How to Become a Concert Promoter

How to Become a Concert Promoter

Have you ever wondered how all your favorite musical artists go from singing their songs on a screen to performing in front of thousands of adoring fans on a stage? Concert promoters are an essential part of the team that can make that happen. So, how do you become a concert promoter?

To become a concert promoter, you will need a specific skill set ranging from business to hospitality. You can gain these skills by taking on opportunities within the music scene and building up your experience.

This article will go into more detail about all the aspects of being a concert promoter and the things to keep in mind to become a successful one in such a competitive industry.

Make Sure You Have the Right Skills

To carry out the responsibilities of a concert promoter, you will need the skills to do so. Concert promoters deal with such a wide variety of people and entities. A concert promoter’s skills are all-encompassing. Here are the essential ones:

Know How To Write and Calculate

Although you don’t need an extensive education to become a concert promoter, knowing the basics will help. Calculating finances, drafting contracts, and writing press releases are essential parts of concert promotion. You can gain experience by managing finances for a venue or writing for music blogs. 

Know How to Research

You’re going to be calling up different venues and comparing the prices for lighting, sound systems, transportation, and security. Knowing the best approach ahead of time is essential to know you are getting the best deal. You’re also going to have to decide which ones are the best bang for your buck.

Know How Music and Concerts Work

What kinds of things go into creating a concert? What type of space is best for electronic-heavy music? Also, what about more acoustic-centered music? Taking some classes and researching music and stage equipment would be helpful to improve on this skill.

If you have a friend in the industry, offer to help in exchange for education. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to mingle with the local scene.

Know How to Communicate

Socializing and forming connections are at the core of concert promotion. It will be tough to get anywhere in the industry if you don’t have confidence. Gaining experience can be as simple as passing out flyers to people or going to music-centered events and talking to the executives there. 

Starting small can sometimes lead to big things.

Know How to Negotiate

Just as when you’re shopping for groceries or clothes, there will be a sale if you look for one. Almost all prices are flexible, and you can save a lot on expenses just by negotiating. Don’t be afraid to argue with people and tell them what you want and how much you’re willing to pay for it.

Know How to Identify Trends

Concert promoting is a competitive business. Being able to pump out new and fresh ideas is a necessity. An excellent way to hone this skill is to consume content related to music promotion constantly. What’s trending? What is making the most people come to concerts, and what’s sending them away? Be knowledgeable of what’s going on around you.

Know How to be Creative

If you have experience working in graphic design and designing posters and ads, that’s a huge plus! Otherwise, you can hire freelancers or agencies to supplement your talents.

Know How to Navigate Social Media.

Ideally, it would be best if you had an established social media presence. This presence should have a network of people within the industry. This asset enables you to connect with others and expand your promoting territory given the opportunity. 

Here’s a video on starting locally:

Get the Right Kind of Experience

A concert promoter should be well-versed in business, marketing, and financing, in addition to being socially savvy. However, if you haven’t developed these skills just yet, there are plenty of opportunities available in which you can obtain them, most of which can be found by simply reaching out to your network. 

Although it may seem scary to reach out or approach people in the industry, remember that it will help you immensely in the long run. If you want to be an independent concert promoter, you will have to message some already established promoters directly or contact smaller, local venues owners. You can also get smaller artists you are interested in promoting. They will usually have a business email for you to contact them on their social media profiles. 

If you want to gather more experience and skills before applying for internships, then there are many other ways you can accomplish this. One of the most common ways is utilizing the opportunities closest to you, whether going to school, seeking out entry-level jobs and internships or simply volunteering. 

Do You Need an Education to Be a Concert Promoter?

If you want to make sure that you can make concert promoting a viable and stable career for yourself, it would be helpful to study areas that will help you build that foundation. You can pursue majors to achieve this, like Music Business, Music Marketing, General Music Studies, Venue Management, and Touring 101.

Although taking these courses and getting a degree in a program centered around the music industry will assist you greatly in reaching success as a concert promoter, the best thing to do with your time is to accumulate experience. 

Job Experience and Concert Promoting – What You Need To Know

The following are some related jobs that can help you get your foot in the door: 

  • If you have no prior experience, try writing articles for music-centered blogs. Writing is viewed as a favorable skill in concert promotion. This is because concert promoters spend a good amount of time penning captions and press releases.
  • Apply for beginning/interning positions at music promoting companies. Not only will working in these positions help you learn the intricacies of concert promoting, but it will also give yo opportunities for promotion.

Internships and Concert Poromoting

Besides job experience, there are also many internship opportunities available for aspiring concert promoters. A simple search for local internship opportunities will produce countless results for you to sift through. These are some of the most common types of internships in the music industry:

  • Marketing internships: Skills that would be useful for this would be familiarity with social media, looking over the logistics for the event, and researching the area, and attuning the marketing methods as needed.
  • Social media internships: With this position, you should be prepared to do a lot of analysis of the research you gather. You will also want a deep understanding of how social media functions. You might also be asked to make and look over websites and even reply to comments in a specific voice different from your own. 

Also, it is essential to note that having certain degrees could make you a better candidate for these types of internships. Some of the majors that will give you a better chance include business, production, communications, and marketing. 

Regarding customer experience, here are some excellent tips:

Volunteer Work

The following are a few volunteer opportunities you could take advantage of to gain the knowledge you need: 

Volunteer at a Local Festival or Event

The majority of the time, the budget is tight for smaller, local events. So, they will be more than likely searching for volunteers to help out with menial tasks. 

