Today is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

It’s got me thinking.

They played that venue 292 times in just over two years. (That’s actually a little misleading as I’m pretty sure that multiple sets on the same day are counted more than once.) You can see their full live dates here. And you can see how they correlate to their releases here.

But, whichever way you cut it, they played at the same venue….a lot. 9 times a month by my reckoning. And, that wasn’t even the only place they played in Liverpool. In fact, they played more at the other venues combined than they did at the Cavern. So they were playing their scene as often as 20 times a month.

Nobody would expect a band to survive if they tried that today.

OK, so it was a different era and kids had less to do so were more drawn to the good things that they could go out and do and all sorts of different social and cultural forces were in play.

BUT, the Beatles were drawing a crowd and creating a buzz that would drive their breakout from that niche.

And they did it (in part) by and whilst massively over-playing their local scene.

The elephant in the room here is that they were revolutionary, brilliant and creating a level of excitement that you can’t hope to match.

BUT, if you’re truly good and putting on a great show, all the arguments that I’ve ever heard about over-playing your area are bollocks. People won’t come and see the same show; they can’t afford to keep coming out etc.

Well, that’s because you aren’t doing it right and you’re not good enough.

I accept that there are some truths in the arguments against playing week in and week out in the modern day with all the other attractions vying for the attention of your fans and potential fans.

My point is that great bands with a great live show can draw a new crowd, a repeating crowd, a crowd that can’t get in because it’s sold out – all in the same town at that crucial time in their breaking career. If they’re really good enough to make it.

If your shows are empty and your fans aren’t coming out, maybe you’ve over-played your current set…..or maybe you just aren’t good enough yet.

You know when it’s going off, when people are queuing up and begging for the next show. Make that your aim, not some notion that is in itself an admission that you aren’t enough of a draw.

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