promotingLet’s promote your band.  Let’s promote your gig.

In this article I may refer to a band, duo, single artist or event as the “product”.  I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but it is what it is, a product. And if you market it and promote it properly, you will have more of a following, and hopefully, more people at your gigs, because let’s be honest, you’re trying to win people over. You want them to be engaged with what you have to offer. And if you don’t care whether you have an audience or not, then play on the freakin’ street corner and don’t put venues at risk.

For starters, there are so many different ways to get your product known, now more than ever.  Social media is a must and networking is imperative.  Since the dream of getting picked up by a big label is harder than ever, more artists are garnering “Street teams” to make a grassroots effort to accumulate fans. They’re following the DIY business model as the music industry attempts to reinvent itself.  Yes, there are still Independent Record Promoters out there working artists trying to get them radio airplay, but they cost big bucks. BIG BUCKS. I make no attempt to try to tell artists how to “make it,” I’m just trying to get artists to promote their gigs here in Ventura!  You can use Bandcamp, ArtistData and CDBaby for the bigger picture.  This article is about getting people out to see you and support you in Ventura County.

Number one rule, DO NOT depend on one medium, especially if that one medium is a social media choice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).  Most people do not use social media and if they do, they’re not on it 24/7.

On the other side of the coin (and it’s a scary one), there are a handful of people who think Facebook is the internet and it’s the only place they get their information. I’ve met one or two and it’s bizarre.

Be that what it may, Facebook is fun because you get feedback, but Facebook now limits your reach; those who are your friends, or those who have “liked” your page don’t always receive your post, and if they do, they’re not on Facebook ALL THE TIME, so they may miss your post. Bands who have used Facebook industriously have discovered that Facebook will warn them that they’ve abused the Events feature when people don’t accept invitations and they’ll blackball them for awhile.

If you do use Facebook, you should have a Band/Artist/Business page, and you should always promote your gigs from that page and not your personal page. I know a lot about Ventura’s music scene and it will still confuse me when a person says “We’re playing tonight at the Sewer!”  My question is , “Who is We?” If you don’t have a Band/Artist or Business page (this goes to you venue owners too), at least spell it out for people who “we” is; name your band or venue.

When you do post a gig on Facebook, take the time when possible to create artwork.  The artwork (poster) should include your name, date, place and time. People love images! And if you do create events, still use artwork so people can share it. I did a quick survey of my posts and found that when I shared a band’s event, it would get about 75 views, but when I posted artwork from that same event, it would garner over 700 views.  Do the math, it’s worth your time to create art.

Also, if you use a photo, do not use a photo from another venue, i.e., a picture taken at The Grape to promote a gig at Four Brix Winery.  It not only confuses people, but let’s face it, it’s kind of rude to the venue you’ll be playing for.  So, do try to get photos at every venue you play for future use.

Twitter is fun because it’s such a challenge to get everything you want to say in 140 characters. So I like it because it forces people to keep their tweets succinct and to the point.  Use artwork here too, and don’t use a link to somewhere else explaining what you’re talking about.  Spell it out on Twitter.  I NEVER EVER click on those links. But again, the bottom line with Twitter (and all social media), people may miss the tweet because they’re not checking it all the time. Use it, but don’t depend on it.

The same goes for Instagram.  People LOVE pictures!  I can’t impress on you enough!  Using Instagram to share posters of events is a clever way to help get the word out.  But like all the other forms of social media, people may miss it. Oh! And, if you share your Instagram post on Facebook, know that others can not share it for some reason.  You need to post it on Facebook (not share it from Instagram).

Email blasts are a great old school method because they will reach your target audience.  Just be sure you’re doing it right and the layout of your email isn’t all jacked up and oversized.  That’s a quick way to get your email deleted and ignored, especially if you consistently do that.  Also, don’t include too much information in each email.  Keep it to the point.  Triple check your text for typos and grammatical errors. Follow the basics, who, what, where, and how much will it cost. Again, artwork helps.

For the bigger picture, you’ll want to have a website, one that lists out who you are, what you offer and where you will be playing. Yes it’s an investment, but it gives you credibility, and it keeps you connected to your audience. They know where to find you. You can have links there to all your social media pages and vice versa.

