Where them ascots, you literal wankers?! Call of Duty montage-core? I wanna see more chains than a goddamn towing yard. You get the point.
Drawing bigger and better crowds is an art form that will take a bit of time getting used to. The process will be frustrating, but trust me in saying that it will be more than worth it in the end. After all, how do you think Disturbed became so big? They’ve always been drawing huge crowds!