Vulfpeck, a band from Michigan with no manager or record label pumping their brand, managed to sell out their Sept. 28 concert at Madison Square Garden. They didn’t spend one dime on advertising. The band has “never had a hit single”, according to an article in Billboard. How’d they do it?
Billboard interviewed Jack Stratton who plays in the band he leads, and there’s something else noteworthy in Stratton’s remarks:
“I’ve always been curious how far you can take it, just trying to use the Internet efficiently,” says Stratton, 31, speaking by phone from his Cleveland home. “At the end of the day, I want to get the musicians paid as much as possible. If that’s your North Star, a lot of stuff is out of the question — certainly a label, and most likely a manager. That’s been the guiding thing.”
The band has 265,000 followers on Instagram and 509,225 on the Vulfpeck page on Facebook. Obviously, considering the return—more than 13,000 filled seats—these guys know how to touch a chord with their supporters.
They even brought furniture from home to the Garden, from the house where they record, to recreate the set their followers see online.
The band does have an agent now, and her remarks should resonate with indie musicians:
“Jackie Nalpant… calls the manager-and-label-less approach “pretty much an anomaly,” but suggests other artists might be able to follow Vulfpeck’s lead. “As more and more musicians can just make records in their bedrooms and have more access to their data, there’s just more control for musicians and artists than ever before.”
Vulfpeck is brilliant at branding. They placed an album on Spotify, and many of the tracks were totally silent. Their official website is most definitely unique.
In weeks leading up to the Madison Square Garden concert, their other appearances were also sold out.
Today’s technology, combined with music that touches hearts of supporters and large amounts of creativity, definitely gives musicians an edge artists of the past didn’t have.
Wikipedia has a reasonably sourced entry on Vulfpeck that offers more interesting details about the band.
(Kay B. Day/Oct. 16, 2019)