Are you making new fans?

I spent this last weekend taking in all the great music at Vancouver Island Musicfest. It was cool to see how many bands, some very famous and others on their way up, handled their audiences and the backstage crew.

I had the privilege of being both an audience member and  also an MC for the Saturday mainstage (which was SO cool, by the way!)

Without fans, the bands that played would not be where they are. Without the crew they would not sound as good as they do. Obviously.

So when I am told that I can’t take a photo of a famous performer while they are on stage, from the side of the stage, I have to wonder, is this performer thinking about making new fans? I spent the festival taking photos and tweeting about the bands that I liked and had I been able to take a photo I would have tweeted something nice along with the #vimf and my followers would have thought ‘cool’ and maybe RTed.

But I didn’t tweet and more importantly, others tweeted negative things. No new fans made here.

Then the next band came on. I noticed that they had been hanging around the festival all weekend (not just shipped in and out of the stage covertly). They had made friends at the festival, they thanked the crew and volunteers numerous time while onstage and brought members from other bands on stage to play with them. They were not precious.

So I tweeted! And within 12 hours they were now following my tweets. So I will tweet some more and now they have a new fan (and probably thousands more, judging by the reaction to their show)… and it helps that as a band they were incredible!

The band is Enter the Haggis and now I am blogging about them too.

So the other performer may have been famous, once upon a time, but I don’t think any new fans were made this weekend.

Enter the Haggis… You Rock!


  1. There’s something about humility and authenticity that is transparent. You probably didn’t have to be backstage to get that the performer in question was on ego-overdrive. I bet Enter the Haggis didn’t think strategically when they were meeting the folk; they are likely just nice guys. I think with every human/humane interaction we have a chance to connect and build community–sort of a karma thing.
    Glad MusicFest had good weather–a great time, by all accounts!

  2. Two of the things I have always loved about ETH are their passion for music of all kinds and their willingness to interact with their fans. I’m glad you got to experience both!

  3. Great blog entry. I am a huge fan of Enter the Haggis and I am impressed over and over again with their graciousness and decorum. I am so happy that you recognized it here. I feel the same as you, part of the reason why I have become such a huge fan of Enter the Haggis is how kindly they have treated me and others. They “get it” in other words.

  4. Great blog spot. You picked an amazing band to cover. They are beyond dedicated to their fans. They sream their shows live via the web when they can, and always make sure the quality is great for us viewers. No one else I know of has that much dedication. With their video blogs too they always keep us interested, up-to-date and ready for more!

  5. In a day and age when some are obsessed with copyrights and licensing, it is refreshing to see a band who is so willing to share their music. It is this authenticity, QUALITY and originality (of their music) that keeps their fans coming back for more.

  6. A friend introduced me to ETH by dragging me to a concert. To my shock, I instantly fell in love with their passion for music and their spot-on communication on stage… but I’m pretty sure that their willingness to connect with their fans (and Haggis Heads with each other!) and being a truly genuine group of gents is a huge part of the reason I’ve continued being so excited about going to their shows. It gives a more human quality to their music that a majority of mainstream bands and artists unfortunately don’t have.

    Well-written entry. It makes me so happy to read about others experiencing what I’ve been proud to enjoy all of these years.

  7. I had the wonderful opportunity to see Enter the Haggis when they performed at VIMF in 2004. Imagine if you will, guys dressed in kilts and NIKE tshirts dancing, and playing up a storm on stage. I was hooked then, and have been ever since. So it was a thrill to see them return this year to play once again. There are very few bands that are so open to their audience as they are. They have embraced social networking by storm, and have allowed their audience to follow them along their tour journey this year, as well as being interactive with their “net” audience through streaming and blogging and Twitter. They are a great band, full of energy, and the epitome of Canadiana as far as I am concerned. Thanks for seeing what the rest of us Haggis Heads discovered awhile back.

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