The DMV Makes Music Songwriter’s Showcase was created to highlight the unique and diverse talent within the DC songwriting community. Inspired by the Nashville music scene, this showcase aims to help cultivate DC local music and put on an entertaining show for our audiences and venues.


The showcase consits of 12 songwriters, who perform their original music across 6 half-hour sets. 2 musicians perform on stage at a time. The show usually lasts 3 hours. I run sound with my PA and mixer. This is everything that goes in to putting on the show, getting artists, promoting the shows, and everything in between.


Booking Venues

The first challenge is selling the show to Venues. The main thing venues care about is a big crowd. The second thing is good music, and helping the music scene. Diverse show and many different types of songs for audience, so its better that one performer. Also opportunity for musicians to try out for venue. Lastly it's a great way for the venues to supposrt the local music scene.

Booking Artists

I go to 3 open mics a week. If I like a performer, I offer them a spot in the showcase. They are generally very flattered, especially when I tell them they get $20 and a free beer. It's not much, but it's an excuse to play music and have fun with your friends. After doing this a while, you get to know many of the folks in the music scene and become friendly with them. So everyone kind of knows eachother.

Running Sound

The night of the show, my job is to run sound. I have a 16 track mixer, 2 400-watt speakers, and another 1000 watt speaker I use as a monitor. I also have a multichannel direct box for instruments. The first show was quite an experience getting setup in time. Since then, I can get everything set up, wires plugged-in and taped down, stands setup, and everything sound checked in an hour and a half.

Promoting event

The second huge challenge is promoting the event. Which means getting people out to the show. Letting the town or city know about it. Telling friends to tell their friends. Getting musicians to invite their family. That's just the start. I would hand out flyers at the metro, outside grocery stores, I was taping flyers to telephone poles. Social media plays a big role in marketing the event. A huge breakthrough for me was realizing I needed to get the music community out to the shows. In Nashville some showcases host an open mic after the show, this brings out more performers. I started doing that, and also started hosting an open mic outside the showcase. As you do more shows, more and more people hear about the brand, and they want to come to the show, especially if their friend is performing, or they have a chance to perform themselves.


Brand Identity

It became apparent after running a few events we needed a website and a social media presence to promote the events. In order to do that, we needed a brand identity with a logo, colors, and matching typography. We needed a mood board. I thought we should express 'Timeless hipster folk' vibes.

Below, you can see the moodboard. To the right you can see a couple posters that embodied the brand, which included our logo, our typography, our textured look and feel, and how we used brushed strokes as a way to highlight information, but also give us a way to both differentiate the flyers from one another, yet connect all the flyers in a single brand.

Mood Board

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Content Calendar

In order to promote our shows, we needed a social media presence. I was told 90% of your content needs to be focused on others. This meant I should focus on the community: promoting the musicians, promoting shows in the DMV, and creating content that could tell a story behind our artists. We created a content calendar, and made posts such as "Meet the Musician Monday's" and "What are you most thankful for?" on Thanksgiving.


I began filming the open mics, and tagging musicians in my story, which allowed them to share their perfomances on their instagram. They loved this. I also could post flyers to the next showcase in between every few clips.

Paid ads

We began doing paid promotions on instagram and facebook. This allowed us to promote shows, and the showcase, as well as drive traffic to our website, and gain email subscribers.

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Initially I was stumped trying to design the website without a brand identity. But after the breakthroughs discussed above, the website practically designed itself. There were many elements I was very proud of when designing and developing this site.


While designing the site, we realized we needed to build an email list and create email campaigns. This would allow us to let people know about our events directly and keep them engaged. Folks get an email whenever they sign up, or when we're hosting a new event. We signed up for mailchimp and embedded a form in to our website

Google Analytics

We also installed google analytics to our site. This allows us to see when people are visiting our website, like from facebook/instagram ads for example.

MP3 Player

The mp3 player was something I wanted on the site to showcase some of our music. I found a javascript mp3 player someone created for free and was able to add that to the site.


The schedule was just made using some css. I like the way it turned out. These CTAs require that I create a facebook event for each show to drive users to learn more aobut the events.

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The flyers are very important. They have to be something artists wanted to post on their social media. They also make us look like a professional brand. I've handed out flyers at open mics, grocery stores, metro stations, etc. I've also taped flyers to telephone poles. Anything to get the word out.


Email Marketing

Subscribers get an email when they signup, or when we're putting on a new event. At the events I pass around a clipboard and encourage folks to sign up. That's how we get many of our subscribers. These are some sample emails we sent out.