Playing a large festival like NXNE can really help elevate a band’s career. Being part of the festival helped countless artists get to the next level and played a key role in artist career development over the years. But it isn’t always about putting on one great performance. It’s all about how you spend your time on stage AND off stage. These events are just as much about networking as they are about the amazing music. Once again, we checked in with Crispin Giles, NXNE’s Music Programming Manager, to give us some tips on how you can have the most successful experience at NXNE 2014.
What makes a good performance?
"Seeing an artist in their element making an emotional impression. I see stuff all the time that I might not otherwise be into but find myself liking simply because it's real. For me it's about being in the moment and making the most of it. Play like it's the last show you'll ever do. I mean, there's nothing worse than watching a band fake its way through a set, calling in a 40-minute show. It's pretty simple really. Mean what you say and say what you mean."
What are some of the common mistakes that bands make when performing at NXNE?
"You will only get back what you put into it. Thinking that the work is done simply because you’ve been confirmed to play the fest, that everything will fall into place, that you won't need to promote your showcase, that all your meetings will materialize magically… is a mistake. NXNE is too big for you to expect to just arrive and have everything fall into place. Artists need to make themselves known to other bands and delegates alike. Once you've been invited to play the fest the real work begins. But then again the work is fun, so don’t stress."
What should artists avoid doing?
"Acting like you're owed something from someone just because you're playing NXNE is not the way to go. Remember that you're one of hundreds of other bands playing the fest – you’ve got to work just as hard as you would in getting people out to your show as you'd have to with any other show you do, maybe harder to get above the noise of it all. But it's a concentrated environment and there'll be lots of people that you'll want to connect with. It's a cool community at a fest and everyone is into meeting and talking. So avoid just waiting for stuff to happen. Get into it. Mingle."
What should artists do after the event?
"Follow up with all the people you met that you want to stay in touch with - maybe all of them in fact - as you never know what someone will move on to in the future. Take the time to evolve the relationships you've worked hard forging. Keep writing more music. The list goes on."