The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Own Benefit Concert

You have a cause worth fighting for, and something you think you can get people to rally behind. It might be as big and broad as a political campaign or as simple as the health and life of one individual. How can you focus the attention of your community towards this noble cause?

Some people might think of a charity drive, a walkathon, or a bake sale. But if you really want to think out of the box, you might land on the idea for a benefit concert.

A benefit concert is an amazing way to rally your local community together, raise money, and unite behind a common cause. It can be an amazing, fun, and inspiring time as well. It’s worked many times in the past, but how do you get one of your own organized?

It doesn’t have to be difficult. Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.

What Kind Of Show Are You Putting On?

Before you can dive into all the work involved with putting a live show on, you’ll need to dig into the specifics of what you’re putting on. You need to get realistic.

A good place to start is by having a rough estimate of how big of a show you plan to put on. How many people do you think you could gather and hope to host? Start with a ballpark amount: 30, 100, 500? Have something to aim for.

A community benefit show can be anything, and it’s totally fine to have a few local acts on and a small group come out. However, if you’re in a real hub for the arts and have a big cause to support, you may decide to aim a little bit higher. There’s no right size for a benefit concert, it’s whatever you think you can take on.

After you have a handle on the size, think about the genre of music you’re thinking of including. Will it be an acoustic folk show, a hip-hop concert, or a loud and brash battle of the bands? You don’t have to commit to one genre of music, however, having a concrete idea will help you better market your event to interested audiences.

It can be a good idea to see what has the biggest amount of support in the community in which you hope to put on the show. If you live in a town that just loves country music, putting a country music show together is more likely to help you raise money for your cause.

With the size and style of the show decided upon, you can go about making this dream of yours into a reality.

Get A Team Together

No man is an island, and this is certainly important to keep in mind when putting something together as ambitious as a benefit show. You can’t do all the work alone. You need to gather a small group of like-minded people who will care about putting this show together just as much as you do.

That’s the real trait that’s going to be most important to look for in your potential team members: care and enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter if someone is rich, charismatic, or promises big things– if they don’t share the passion you do for the idea of this concert, you shouldn’t trust them to come aboard.

You want to build a trusting, positive, and encouraging team. Vet people well and trust your gut when bringing people onto the team. One rotten apple could ruin the whole event.

Outside of that qualification, it can be beneficial to bring people on board who have different connections or knowledge. One person may be friends with venue managers in town, another might be keyed into local music talent, another might be technology-minded and know sound equipment.

Everyone will be volunteering their time, so you need to have a team big enough that if a person or two drop-through, they’ll be enough support to keep going. However, the team shouldn’t be so big that people don’t feel personally invested in the project.

You’ll need to be a leader, and don’t be afraid to give orders and set deadlines for your team to get things done. If they care about the show, they won’t disagree with your methods. Be gracious, understanding, and keep a light sense of humor and you should be good to go.

Get Your Line-Up Together

With your team ob board, it’s time to start putting the show together. As a group, see if you can brainstorm a list of local acts that have some sort of following in the community. If you want, you can reach out to larger acts, but don’t expect to get a timely response.

Local acts can often be better anyway, as they will encourage their own friends and family to come out to the show.

Once you have a long list together, prioritize who you want to reach out to. People on your team might have certain connections to certain acts, and those are good ones to prioritize above others.

Treat everyone you reach out to as a professional. Explain to them the cause you’re raising money for and see if they’d be interested in performing at such an event. Most local acts should be excited to join in the fun.

As you start getting either a yes or no from people you ask, update your list. A good benefit concert should have a minimum of about five acts.

Find A Venue

While some of your team is working on musical acts, others should be trying to lock down a venue. You can look through Event venues in your community and see which ones would be open to hosting a live music event at your expected capacity.

Not everywhere will be open to hosting music, but many places will. Some might want to charge you while others might be open to helping out a good cause.

If you do have to book a venue, you could use a small portion of the overall proceeds of the concert to go towards this booking fee. As long as you raise a large amount of money, it shouldn’t be a problem to cover the fee in this way.

It’s important to note that not all venues will be music-friendly, even if the venue operators say that having a band perform is fine. Not all venues are set up with proper sound equipment, and others may not have the proper layout for a live performance event.

Make sure that bands will have the proper equipment they need and that the audience will have a comfortable experience at the show before locking into any specific venue.

Promoting the Show

Once you have your line-up, your venue, and the date set? You’re ready to get the word out about your benefit show. There are likely tons of music-lovers in your community that would be interested in coming out to hear live tunes for a good cause.

First and foremost, ensure that everyone on the team, the venue, and all the bands performing advertise the show as much as possible. If they share they care about getting the word out about the event, their friends and family are likely to follow suit.

You can make news of your show go around virally on social media in this fashion.

It’s also a good idea to put up flyers where people who are interested in money might run into them. Hanging flyers in record stores, school auditoriums, coffee shops, and other performances venues is a great way to get the word out about your concert.

Create a Facebook event and invite everyone you know, and have the bands and other members of your team follow suit. Try and get as many people to RSVP ahead of time as possible so you can get a realistic headcount.

People also tend to follow other people, so if there’s a large number of people who say they are going? It’s likely to encourage even more people to show up. No one wants to miss out, and you can utilize this idea in your marketing!

Throwing A Benefit Concert

If you’re trying to raise money for a good cause, there are few better things you can do than throw a benefit concert. Gathering great local music acts together to raise money can be a huge success, and you can have a lot of fun doing it. The above guide can help outline how to make your own benefit concert a reality.

Need more event advice or tips? Keep scrolling our blog for more information.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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