Breaking Up and Getting Back Together in Style
Written by Laura Maxwell
By now you’ve decided you’re “on a mission from God” and you’re putting the band back together. Whether you’ve been out of the game for two months or two years, your “second-first impression” is key. So maybe a full tank of gas, a half pack of cigarettes, and wearing your sunglasses at night will get you to Chicago, but it won’t necessarily make people pay attention to you.
Blues Brothers references aside, the music world has changed since your breakup, and it’s constantly evolving. Unless you’re the Saturday night regular at Bob’s Country Bunker, you’re going to have your work cut out for you. You’ll want to announce your triumphant return in a big way, so how do you make the biggest impact?
Let’s use Rocky Mountain FreeGrass band Mountain Standard Time as an example. They had a strong following in the Denver area before going on a hiatus in 2011, and before reuniting in 2012, the band knew they had to focus on securing a place in the hearts of Denver music fans again.
“It’s always nerve racking going from a situation where you have a lot momentum ,to a complete stop, [only to] come back and try and be in the same position,” said Brian Heisler, Manager for Mountain Standard Time. “Six months after getting back together, we’re getting really close to where we were and it’s really encouraging.”
1. Make a big announcement
Fans don’t have mental telepathy, and they aren’t scouring the Internet waiting for rumors of your return. Think about the places where your fans are hanging out - especially in cyberspace - and try to reach them there. Tap into your previous mailing list and established social channels and make a well-calculated announcement. You’ll want to give fans a call-to-action to help get things buzzing again. Give them incentives like free copies of an old album, a t-shirt, and more for sharing the news with their friends. If you have your first show planned, this is the perfect place to announce it and get it on people’s calendars. You want them to engage with you periodically following the announcement - so give them a reason to!
Mountain Standard Time announced their return through their “Return to the Road” initiative. Through a series of shows, and content on both their website and in social media, they announced their return as a band. The band played an intimate local festival and then officially kicked things off with the “Fall Barn Dance,” a themed show modeled off their sold-out MardiGrass shows that happened each February. Brian Heisler said, “Response from fans was really good and [the number of] people that attended the Fall Barn Dance was close to the numbers we had seen before. It was really encouraging.”