I had hoped to go to the Indie Label Market in London last week, but my son’s Birthday party intervened!

So, I was glad to see this review on the Entertainment Retailer’s blog which explains the event, but also has one cracking idea that I think bands could use at gigs anytime, anywhere.

But then something happens. People start turning up. In droves. The next minute Jarvis Cocker is DJing on the Rough Trade stall. Oh, look, there’s Steve Lamacq. And Bernard Butler. And lots and lots of people.


Mute have lifted Record Store Day’s “indie cupcake” idea, but they’ve gone one better. Each cake has a little flag in it with a “QR” code. Just snap it with the camera and you get a free download.


Being Mute, these are not just cupcakes, these are conceptual cupcakes, a statement on the value of music in the digital age: Cupcakes £1.50, Music free, reads the sign.


There’s a palpable enthusiasm in the air.

The sun is shining. It is like a school fete. But the coolest one you’ve ever been to.

Read about the event here.

And, you can see what the idea is – QR codes on cupcakes. You buy the cake and eat it but the QR code gives you a free download. You could tie this up with pretty much anything. I love the idea of selling cakes (or other suitable food at your gig) rather than the music itself, but leaving your fans safe in the knowledge that they can download the music as well.

You could link the QR code to a page on your site where the buyers have to give their email address to get the download, thereby adding everyone to a ‘buyers list’ – that being the most responsive list of fans that you have.

In the UK, this company can make you QR cupcakes – Google will find you someone to do the same wherever you live.

But, if not cakes, how about selling artwork with a QR code and linking it to a download. Look at this piece to see how much QR codes can be tarted up – they don’t have to be Black and White.

And, in fact, Mute’s cakes didn’t have the code on the cake but in a little flag. How about making full-size flags with QR codes. I remember a few years ago as Kasabian were breaking in the UK, every festival you went to had hordes of Kasabian flags. People notice flags!

QR codes – I’m really getting into these. You should too.