A Movement - Battle of the Bands

Joshua Jacobsen
Forte Studios
Boone, IA
We are a professional audio production studio located in "small-town" Iowa dreaming of an annual concert downtown Boone! A concert that features talented bands of all musical genres battling to record for free! We are starting a movement to support midwest talent and our community of businesses.
Forte Studios has been open for almost two years. The development of the business, including construction of the facility and the business plan was done over three years (2011 - 2014). Our studio is unique because of our versatility. We are a full production audio services studio. This includes servicing music enthusiasts by recording albums and demos, secondly, servicing the public and judicial sector through the use of audio forensics and enhancements.

In a short time we have witnessed musicians and bands change their minds about recording in Nashville or the coast and instead... record in Boone, Iowa with us. As a result, we are working with artists from all of over Iowa and into the surrounding states. We are differentiated by the use of the newest audio technologies and acoustics that produce a superb sound. We want to share our expertise and facility by creating an opportunity for bands to compete for a free album recording!

Our challenge: Marketing the studio online is difficult, because we are not located in a major metropolis. For example, last year we marketed the studio using Facebook, google and bing ads, SEO marketing and printed advertisements. There was little response to those efforts, instead we witnessed great response by people touring the studio and referrals from the clients we worked with. This reinforced the idea that if we could get people to visit the facility, we know they will see and hear the difference we make.

The Solution: The battle of the bands concept is a marketing solution for both talented bands and the studio. By holding the event outdoors next to our studio with a full production stage we will be able to create a strong awareness of the talent in the midwest and our studio. What better way to market, than make it fun?

Like our business we didn't want to throw an idea out and see if it catches on. In fact, we conducted a 6 day survey on Facebook and a few of the local music communities to see what kind of interest there would be. The results SURPRISED us!

56 Bands said they would be interested in applying!
96% of the respondents indicated they would be interested in attending as a spectator!
10 Vendors indicated they would be interested in sponsoring the event!
This data was based on 394 visitors with 24% responding to the survey. A few of the graphs are included as pictures.

Our Conclusion: We believe that because the annual 103.1 Lazerfest festival has ended, this opens an opportunity to create a new event that isn't focused on spending money on national acts, rather focused on supporting unsigned artists and offering them the opportunity to succeed by recording their album for free at our studio. This not only helps our business by working with talented artists and creating additional awareness of our studio, but it also supports the restaurants, hotels, and local brewery in Boone, IA.

Our idea for the battle of the bands competition is a WIN - WIN for everyone! This competition offers an opportunity to start and grow the event and make it an annual staple in central Iowa.
Stop at a local venue, festival or fair and you will find talented bands and musicians. Many are dedicated to making this their career and sharing their story with us. The entertainment industry has changed. The entrepreneurial ability to self-market and promote is within reach for a dedicated artist without the need for a record contract. However, recording a professional sound costs money and some of the midwest's greatest talents struggle. We want to change that with a new movement... An annual Battle of the Bands held in a "small town" community that supports local businesses.

Forte Studios is applying to acquire additional funds. We are also working to identify sponsors to develop and start the first annual Battle of the Bands contest. The entire amount or 100% of the winnings we win will be used to rent the outdoor stage, sound, security and prize money for the winners.

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