Birmingham Album Release Party: Developing a Release Plan

“An Album Release Party is a big event for most bands. It is almost like planning for a wedding. It takes time and good planning. There are numerous duties that need to be done and numerous deadlines that must be kept and monitored. To have a great album release party, put together a timeline or a project plan.

The following items need to be put on the plan:

Date of the album release and availability: Most groups have their new album available at the time of the release party. Although this is not an absolute requirement, if you choose to have it available, make sure you have a solid commitment from the company pressing the CD and printing the print material that goes along with it. Plan to give them some extra time just in case!

Venue availability: Many venues are booked long in advance for Friday and Saturday nights. Plan accordingly. Search for a venue early on in the process of the release party and place this item near the top!

Promotional material: It takes time to develop promotional material. You need a graphic artist, a photographer, a layout, the proper text, a biography for each of the band members… you get the picture. This material takes time to develop and the less time you have the more expensive it gets. So, plan ahead and pull in some friends but budget time in you time line!

Food Planning: Even though it is simple, you need to put it on the time line. You need to actually choose the menu, contract or arrange for the caterer, etc. If it is a simple affair, this will not take a lot of time, but none-the-less, put it on the project list and allocate some time to it!

Web development: If you already have a web page, this one is rather quick. If not, plan for a long development time line. Obviously, this one is highly variable. And, it is likely to be contracted out. But just adding a good web page to an existing website can take a few weeks of time for the web designer. You will have some initial communication and then a back and forth communication with the developer as you edit and redo portions of it. Rank this one high on the list!

Written Invitations: These can be ordered, custom designed, hand made, store bought and printed at home, the solutions are endless. Budget some time early on for this so they can be done in plenty of time to send them out.

Electronic Invitations: Other than the images that you include, this is a rather quick form of communication. The electronic announcements should be sent out about a month prior to the event date, again each week and then the day prior and day of the event. This ensures the highest attendance.

Guest list: creating the guest list is usually not difficult as it includes the fan base to start with but then adds in the media people, local bloggers, local DJs, radio station personalities, music reviewers, celebrities, critics, A&R people, reporters for the music sections of the local press, and others who can help spread the word about your new release. Some of these people may need a personal visit and especially a personal hand written invitation! Place this on the project list and assign it a time!

Posters: Lots of posters!!! Give these several weeks. Most of the design work will be already done as they will have the same type look and feel as the other written material but remember that posters can cost a lot. If you give the printer more lead time, they tend to be less expensive. Rush jobs cost a lot! So budget some time and save some money! They should be plastered all over the place!

Detailed plan for the day and evening of the event: Make sure you plan out every minute leading up to the event. It takes time for the people to set up the venue, decorate, prepare food, set up the PA and arrange the tables for the CD sales. A detailed work plan of who, when, where and how is needed. Don’t forget extra extension cords, tape to tape down wires to avoid tripping, cash box, small denomination bills for change, business card sized list of your future concerts, etc. And make sure you have a few extra people lined up in case someone becomes ill or has an emergency and cannot attend.

Time to celebrate: Remember beyond all of the sales and glitz and marketing, the album release party is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Plan time to actually enjoy the people you invite. Take time to mingle, talk to old friends and celebrate!”

And remember to come to our next album release party for the Delicate Cutters at Woodrow Hall on June 24th, 2011!

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