Take a Lachance on Him

Canadian singer Bernard Lachance rents out Chicago Theatre for own show

Q: What do you do when you're a gifted young singer without an agent, manager or promoter (or much money for that matter)? A: Get creative and get the word out. That's just what talented (but unsigned) French-Canadian singer Bernard Lachance did with some pretty out-there music marketing strategies. After mailing a copy of his demo tape to every resident of his hometown, he sold out three of his own shows by roaming the streets of Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto, selling one ticket at a time to passerby.

Lachance has decided to bring his talent to America and chose Chicago for his U.S. debut. He rented out the Chicago Theatre for 8PM on Saturday, June 6 and is once employing his take-no-prisoners tactics. Lachance recently sold tickets on the street to fill the 3,500-seat venue for his show, which will feature the powerful adult contemporary singer accompanied by 10 musicians and a grand choir. You may have run into him last month as he stationed himself in front of the theater, headphones in hand and a seating chart T-shirt on his person. You see, Lachance promotes himself by talking to people, getting them to listen to him sing on his iPod and buying concert tickets right there on the spot. Ticket holders then get to choose their seat for the show by blacking it out on his shirt. Oh yeah, he's also selling seats the traditional way -- through Ticketmaster. (Tickets are going for $39-$49.)

In a bold publicity move, Lachance made an appeal to Oprah Winfrey (which makes us think she's the reason he picked Chicago in the first place) via YouTube, prompting Oprah buddy Gayle King to find him on the street and invite him to sing on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Lachance made his Oprah debut on May 5, so this story certainly has a happy ending.

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