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How to Capitalise on Your Success

Once you’ve got your foot in the door it’s important to capitalise on that success.

Last updated: 30 July 2021

Kelly Wood, our Live Performance Official, chaired a masterclass on how to do just that with advice from Dave Murkage (Murkage), Olly Ward The Agency Group and Kweku 'Que' Quakyi.

Dave on making your own way

“Start by putting on a night for your mates. If people have a good time, it will grow from there. There is a difference between being a good musician and a good entertainer. We started as a DJ crew with one track but we put on a UK tour and advertised like we were a big deal; putting out professional looking gig posters and placing adverts. If you start generating money, the agents, managers and team you need will come to you”.

Olly on what an agent looks for in an artist

“I don't pay much attention to unsolicited submissions, particularly from Hotmail or Gmail accounts. If you're good, you'll have a team around you. I look for new artists who make exceptional music, who sell tickets and therefore make money, who are talked about. Mostly I go to gigs on a recommendation from someone I know. An agent will capitalise on your success, but you must have some success under your belt before you approach us”.

Kweku on making a great first impression

“I sent boxes of cakes out with my gig dates on them. For a while, they just ate the cakes. Then eventually they did come and see me. People focus so much on online networking and promotion but I like to make personal contact, meet people face to face. I started by hiring venues to put on gigs and hustling in the street to get people to come. Then I contacted venues and said I could take control of their events budgets and put on live nights, which is how I've built a profile. Now we run regular nights in London and Manchester and we source acts through booking agents, A & Rs, labels and I find musicians online and through word of mouth”.

Kelly on how the MU can help grassroots artists

“The MU has started a Fair Play Venues scheme, which venues can sign up to. If they agree with the ethos of the MU's Fair Play Guide, and they don't do 'Pay to Play' (where artists have to pay or buy a certain number of tickets for their own nights), then we will list them as Fair Play Venues. We also offer advice on contracts and chase fees for members. We help our members to be professional, which can be an off-putting word for some emerging artists, but it just means capitalising on your music and making sure you have the best chance of an ongoing career in the industry”

The Live Music Industry Masterclass took place at Rich Mix, Shoreditch, and was hosted by Allsortz and Generator.