Despite the responsibilities, this is still a beneficial experience because you get to learn about the inner workings of concerts directly and get an exclusive look at what goes on behind the scenes.

Volunteer for a Music Camp or Workshop

Families with children interested in music will be sending them to these camps and workshops by the dozen, and they need all the help they can get. 

Volunteering for a music camp or workshop is a fantastic way to learn about music while helping the younger generations learn about it at the same time. Moreover, the experience will be all-encompassing: you improve on your socialization skills by working with a wide range of ages and refresh your passion for music as well. 

All in all, volunteering is an excellent way of getting more experience in the industry. Unlike job experience, volunteering inserts a sense of humanity and connection into your resume and will make you a more standout applicant and more refined concert promoter in the future.

Other Experiences to Gain Skills

Other activities and positions that will help you get the skills needed to become a concert promoter are accessible right at your fingertips. Here are some examples:

  • Hold a house concert. These are smaller concerts for lesser-known artists that are held in empty homes. This will help you experience concert promoting but at a beginner’s and smaller scale.
  • Help promote and market a band at your school or college. School bands are always looking for more exposure. It is an easy way to get experience for a bnd that needs help.
  • Manage an artist’s social media page. What kinds of posts do they react enthusiastically towards? Which ones are failing to have much interaction at all? Gaining knowledge about the people you’re doing the promoting to will definitely give you an upper hand.
  • Become familiar with programs involving spreadsheets such as Excel. As a concert promoter, you’re going to make many spreadsheets for things regarding budget and finances.
  • Ask to shadow managers of venues or booking agents. These are vital players within the promotional industry, so working under them would benefit any aspiring concert promoter.
  • Insert yourself into the music scene. Attend concerts, talk to people involved in the music industry, become friends with aspiring musicians, producers, and engineers. The more involved you become, the more recognition you will be likely to receive in the future. It’s fine to start locally and then gradually expand your circle further later on.

Networking through the examples above has the potential to make or break your career as a concert promoter. Whenever you present yourself as a promoter in public, make sure that you come off as approachable and pleasant as possible.

Find and Follow the Right Career Path

There are many routes you can take to become a concert promoter eventually and eventually further your career within the realm of music:

You start as…To become…And can eventually be…
An intern for a venue managerA concert promoterA renowned concert promoter or venue manager yourself
Working for a talent managerA concert promoterAn independent concert promoter that up and coming artists seek out
Interning at an established music companyA concert promoterAnything under the umbrella of a music executive or industry professional

Of course, these are just some of the ways you can become a concert promoter; your experience with school, previous related jobs, and volunteer work also have the potential to lead you down these various career paths. 

How to Be a Successful Concert Promoter

So you finally landed a job as a concert promoter. Congratulations! Now, your job is to make sure you’re successful at what you do so you can retain the role and eventually move up should you choose to do so. 

The following are some of the responsibilities you’ll likely have and how you can use the skills and experience you’ve gained to be successful in each area: 

Budget Planning

Over everything else, budget planning is at the top of the list of responsibilities for concert promotion. If there is no plan beforehand, there can be deficits, and then the possibility of having a fantastic concert goes down the drain. 

Budget planning can seem daunting to someone who initially believed that concert promoting was only centered around music and marketing. However, if you have the right skills, such as basic math and writing, you should have no trouble taking on this responsibility. 

Finding the Right Performer

Concert promoters should pair the artists they want to promote to a venue that matches their genre and audience the best. For example, an alternative indie punk band should not be performing at a huge stadium venue known for hosting country stars. 

Another thing to keep in mind while matching the right artist to a suitable venue is to make sure that said artist can pack the venue. 

Several factors go into choosing the right venue for an artist. The primary skill used to do this is research. You will have to try and find out as much information as you can about the artist. 

Selling Tickets

Just as you would expect, a concert promoter has the critical role of making sure they can sell enough tickets to make a profit. Ultimately, the goal is to sell out on a show entirely. 

To guarantee success in this area, you’ll need to:

  • Do your research! You need to be knowledgeable about the chosen artist’s fanbase. What is their age range? Do they live in the suburbs or in more rural areas? Which social media are they most active on? 
  • Be smart with your money and know how social media works. Spending some of the planned budget on social media advertising is one of the best ways to get an artist’s name out there. Specific targeted ads about their tour or concert will be sure to increase ticket sales. 
  • Have connections. You can also get friends and acquaintances to share the concert on their own social media pages to build up hype and excitement for it. Social media is a great tool to use for promotion because it’s so versatile. You can post photos, videos, and even create a unique hashtag so any information regarding the concert will be easier for fans to find. 
  • Have experience in graphic design or another creative skill. You can make flyers and put them up near the venue and areas where many people are interested in music. College towns and bigger cities are prime examples of hotspots in which posters would be most effective. 

Here are some more tips on how promoters make money:

Final Thoughts

As one can see by reading this article, being a concert promoter involves expertise in an expansive array of topics. So what makes people continue to be drawn to a concert promoting as a potential career? First off, it has high stakes and high rewards, which is why it is an attractive career for many people interested in music

Moreover, it helps bridge artists with their audience by making memorable experiences for all those involved. A concert promoter truly has a hand in every single feature you will see at a concert. They connect everyone while making essential connections themselves. They can use their passion to fuel incredible performances we want to visit again and again.

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