Local Band Wars: Unite Your Fanbase, Light a Fire in the Scene

A local radio station picked up on this band feud and made this header for the station website

I think the headline says it all.

Hip-hop has been doing this for years.  And aside from it getting ugly from time to time, it really generates a TON of interest in the feuding artists and the scene in which they reside.

Why can’t other styles of music do this? Welp, they can.  And they are.  At least a couple that I know in Columbus, OH are – the George Elliot Underground and Chelsea Automatic.

Don’t get your panties in a bunch, I’m not suggesting to go out and pick fights with other bands. We’re all hypocrites, but I’m not that much of one.  I’m about lifting up the entire scene and promoting each other.  Promote the other guy more than yourself.

That’s what a friendly band feud does.  The only trick is to keep it “friendly.”

As the rumor goes, GEU and Chelsea Automatic were hanging out one night and tossing around some ideas over a few beers.  Without too much thought as to what the result would be, someone suggested a band war.

The trick was to use it as show promotion to promote a bill where both bands were playing.

The next day they started posting insults on each other’s Facebook pages, each time linking to the other’s page so all the fans on both sides could see it:

“Chelsea Automatic takes their vitamins and drinks their milk.  George Elliot Underground eats wieners.”

“Via GEU:  The four d@uche bags on the Jersey Shore could write better songs than Chelsea Automatic.”

Can you start to picture what happens next?

1.  Fans unite to support their band

2.  Noise is made in the scene

3.  Content is generated in the form of videos, pictures, fan shirts (Team George/Team Chelsea).

4.  Content goes viral

5.  Local media picks it up

In this case a local radio station picked it up and created a page on their website where fans could vote and show their support and experienced over 400 votes in 24 hours.

Here, think of it like this:  The 50 Cent and Kanye feud to sell more albums.  Same deal here, but on a local level.

The key to success is building the “feud” around an event with both bands in attendance.  Whether it be a co-album release, co-billed show, festival, etc.

Do this:

  • Buddy up with another local band.
  • Book a show together to have something to build the feud around (3 months out or so)
  • About a month before the show start leaving messages like the ones above on each other’s pages, websites, etc.
  • Pick up the frequency of the content as the event draws nearer.  Use videos and pictures.  Old school wrestling promos are perfect.  People can share them and spread the message.
  • Creating a micro-site for the war.  Install a voting poll option.  Look at this page:  UndergroundColumbus.com/columbuswar
  • Once the war starts to pick up steam, reach out to your local media contacts/bloggers/twitterers.
  • Play the show

A little sidenote:  I actually work for UndergroundColumbus.com.  I got an email from our P.D. stating that he ran into the feud online and thought it was hilarious and he wanted us to cover it.  So, I’m not making this up.

The scene needs ignited every so often or it will never grow.  And I mean the ENTIRE scene.  You don’t necessarily have to stage band fights – get creative and try something different.

But whatever you do – lift others up around you.  You’ll be amazed how much further you go than if you stick to yourself.


tweety tweet:  @davemhuffman

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