Live Streaming Tips for Hong Kong Musicians

As more and more bands and musicians dip their toes into live streaming, I decided to compile five handy performance tips. On the technical side, my only tip would be – it’s best to test your live stream works well and SOUNDS great and that YOU and/or YOUR band looks great BEFORE you stream. Test on phones, computers, browsers etc. that everything is working BEFORE each event. Don’t don’t DON’T start your event with “I don’t know if you can see or hear me….”

  1. Act like you would for a real gig.
    This means having a poster promoting the event ahead of time and promoting the same way you would for a physical gig (facebook event, press release, promotional images, videos etc.). This also includes thinking about the background when you perform, what lighting to use, what camera angle makes you look your best and of course, what are you wearing for the gig.
  2. Be ON time and start performing (not talking) at the start time.
    It makes people turn up on time for your future live streams.
    (You can start the live stream a few minutes before your intended start – this helps the audience to know they are in the right place)
  3. Keep the focus on the songs and your performance.
    Of course, it’s great to interact with your audience too. Play a few songs, and then pause to have a casual chat with the audience for a few minutes as you read through the comments to shout people out and answer questions. People love to feel heard and connected. Another option is, if you have a band helper, they can help to gather comments and requests for your band during the gig.
  4. If possible, give your live stream a hook.
    Are you going to play a new song? Will you have a special guest? Do you have anything to giveaway to the audience? Can you make up a song on the spot, by asking the audience to give you a subject/theme?
    Think out of the box to make it extra fun for your audience.
  5. At the end of your live stream, ask the audience to “Like our facebook page” or “Come back on June 13th for another live show”. This gives them something to do after enjoying your performance. If you would like to earn some money, you can even suggest they buy something from your store or bandcamp.

It’s definitely worthwhile honing your live streaming skills as this is another avenue for your fans to watch your performance in the future, even when live music events resume back to normal (or whatever becomes normal.)

REMEMBER: This may be someone’s first time to see you perform and hear your songs, so make it great!

Ticketing Options in Hong Kong

I was involved in a ticketing company for four years and quit in July 2019.  Which meant I had to find another ticketing company to use, for my upcoming events!

For the past six months, I’ve been researching and testing a bunch of alternative ticketing sites, and decided to blog about my adventures, as it might be useful to other promoters here in Hong Kong.

First, I looked at ticketing apps to plug into the Underground website and there were some cool ones out there but could not find any bilingual ones.

Then I decided to reach out to ticketing companies based in Hong Kong and got the following results:

I really wanted to use Juven, as I had met people working there (who are Underground fans!) and they seemed like a friendly community company, but they were going out of business! whom I had to email, as there is no information on their website for promoters, they replied me, after three days, to tell me they are not open to the public to sell event tickets and I should try other ticketing sites!! This is EVEN THOUGH they had (and still have!) several upcoming events on their website which the public can buy tickets for 🙂 🙂  perhaps they thought I was spying for the previous company I was involved with 🙂 🙂

Eventbrite – I could not find out how much they take as commission (in fact never ever found out – despite speaking to someone at a conference who works at eventbrite) and then eventually (in the very small fine print) I found out they take 3 weeks to pay so thought that was way too long.  It’s a shame as it was relatively easy to setup the event by myself.

Ticketflap is just too expensive for me.  Some people like them cause they have a big database, which is true, however I’ve built up my own database through The Underground, so I can utilise that. – It took me seconds to open an account and then could not login after that first day. I contacted their customer support three times and never got any follow up emails or facebook messages, so gave up. – the site looked nice, but I didn’t even try, as they “review” all events submitted and not every event submitted will be posted on their website – er how is that even good for business??   If you try this site and submit your event, they will take 2 days to let you know if you’ve passed their review 🙂 🙂

Ticketdood –  confusing plans to choose from (why make it so complicated??) and for my range of pricing, it would cost me 10% (from ticketing fees and Stripe fees) – way too much!  

I even spoke to a ticketing company based in the Philippines (ticket2me) which is using blockchain technology for their tickets.  They are really nice people and the system looks fantastic but they don’t plan to have a HK-division for a couple of years…

After moaning about my lack of success with finding a ticketing company, I was lucky to be introduced to They have human beings I can speak to, and I get email replies quickly from them. They are fast with creating my event so I can start selling tickets. I found their pricing reasonable and their backend is easy to use and most of all, I really appreciate their event promotions (Btw I was not asked to ‘endorse’ them, this is genuine appreciation for a well-run business with people who have common sense!!!!)
Now I’m ready to focus on promoting upcoming events without worrying about ticketing! YAY!

Today is postponed!

Today was meant to be Funk Ska Nation, a show I manifested, planned and curated in the latter part of 2019. I had an awesome line-up and it was going to be an amazing opening show for the Underground’s 16th year. Then it all unraveled yesterday as I got an update that a crucial member of The Red Stripes was ill and they would have to pull out…

In all of these years of The Underground, we’ve only ever rescheduled one show and that was for Ladybeard in 2016 (he got sick and wasn’t permitted to fly to HK!). We have had bands pull out for various reasons in the past and normally we would find another band to replace the unable-to-perform band but in this case, I just could not bear to do it. I have been waiting years for The Red Stripes to match a date with our Underground events, I’ve curated them for other events over the years and as one of our few International acts in HK, I am prepared to wait for them.

Yesterday went quickly, as an alternate date was fixed, deliveries cancelled, postponement news sent out, rescheduling of other bands, etc etc.

I was feeling down overall as I had put in heaps of promotional hours into this show and I had been so looking forward to attending the event for a couple of months. What I did feel grateful for, was the understanding of the venue, the other bands, the alcohol sponsors and the general support & love from family and friends. The event has now been rescheduled to 21st March and sadly JUNK! cannot make that night (now you’ll never ever know what ‘anti-ska’ is!), but we have secured an equally-amazing replacement band for the event, so I’ll be busy working on that now!