|Detty December: Cleaning Up Our Acts In 2019
I was so pleased to see quite a few Nigerian artists put up their own shows (even if in name only) last December. I have made a lot of noise about this for years now and though I don’t understand why it has taken so long to get here, still, it’s better late than never. With the present momentum, I fully expect that we’ll have at least twice the number of shows that held last December, at the end of this year, and I’m so fucking excited!
Whether you were able to partake of one or more of the many shows last December or just followed updates on social media, It was clear that most of the events were not without major hiccups. And all the usual suspects made an appearance including the perennial, seemingly genetically-influenced inability of our artistes and show organizers to keep to time, inadequate and ineffective security giving rise to robbery and sexual harassment, and of course mediocre sets resulting from little or no planning. Like we say over here, it’s in our blood. But is it really in our blood? If it is in our blood how come Johnny Drille held a show that started and ended on time? How come I heard only good reviews from the fans who attended Adekunle Gold’s residency?
Shows and performances are a critical part of an artist’s career with huge potentials for direct revenue and brand building that is still very much under-appreciated in our industry. And to deliver better experiences for concert goers and fans in the new year, artists and promoters must fully understand that they are responsible for the welfare and enjoyment of their paying fans right from the time they step into the event venue to the moment they leave; and must act accordingly. So, here are some areas where significant improvements can be made with huge ROI.
Plan your set!
It doesn’t matter how many “I love my fans” tweets you put up if you don’t take time to properly plan and rehearse your set you neither love nor respect your fans and that’s sad. You must know beforehand how many songs you plan to perform and have a predetermined sequence for performing them and this information should be known to your band and DJ as well. Every interlude, every pause, every monologue, every song, every opening act’s performance, every lighting manoeuvre, every damn move, as much as possible, should be properly choreographed in advance. This is how you “kill the show” not by merely showing up and miming to your songs in fits and starts.