Getting people out to shows is a challenge for many bands, especially those in a competitive environment like NY, LA or Chicago. When promoting yourself, your first instinct will be to make sure that you get all your friends there every single time. While you should always consider your friends in the people you’re going to invite to come see you, don’t always bet on it. Even if they come to your first show or even the first few, they’re going to get tired of it. Further, some of your friends may not come at all. Why?
Because they don’t have interest in rock shows, they like other stuff. It’s like when they
ask you to come see them play flag football in Staten Island with a
bunch of middle-aged guidos at 9AM on Sunday- you could care less, have no
interest and it will probably never ever happen. Instead of spending all your energy badgering your friends
to come to your shows (often begrudgingly) try putting that energy into
preaching to the converted. Find people who already like rock shows to
go to your rock shows. Go to shows yourself and pass out free copies
of your disc and let them know you’re playing the same venue next
week. Contact your super-fans and treat them well and you can allow
them to convert others to your righteous brand of music instead of
always seeming like a beggar to people who will most likely never come
check you out (despite their claims and excuses). If you use this
approach you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and strain on your
friendships when you realize people aren’t going to leave the house for
you if it’s not something they are interested in.