Please list your genre.  Don’t list how it makes people feel, or who your influences have been, list what type of music you provide. Do this on your homepage of your website, the About page of Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter, YouTube, CD Baby, BandCamp. Maybe because I don’t personally produce music I don’t understand why an artist or band doesn’t like to be pigeonholed to a particular genre, but trust me, if you’re trying to get more people to your gig, most want to know what they’re in store for.  They may or may not want folk, metal, punk or jazz.  They may be in the mood for exactly what you have to offer.

Putting up flyers about town is still worthy of your endeavors, especially if you’re promoting an event as oppose to a gig.

And please use fonts people can read! Metal is the worst, punk follows closely behind. If you insist on using unreadable fonts on artwork for social media, then I’m begging you, write out the band names on the post itself.

If you have a big event, let all of your local media outlets know!  Write up a quick press release and send it out to The Ventura County Star, the VC Reporter, The Ventura Breeze, and of course  Many of these resources list a calendar of events for free.  Do the research and find out who to email.

And not to be tooting our own horn, but is an invaluable resource for Ventura’s music scene. We get up to 10,000 page impressions monthly.  These are people who want to know about music in Ventura County specifically.  Not LA, not Santa Barbara, but Ventura County.

I can’t stress enough how frustrating it is to see a gig on Facebook the day of the show that isn’t listed on I take promoting Ventura’s music scene very seriously.  I’ve been doing this since 2009; I’ve missed updating the website maybe five times, and it was mostly due to technical issues or illness. I’ve never blown it off.

Please let me know when your gigs are and don’t depend on social media. I’m not online all the time!  It may seem that way because I schedule posts in advance, but seriously, I’m away MOST OF THE TIME!!  It really does break my heart to see something that I missed the day of someone’s show and I can’t update because I’m not at my home computer.

Don’t be shy, we want you to reach out and tell us your gigs.  We’ve never charged a venue or artist to be listed for gigs in Ventura, and now we offer that same service for all of Ventura County. We do offer advertising for those who want to stand out more, but to be listed on the calendar, it’s absolutely free. Just give us advance warning when you can, and let us know when your gigs have been cancelled or postponed. really is a unique resource that I wish bands, artists and all of Ventura County’s venues would take advantage of. People swear by it and check it almost daily to make sure they’re not missing anything.

Send your info and updates to  It’s helpful if you check our weekly calendar page before you send me information just in case it is already listed:,

It bares repeating, it takes three elements to make a music scene, the artists, the venues, and music lovers, together, we make Ventura Rock!

I love you man,


Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/21 – 1/3

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
To Another Rockin’ Year!
by Pam Baumgardner
Here we are ushering in another year. It’s when we take time to reflect back and it’s when we take time to look forward. If you know me at all, then you know that I’m a “glass-half-full” sort of gal. So, I’m looking forward to and postulating a year of growth, a year of success, a year of new music and a year of harmony for all.

Before we hit the ground running in 2017, we have to send off 2016 with a bang! So here we go with New Year’s Eve parties in and around Ventura. You’ll want to do your own due diligence with reservations and keep in mind that a number of venues who typically don’t, will be charging a cover for the night; most everyone will have specials and party favors. And if I may suggest, be sure to have a designated driver or a well-thought out exit plan on getting home safe.

Amigos will feature the pop 80’s band Wax Off; Café Fiore has two bands in the front room, Big Adventure and Instone with Colette Lovejoy in the Treehouse; Chinaland in Oxnard has the Grooveline featuring Dora Sanchez and guest DJ Frank Ramirez; the Copa Cubana in the harbor will have Artis Ford; The Crown Plaza has their popular annual event with DJ Bruce Barrios; Discovery features One More Time, a Daft Punk tribute band; Gigi’s has a Karaoke countdown; there will be a masquerade party at Grapes and Hops with the Shawn Jones trio; the Greek Mediterranean will have a Great Gatsby theme party with a DJ; The Hong Kong Inn has The Bomb; The Hut in Ojai has Wishbone with special guest Alastair Greene; there’s definitely no cover at the Keynote Lounge with the Black Canyon Band; O’Leary’s has a Roaring 20’s party with Live Band Karaoke; Paddy’s has DJs with two dance floors all night; Rookees will also feature a masquerade theme with Wiz Kid at the helm; Saloon BBQ Co has DJ Acer; Brain Faith & Friends will be at the Sportsman in Camarillo. The Tavern has DJ Steeze Steve; and former LA Guns singer, Paul Mars Black will be at the Wine Rack.

