Getting a Wikipedia page approved for your music project can be tricky. It can also be great for building credibility and gaining exposure for your music.
Because of the sheer number of relatively unknown independent artists out there, Wikipedia has become very strict in its guidelines for accepting artist pages. Wikipedia editors are composed of volunteers from around the world and they all interpret Wikipedia’s guidelines a little differently, so, mileage may vary. But, if you follow the tips below and pay close attention to Wikipedia posting guidelines, you definitely have a fighting chance.
Admittedly, there’s not much sense in adding band pages for acts that are only going to be around for a few months. If your band is young and without a big news story to bolster your wiki-appeal, it might be better to hold off until you’ve put out a few albums and gained some media coverage.
On the other hand, If you are an established musician that has had some notable press, you may very well be able to score your own Wikipedia page.
Here are some basic guidelines and tips for getting a musician page approved on Wikipedia. Keep in mind that every artist’s situation is different, and individual results will vary widely.
5 tips for getting a musician or band page approved on Wikipedia:
1. Be balanced. It’s important to remember that Wikipedia is not meant to be a promotional vehicle and if you treat it that way, your article will most likely be deleted. Wikipedia is a reference text. You can’t say “Band X is the best folk band in Denver.” You might instead say “Band X is widely regarded as an important contributor to the Denver folk scene.”
2. Be notable. Wikipedia is very big on this. If an article is not deemed notable or important then it will be “speedily deleted” per their Criteria for speedy deletion. Has your band ever done anything notable?’ What are you known for? What do your critics say? Make sure it’s in the article. Also see Wikipedia’s explanation of notability.
3. Don’t write it yourself. This is one of the first things that will get your article axed. Wikipedia wants unbiased articles. That means if you or your bass player or your manager or record label guy writes the article, it will probably get deleted. Instead, Ask your friends and fans if they contribute to Wikipedia. A regular Wikipedia contributor will have a much better chance of publishing an article that doesn’t get taken down.
4. Be thorough. Make sure that whoever pens your entry has all the details they need. Include dates, members, lineup changes, awards, a discography, etc. Imagine you’re reading an article about your music a hundred years from now. What would still be of interest?
5. Include references. Find everything and anything that references your band online. If you’ve been written about in well-known newspapers, magazines and blogs – this will help greatly. Make sure you use these references in your article.
Wikipedia’s music page guidelines for the English Wikipedia can be found here
How to get your band on Wikipedia
Have you tried submitting to Wikipedia? What was your experience? Do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments below.
Originally posted on 6/14/11 on CD Baby’s DIY Musician Blog.