Why It's Important For Local Bands To Play Music Festivals

By Michael Fitzgerald

In the past 5 years alone, new music festivals have sprouted up all across the country, from major cities like Chicago and Austin, to places almost literally in the middle of nowhere, like a desert in Nevada or an unassuming campground in the Ohio Valley. But no matter where they take place, these music festivals always seem to attract huge audiences - and offer an amazing opportunity for local bands to get noticed. Local bands lucky enough to earn their way to a stage on a music festival not only get the chance to perform for massive crowds, but many record labels and A&R representatives take special note of these events and the bands that perform well on them.

When a band gets to perform with a ton of other groups and musicians in front of lots of new fans - on a music festivals, for example - they also get the chance to network with more fans, bands, and music industry people than they would on your average local show. Festivals may also be a great chance for groups to sell all kinds of band merchandise - the more merch they can sell at a fest, the more the attendees will take interest in the group - for a local band, a T-shirt can be a walking, talking billboard of sorts, and can really create a buzz for the band somewhere like a local music fest.

As these music festivals gain popularity, and more and more cities host these events, more and more bands and musicians will be discovered as time goes on. There are already a number of success stories that start at music fests on both a national and local level. For example, at Gorilla Music's Cleveland Music Festival in 2011, the A&R representative who discovered Linkin Park - Jeff Blue - discovered guitarist Lance Dowdle. Jeff would later help Lance get signed to Atlantic records.

Performing on a music fest where a label rep or talent scout is present is potentially the best way for a band or musician to be discovered quickly. Once again in search of unknown local talent, Jeff Blue is actually currently working with Gorilla Music together to put on The Jeff Blue Contest Tour. These events will be held in major cities around the United States; every band booked to every show will be competing for a chance to write and record a song with Jeff Blue at his studio in L.A., California.

The Cleveland Music Festival and many other Gorilla Music festivals continue to be amazing opportunities for unknown or local bands to get noticed in their home market. Unlike many other music festivals out there today, Gorilla Music's festivals are designed to showcase the local talent as much as possible while still including National headliners in order to draw bigger crowds. This differs from many other house-hold name music fests which book 90% regional or national bands and leave very little chance for local bands to get much attention. Gorilla Music holds many music fests every year, the next one being The Dallas Music Festival, which is set to take place May 30th to June 1st at venues in and around the Deep Ellum area or Dallas.

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