And finally, if you’ll be ringing in the New Year anywhere near a television, then be sure to tune in to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2017 with Ryan Seacrest. I realize that’s an odd recommendation from me, but you won’t want to miss seeing the newly Grammy nominated Mike Posner Band with local artist, Jacob Scesney on saxophone in his band. I can’t even express how proud I am of Jacob, he’s truly living the dream!

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Music Photos – December 2016

Squashed Grapes – December 22, 2017
Tilford Jackson Christmas Show
Tilford Jackson Christmas show

Grapes and Hops – December 21, 2017
The Swillys
Sally and Steve Williams

Majestic Ventura Theater – December 18, 2016
Holiday Sing-Along


Ones To Watch Productions at Poinsettia Pavilion – December 17, 2016
The White Buffalo
The White Buffalo

The Wine Rack – December 17, 2017
Paul McCallum and Friends
Paul McCallum and Friends

Hong Kong Inn – December 9, 2016
Sugaray Rayford – photo credit: Candace Marshall
Sugaray Rayford

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 12/7 – 12/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Swing in the Season!
by Pam Baumgardner
Ventura Rocks
There are plenty of music related holiday events to get you into the swing of the season. Let’s start with the Ones to Watch Productions hosting their first show at the Poinsettia Pavilion on Friday, December 16, with The Brambles and Bryan Titus Duo opening up for The White Buffalo. As you may know, Steve and Polly Hoganson (formerly of Zoey’s) continue to help artists featuring showcases such as this around the Gold Coast. This intimate holiday concert being called “I’m dreaming of a White Buffalo Christmas” features the incredibly talented Jake Smith whose songs have been featured in many films and television shows including “Sons of Anarchy.”  Polly told me, “We’re excited to bring Jake The White Buffalo back to Ventura for another holiday concert and food drive to benefit Turning Point Foundation. It’s OTW Productions first time show at the lovely Poinsettia Pavilion and we hope to bring more concerts to this event center.”  If you’ve caught one of Jake’s concert before, you won’t want to miss him up close and personal, Polly said, “The White Buffalo’s rare solo performances are special because you get an intimate insight into his songwriting and a connection that you don’t normally get at an arena show.”

Kelly’s Lot will be at Four Brix Winery on Saturday, December 10.  The band recently released a new song, “Colours of December” in honor of members of the military and their families. There will be a silent auction and donations accepted for TAPS, an organization that provides assistance to families who have lost a family member in the military.  Four Brix will be offering tri-tip dinners and pizzas, doors open at 5, Kelly’s Lot plays at 7.

Chopper Fest arrives at the Ventura Fairgrounds on Sunday, December 11 with live music from The Shari Puorto Band, Hard Six and One More From the Road, a Lynryd Skynyrd tribute band; there will be a pre party the night before at The Tavern with music from Revolution Mother and the Rubberneck Lions.

Big props to Tommy and Paddy Marsh who will open for The Robert Cray Band at the Rose in Pasadena on December 9.

The 14th annual Nardcore Xmas food drive will be at The Garage on Saturday, December 17 featuring music from Shattered Faith, Hymen Blasters, Mother of Dissension, COA and Side Effects.  Along with accepting canned goods, the organizers are asking for new blankets and/or cash donations which will go to Food Share of Oxnard. Tax deductible receipts available.

You finally you should take a break from shopping and take the whole family out for a good old fashion holiday sing-along at the Ventura Theater. This event will be held on Sunday December 18 from 3-5 pm. Price of entry is one new unwrapped toy per family.

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to