How do you create a great news-story from a gig or concert?
A music journalist uses their verification capabilities and their storytelling art to make the gig-report newsworthy
A good show review is not written merely to inform readers, it also adds value to the concert itself.
Your role is to present the facts in a way that engages the readership
Here are some tips to help your gig-report stand out from the rest :
- Note what is said by the artists on and off stage. Off-the-cuff remarks may be forgotten the next day but will add spice to your story
- Watch the crowd reaction — what are their favorite numbers? Do they scream out for their favorite band members?
- Identify and chat to the super-fan (s) They are the experts. Do they think this is a good show? Or not?
- Show and Tell : See how the musicians deal with their equipment — any faults? Any slip-ups? Broken strings and bust drumsticks mean the artists were giving “their everything” — so reveal these facts in your final piece
- Some [perhaps most] of your readers were not at the show. You must act as their “eyes & ears.” So describe the room/stage to them, describe the lights, the background, the environment. Add flavour and colour to your descriptions to make the story a sensory experience for your readers
- Describe the crowd, their age, their gender, what T-shirts they are wearing
- The songs: Grab a photo of the set list so you can refer to it later. Did the band deviate from the list? Why? You could speculate of course, but better still ask a band member or tour manager to explain the reasons. Or obtain the opinion of a super fan. Did the band miss out any favourite songs from the list? Why?
- Try to explain how you felt when you heard each song. Your opinion is valuable, you’re an ear-witness to events … So did the song make you feel happy, sad, antagonized, bored?
Use emotions to give pith and spice to your story
- Provide the background
- Check the facts
- Explain and describe what was seen and heard
- Create an interesting and responsible report
- Use language that entertains
Your role at the concerts – The Committed Observer :
Any other tips you’d like to share? We would love to hear your thoughts on twitter @rockpencon
@neilmach 2016 ©
Neil Mach is editor of RAW RAMP MAGAZINE
Member of the European News Agency, Music Industry Forum, Music Industry Network and regular blogger and contributor to several sites