How to Host a Benefit Show

A Hollaback! benefit show is a great way to fundraise and bring awareness to street harassment. A performance by notable, empowering musicians will also help energize and inspire your community.

  1. Find a space for the benefit show. This can be any all-ages space, including a local music venue, event space, school auditorium, a park, etc. Remember that different spaces may require certain music genres. (Ex. a coffee shop might only want acoustic acts with minimal noise.)

    Performer Frosty Flakes
    Frosty Flakes performed for Hollaback! NYC
  2. Get in touch with the desired venue. This might involve finding the venue’s contact information online and contacting the person responsible for booking. The venue can assist you in choosing a date for the benefit show.
  3. Decide how much tickets will cost. You will need to discuss the details of ticket costs with the venue. Ask what percentage of the money the venue will take. Most venues agree to split the money from the door price with the organizer of the show.
  4. Find performers for the benefit show. A Hollaback! benefit show would typically include performers who address street harassment in their music or other badass feminist musicians. Take a look at the lineup and try to figure out if everyone is really similar. For instance, is every performer white? Is every performer in their twenties or early thirties? Is everybody a part of the “same scene” from the same part of the city? If so, you should try to re-think the lineup for the show. Shows are more inclusive and appeal to a wider audience when you can bring different groups of people together.
  5. Contact the performers once the lineup of acts is complete. Ask them what equipment they will need during their set. Some performers may be able to bring equipment themselves, while others may prefer to share equipment at the show.  Performers can usually work this out among themselves if you put them in touch via email. You can also coordinate the order of who will play when via email in advance, so every band knows what time they’ll have to arrive, and what time they’ll be playing.

    Performer Shira Girl
    Shira Girl performed at a Hollaback! NYC event.
  6. Promote your benefit show once you have finalized all the details. You can use posters, social networking sites, blogs, and email to send out important event information like the date, place, and time, and performers at the show. You might also send out a press release to local blogs, websites, or publications and ask them to list the show in their event listings, or write an article about it!
  7. Have a photographer/videographer document the event, then post pictures or videos to the Hollaback! blog and Facebook page after the show.  You could also interview the bands and write a post for the Hollaback! blog about the show.
  8. Have several volunteers (you and your friends/fellow Hollaback! supporters) available to assist the performers during the show. A volunteer will usually make an announcement at the show about what Hollaback! is, and can also announce any other upcoming Hollaback! shows or events. There could also be a volunteer-run bake sale to raise money. Have a sign up sheet at the bake sale table where people can add their names and email addresses to the Hollaback! email list. Have volunteers prepare to stay after the show to help clean up and collect the money from the venue at the end of the night.
  9. Stay in touch with your performers and people who came out to the benefit show. Add them to the Hollaback! email list and invite them to attend any other meetings you are having in the future, so that they can become a part of the anti-street harassment community!

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