The college circuit is a must for any new touring band because it combines exposure to large audiences and great pay. Here are two tips to help you get started and grow your presence.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget the lost art of talking face to face and hide behind technology and hope it will do the talking for you. If you are looking to play the college circuit, something that has worked in the passed for many, myself included, is simply knocking on the door of a Fraternity, Sorority or any other social organization, introducing yourself and simply having a conversation. Whenever you are playing a town with a large college make a point to go to greek row(s) and drop off some music, invite people to your show, put the social chair (the person who makes the final decision on booking) on the guest list. These types of interactions help tremendously. You may be thinking “who wants a random artist knocking on their door?” Well you’d be surprised. Most every college kid loves music and wants to chat it up. Also they are very welcoming to visitors (even to the point that a lot of times the front door is literally wide open and you just walk in) especially to those who offer them a spot on the guest list. So make that initial contact, tell them who you are and do not leave without at least a contact name and phone number. Then continue to follow up.
When you get a gig, make sure you bring a friend or significant other to get the lowdown on social scene and greek politics (as in college not the EU financial crisis) from other social organizations that attend. For example, if you are playing a frat party, have this person run recon on others by interrogating a member of the sister sorority and vice versa. The opinion of the sorority matters more than that of the fraternity because the fraternity can’t throw a bash if the sororities don’t show up, and sororities can’t throw a bash without frats showing up. Sounds silly I know, but now matter how we spin it, we are in a constant popularity contest and we want to play in front of large crowds of people with influence, dig?