Wikipedia is a free platform with a wealth of information, accessible to anyone around the globe. It is probably the top encyclopedia on the internet!
Why would having a Wikipedia page (or wiki for short) be for you, the musician?
How famous do you have to be on Wikipedia, and how do I get a Wikipedia artist page?
Important note! This is a bit of a weird topic to cover. Having a Wikipedia page is no must! Some people frown upon having one as an artist, especially if you are just starting out.
Whether you have a page or not, it should and will not determine your skill as a musician.
It will not make you more or less famous. But above all, it should be an informative addition to your musical project and artist profile.
Now, moving on…
Ok, ok, before you go to Wikipedia and try to simply create an awesome Wikipedia artist page, stop.
Don’t do that just yet.
There are quite a few things to consider first.
What is Wikipedia actually used for?
All information on Wikipedia is created by people who are interested in a certain topic, but also know a lot of facts around that topic. This is a really important part of Wikipedia and will become more important later.
Also, those topics are collected because they are meaningful for a group of people or maybe for the whole world to know. Wikipedia will (should) always be considered as an encyclopedia. All articles are written from that viewpoint.
An objective (mostly 🙂 collection of facts, events, people, places, inventions, you name it.
It is NOT a subjective collection of interests and thoughts that people have and want to share online.
That is usually called a blog or a social media page. There, you can write all things you want. No better or worse, but just very different.
Who should start a Wikipedia page?
Even though every one can create a Wikipedia account and start creating a page, that will not automatically mean that all pages will get accepted.
There is an acceptance procedure before your page gets published. This is a good thing, because you don’t want to get misinformation around a certain topic on Wikipedia.
All information should be as correct as possible. Imagine that someone would start writing a full page around the topic of the earth being flat and why they believe it is. We don’t want that 🙂
“So, it needs to be factual. Got it. I have a list of facts about my band, so that is good, right?”
Not automatically. Imagine you have a band or are an artist for a while now. You have created a few albums, played some live shows and had some small interviews here and there.
With all the above facts, you still might run into the problem of getting rejected on Wikipedia. For a page that is, not in person 🙂
The two top reasons in most cases are:
- Your facts are not verifiable. Even though they happened, is it possible to find evidence for them? Do you have links to interviews where you mention these events?
- It reads too personal. i.e.: too many non-essential details are included. (types of guitars used, funny stories of the past, extremely specific details of non-essential gear)
To prepare for a good Wikipedia artist page, you can make a list of events, facts and details.
Find as many third-party sources that back up these details, and you will increase the chance of building a better article.
Also, these third-party sources should be from reputable websites/podcasts/interviews. Social pages are not accepted, so a fun post on Facebook about a live show in a bar will not add any value 🙂
3. Creating a meaningful Wikipedia Artist Page
Even though you might find your band and/or music meaningful, that does not automatically mean that it is.
Don’t get me wrong, your music IS meaningful, but is it also important for the whole world?
Are there any major projects, events, interviews, shows, etc. that support that?
If not, I am sorry to say that you might want to reconsider if you actually need a Wikipedia page.
A good guide could be the Wikipedia Artist biography template.
It can be a great way to see what information is needed to make the article as complete as possible.
You can find the template here:
Wikipedia:Artist biography article template
How many of those topics can you connect with any events or projects that you have?
If you can fill in all these topics with meaningful and true happenings, (and if you can back them up with valid proof!), then you might want to consider writing an example Artist Wikipedia page.
Note, you cannot write a wiki page for yourself. You need to find someone to do that for you. In many cases, it will be done by someone who finds you noteworthy
4. Stay true to yourself
Did you manage to collect all the information needed for the template? Congratulations, you MIGHT be able to get a Wiki Page!
Might? Yes, because there is still a small chance that moderators can disapprove the page if they don’t find it factual enough.
You don’t have anything to add to the form?
Then it might be better to skip Wikipedia for now. You simply do not need one.
And, no, that is not a bad thing at all! You do not NEED a wiki page as an artist.
I have seen many great musicians that do not have an artist page, although they deserve one for sure!!
Again, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a place to market yourself, talk about upcoming albums or quirky backstories.
Want to share those facts? Add them to your artist website for sure!
5. Next steps?
Now, what could be the next steps if you DO want a Wikipedia Artist page?
Keep making awesome music! Yes, that is the main thing you should focus on. Record more albums, do live gigs and be present online.
Aside from that, it can sometimes help to do interviews, preferably with reputable journalists and/or websites.
This will build up your online presence, and can be used later to back up any valuable information you add on your Wiki page.
So, here is a quick summary:
If you are a professional musician who has achieved the following:
- Worked with famous artists
- High quality albums or singles (preferably in charts)
- A specific style or genre
- Live show experience with proof
- Articles covering your live shows, albums or music in general
- Any achievements or awards
If you are a musician that is:
- Still working on his first album
- Only played in local pubs
- Only has a SoundCloud profile
- Making music as a hobby
You simply do not need a Wiki page.
Again, just to over clarify, this has nothing to do with your professionalism or skills.
From a meaningful interest perspective, it needs to add as much value to a large group of people as possible.
I hope this gives some insights on this topic.
I wanted it to be as informative as possible, but there is such a gray area on Wikipedia articles getting approved.
My advice would be not to focus on this too much.
Build your online presence on the major social pages, have a good goal and decent plan in place and create great music.
Once the time comes that you actually “need” a wiki page, you will know 🙂
As always, keep making awesome music and share it with the world!
Maurice from Music-Mindset.com