How To Choose A Concert Promoter

By Andrew Catania

In the last decade or so, there has been a severe decrease in record sales due to the game-changing shift in current trends in the music industry. The advent of technology has led to a decline in album sales and an increase in pirated music or streaming services like Spotify that allow access to millions of songs and albums for a measly monthly sum of an approximate $10. What people used to spend on one single album containing approximately a dozen tracks is what they spend an entire month for unlimited music.

As a result of such technological changes, artists now depend on concerts as a means of revenue more than every before. The increasing number of world tours by established musicians is a direct reflection of the fact that the whole industry is increasingly becoming dependent on concert ticket sales as a means of survival.

How To Choose A Concert Promoter

Hence, concert promoters today are a make-it-or-break-it deal. According to the Berklee College of Music, specific concert promoters can earn up to a million dollars a year, whereas concert promoter giant Live Nation earned well over $3.5 billion dollars in 2012 according to Statistica.

How To Choose A Concert Promoter

While these promoters, of course, focus on international stars, the average concert promoter can earn between $40,000 to $114,000 a year. The range is wide, and options limitless. However, if the music is your one true passion, it is vital to understand and weigh one’s options before selecting the right concert promoter for yourself or your band.

How To Choose A Concert Promoter
Photo by Renee Jahnke

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while hiring a gig promoter:

  • Don’t get short changed: There are unscrupulous concert promoters who attempt to convince bands and artists of forgoing their earnings for a night if it comes to opening for a relatively bigger band due to the ‘exposure’ they can get (at the end of the day, he is pocketing your earnings). However, do not fall for this classic gimmick. You are still selling a service as a musician and by accepting such ‘offers’; you are undermining your art. Say no thank you and move along to a promoter who values your work and has the best interest in heart for you.
  • Location Impact: Keep in mind that concert promoters who are located in bigger cities will have a wider and more influential network because they have more access to the music industry in a place like New York or Los Angeles. To be a successful concert promoter in New York already indicates the success of the promoter since the industry is ruthless. However, to be a successful concert promoter in a rural town is not saying much.
  • Negotiate your contract: Keep in mind that your concert promoter should be paid directly aligned with your earnings. The more shows the promoter can sponsor every year, the higher is salary should be. If you succeed, he or she should succeed. Negotiate his cut as a direct percentage of your revenues to avoid being cheated.
  • Try to see his or her past success: Keep track of your concert promoter’s portfolio. How lucky are his previous clients? Their success is a reflection of what he or she can do for you!

With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to discovering the perfect concert promoter!


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