While it is always cool to go see big name artists perform in a larger setting, sometimes the best shows are at smaller, less elaborate venues. There is something about the feeling of being at a shabby venue for an intimate show that can’t compare to the big name performances filled with thousands of people. A fun loving crowd that just wants to share the experience with others surrounds you, and it creates an energy that can’t be emulated by a venue filled with a nameless crowd.

When you go to a small show and support a local band, you become acquainted with other attendees who love the same music as you, helping you to create new relationships. Because local shows aren’t normally publicized to as wide of an audience as the larger productions, there is more of a chance to meet people from your area. It is usually fans within the same or neighboring states, and you tend to see a lot of repeating faces the more frequently you attend shows.

In addition to the relationships you create with fellow fans, there is a bigger possibility that you can create an intimate connection with the bands you went to support. While it is nearly impossible to talk with artists at a big name show without dishing out hundreds of dollars, musicians at local shows tend to be extremely accessible, normally joining the crowd before and after they complete their set. You can join them for a drink at the venue’s bar, discuss instruments and mutual interests, or just congratulate them on a great set. It is awesome to see talented musicians being so humble, and understanding that at the end of the day, they are just normal people.

If you are tight on cash, local shows are also a great way to see bands without breaking the bank. Tickets for local shows generally range anywhere from $10-20, a very reasonable price to see some talented artists in a fun environment. These shows are a great way to see some true, genuine talent, without any autotune or assisted instrumental help. Also, fans generally know where their money is going because they are pretty much just paying for the venue and the band, rather than all the additional employees that come with these higher productions. As with the income from ticket sale, the bands generally get to keep all the money that comes from merchandise sales. Bands tend to put out their own money for merchandise, and depend pretty heavily on these sales to keep them afloat throughout the rest of the tour.

Supporting local bands can help make a true, lasting impact on the music scene. Not only are you helping talented bands and artists receive recognition, but you are also helping to create a strong community of people who share common interests. This helps to create a bond between local music lovers, starting lasting relationships that can help you advance in the music industry (if that is something you are interested in) and network yourself. So next time you see a small band promoting their show, check it out! You might find yourself surrounded by a community of friendly, accepting people who you share common interests with.