How to: House Show Tours with Matt Hires
Matt Hires is no novice to the touring world. The singer/songwriter spent 6 years under F-Stop Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. After parting ways with his label in January, Hires was looking for different avenues to explore his newfound freedom.
After reading an article on house show tours, the Tampa native set up a 5 show, east-coast tour in April to test the waters. Hires found it so successful, that last month, he set out feelers again – this time for a longer tour on the West Coast.
How to set up a house show tour.
Through extensive touring over the last 7 years, Hires has acquired a dedicated following. His presence on social media has played a large role in the quality of his fans. He frequently engages his fans in conversation through Facebook and Twitter, which helps him create a more personal connection with them.
After his sets, you can often catch Matt hanging out by his merch table, taking pictures with fans and signing CDs. He wisely uses this opportunity for email acquisition for his newsletter. Matt also sited Noisetrade, a website dedicated to helping artists build their email lists by exchanging free music for email addresses and postal codes, as an important tool in building up his brand.
It was through social media and his newsletter that he was able to collaborate with his fan-base to organize his tour in just a few weeks. Hires was able set-up ticket sales through Ticketleap at the designated house venues.
Why should musicians do house show tours?
A smaller group of dedicated fans – ones that will consistently purchase albums and attend performances – is far better than a large mass of fans that would rather spend $10 on two cups of Starbucks coffee than purchase your album. There is nothing more personable than the organic interactions that take place at a house show. Instead of hanging out in the green room before shows, Hires immerses himself in his fans. The singer/songwriter often finds himself letting the crowd dictate his set, working together to navigate the direction of the evening.
The fans that host and attend these shows tend to be of a unique quality. These are often dedicated fans who are looking to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with their favorite artist. Fans form a deep connection with the artist and the music when they are able to help contribute to the evening – simply by showing up.
And – just being able to show up is one of the best parts! For Matt, there are no venue costs and bar minimums that need to be met. For the fans, there are no waiting in lines that wrap around street corners or pushing and shoving to get a good position.
What’s next for Matt?
Matt Hires was limited to releasing just two full length albums during his 6 year stint with F-Stop records. With his newfound freedom, he has dedicated his time to producing as much music as possible, getting it into the hands of his fans, and touring to interact with as many of these fans as he can. Hires self-released the Heartache Machine EP in March and plans on releasing two more EPs before the end of the year. Catch Matt Hires as he heads west August 8th-20th.