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Scottish and Celtic Music Discussion
Album launches - what do folk expect?
Posts: 2043
Posted: 25-Oct-2009 18:55
I've both attended and organised album launches in the past and am just wondering what folk expect / prefer to happen...
Do they come for a wee set from the band, a wee drink,then expect to buy an album? Do they come for a wee glass of wine, music on CD just as background, then maybe buy an album ? Or just a few free drinks, meet their pals, forget the bloody album,and go home?? * Have they usually heard of the band, or do they just turn up on spec? Do folk expect to pay a nominal sum at the door, these days?

What's the verdict?? I'd be really interested to hear opinions from both listeners and album launchers !

(This is from the woman who organised her own album launch, paid for all the drink, and gave the CDs away, first time round !! - ach well - it was a while ago !! xx :) )

* I realise this may be both the expectation and preference ! :)xx

Ghengis McCan
Posts: 93
Posted: 25-Oct-2009 19:27
I would expect a wee bit of live music from the band,a drink and maybe a buffet.
I would expect to buy the album being launched but certainly not pay for entry.
If however I was having my own album launch there would be a couple of bouncers at the exit
to ensure that anyone leaving had purchased the album.
David Francis
Posts: 680
Posted: 25-Oct-2009 19:31
Would it not be down to what you want the event to achieve? Is it about sales, publicity, networking or just a straightforward celebration? Or are you trying to cover all of those bases in one go? The shape of the event will depend on the answer to that question, I guess.
Posts: 2043
Posted: 25-Oct-2009 19:47
Love the thought of bouncers on the way out,Genghis !!
Dave - for myself, it would just be a straightforward party to mark the event, see pals, and maybe speak to folk that'd be prepared to to promote it on radio or in shops ( that last bit is the voice of experience, after the first, self financed one !! ) Really, just the celebration, I think. Anything else would be a bonus ! I
I'm just interested in general to see what folk think - I've been to those myself where I've had the wine, food, set, but still not bought it - mainly through skintness, tho, I hasten to add !! :)

Jack Campin
Posts: 1785
Posted: 25-Oct-2009 20:07
The most effective launch I've been to was Ailie Robertson's for her first CD, which had no entry charge, a substantial concert from the band, free glass of wine, and generated queues to buy the CD that looked like a New Year sale. (I bought one, and will buy Ailie's next CD without another launch to prompt me).

The only time I've seen a launch advertised that you had to pay to get into was Rallion's, advertised here. I wouldn't consider going to one like that. (And I still haven't bought any Rallion CDs).

Posts: 2043
Posted: 25-Oct-2009 20:18
I've seen a lot more entrance fees for launches than that one band you mention ,Jack, and it shouldn't be a reflection on anyone in particular.

Nìall Beag
Posts: 2237
Posted: 25-Oct-2009 23:20
To me, "album launch" is a free thing. A gig is a gig, an album launch is an album launch.

I wouldn't feel obliged to buy an album at an album launch because.... it's my first chance to hear it! It's a demo, it's a schmooze, it's an advert. If a few people take advantage of it for a free glass of wine, that's the price you pay for advertising.

Tattie Bogle
Posts: 3849
Posted: 25-Oct-2009 23:24
Having been at a couple, including Ailie's excellent launch, i think much as described by Ghengis, but minus the bouncers. I would sort of feel obliged to buy the Cd, as a person of conscience, so would prob not go to the CD launch of just anyone! And also, I would not expect to pay to get in
Posts: 3248
Posted: 26-Oct-2009 11:07
(This is from the woman who organised her own album launch, paid for all the drink, and gave the CDs away, first time round !! - ach well - it was a while ago !! xx :) )

Ach well, it was a great night just the same. :-)

Re Jack's comments, I am inclined to agree that it isn't the best approach to organise a special gig whereby people are being charged money to launch an album. However, it can make good sense to utilise an existing or already arranged gig to take the opportuninty to launch a new album. This also has some benefit for the organisers (Either an outside organisation or the artists themselves) when publicising the concert, i.e. the band or artist has something new to offer the audience on this occasion in terms of material which might not always(Believe me) be the case for every gig.

From the artist(s)' point of view, they are obviously assisted(hopefully) by the gig organisers and should save some money on expenses. Also, if there are a few gigs lined up, then the album can be launched in different areas of the country, eg Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness etc. Depending on the venue, it would still be possible to invite certain people in the music industry along as guests too.

Simon T
Posts: 8663
Posted: 26-Oct-2009 12:24
From a record company point of view the ONLY point to a launch is to attract the press. The launch should be all about creating publicity for the album/DVD etc. The problem is that the press rarely turn up nowadays (even with free wine) and while the artist has a good time with friends who might tell there pals about the release it is not really cost effective. I reckon that is why most album launches are treated as gigs nowadays so the band plays at least can sell some CDs to public as this is where most CDs are sold nowadays.
Posts: 3248
Posted: 26-Oct-2009 12:28
"the band plays at least can sell some CDs to public as this is where most CDs are sold nowadays."

I thought it was always the public who bought CDs. I doubt if The Press have ever bought that many. :-)

(Don't get upset, Simon. I know what you really meant here)

Posts: 30
Posted: 26-Oct-2009 13:40
I expect fireworks. And maybe a pool of cod liver oil. And a man dressed up as a wheelbarrow.

Nìall Beag
Posts: 2237
Posted: 26-Oct-2009 13:42
Remember that there's no need for a band to have an "album launch" at all. Don't many acts do an "album tour", using the same name as their album, and focusing on material from the album? They always charge for that, which is fair enough, cos it's only the name "album launch" that makes me think "free".

Thinking about it again, though, there's one situation where a non-free "launch" seems acceptable to me: when it's hosted by a regular club on one of their regular nights. It's the independent, one-off event that seems weird to me.

Posts: 2043
Posted: 28-Oct-2009 00:52
... Ah ! A lot of food for thought... I'll probably just go with the tried and tested / wee set/ wine/ live in hope format.... although the man dressed as a wheelbarrow does sound strangely attractive ! :)
Keith Melville
Posts: 148
Posted: 28-Oct-2009 08:10
Shades of Monty Python here !

Can I get to be the man dressed up as a wheelbarrow, spike ?


Posts: 2043
Posted: 28-Oct-2009 11:56
Of course! You were first choice on the list !! :) xx
Posts: 2043
Posted: 28-Oct-2009 11:56
Just deleted a duplicate post ! x
Posts: 1766
Posted: 28-Oct-2009 12:38
Hey Spike, we've done all the above, indeed our band's first CD launch was more like a family wedding but without a fight.

Recently our club had a gig from a new young band. It coincided with one of the band bringing out a debut CD. They did a normal gig and we encouraged folk to buy the CD. Not that it took much, she's great. Nevertheless, I know she could not have attracted a large audience without our input and she could never afford to put on free drinks. It all worked very well indeed.

Other acts have launched their CD at our club on a normal gig night and it has worked very well. You'd be welcome to do the same!!

The difference for you is that as a very famous folkie your CD launch will attract a large audience of adoring fans anyway.

Posts: 3248
Posted: 28-Oct-2009 12:42
Ah, with all this talk of "wheel barrow" stories I was wondering when you'd be making an appearance BM. :-)
Posts: 1766
Posted: 28-Oct-2009 12:52
Keep ma mither's hoose oot o this you.............
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