Guest post by indie rapper Kosha Dillz ( @koshadillz )
Today was my first day embarking on Warped Tour and I felt the energy. (I’m completing this 2000 miles later in NJ) It was Minnesota nice and dirty and sweaty. Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio was in a Enchanted forest that reminded us of Harry Potter where everyone wore MGK shirts. There were many more piercings and tattoos than I have ever seen in Indiana.
Warped Tour is a beast that has it’s own code of ethics. There are nearly 100 bands plus locals and over 50 tour buses. People seem to support each other on another level of love and bands can also break up. I heard of people getting fired, hired and even some who retired (ok not retired but that rhymed…).
Here are the 10 top things to execute as a band/artist to make more income at the Warped Tour. It’s one of my main focuses (and it should be your’s too) on this tour. Passing out flyers, performances, shaking hands, flying chest bumps, etc.
This is something you should live by should you ever be on this tour or any outdoor festival. It can apply to many indoor shows as well.
1. Headphones (most important)
Shout out the band Champagne Champagne from Seattle. They gave me a pair of headphones today to go along with my homemade cds. I realize (and so do they) that 14,000 people attend Warped Tour but only 2% will get to see the new bands/artists perform.
I literally made over $75- $100 via the good headphone experience. I suggest you buy a pair of Marley headphones that seem to be the user friendly sound that tunes out all other noise. They are classy and make the user feel better than putting in those iPhone earplugs. I bought my own album on my iPhone and played it for people. They liked it and bought my music right there on the spot.
2. Water and other necessities
This is a peace offering that helps out people, yourself, keeps health up and keeps you alive. You think it’s simple or corny? No. It’s not. People really need to be hydrated. People like gum too. They like spray deodorant. A lot of people in New Mexico Warped Tour couldn’t buy cds because they spent 40 dollars on bottled water. Just think in business as you take out someone for a meal or coffee to talk business, in Warped Tour you carry a water gun to shoot shirts up and drop a splash into a potential customer’s mouth. Mod Sun doesn’t give out water but he had these fans that kept his fans cool.
3. More than one performance
Not only did I perform my set at 1:05 today, but I also got to freestyle on the mic multiple times through out the day with One Be Lo and Ross Perelli on the Bring It Back Stage @ Warped Tour. People like Moy from Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds will also break dance at our stage while running to the Marley stage to perform his own set. Mod Sun ran from an acoustic performance to also playing in front of near a thousand people.
4. Branding your identity
I spoke to G-Eazy today about identity. He spoke about me being a Jewish rapper and how he was really into his identity of the old school 50’s look. The fact that you are wearing a cool shirt (for instance) is part of what will attract your core audience. People gravitate to you being what you are. It’s definitely way easier when you brand yourself.
5. Supporting the other bands (karma)
When you are on a tour your goal should be to smash it to the best of your ability everyday. Don’t be afraid to help other bands make money by getting them some sales. Whether this means screaming that they are the best during their set in front of 100 people, tweeting them out about their dope set, and also just really checking their set. The Chicharones are a group I have seen come from a Dj x rapper performance to a full band on a tour bus. Whether that means anything to you is irrelevant. They are still grateful for 20-200 people.
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