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I get a lot of questions from people interested in becoming a promoter. That's easy to understand - it can definitely be a fun job to have. It is in no way, shape or form an EASY job to have though. Promoters carry tons of responsibility on their shoulders, and their position makes them a convenient scapegoat for bands, managers, labels and agents, because the buck stops with them when it comes to live shows. Being a promoter can be an extremely expensive venture as well, so it is not something you should go into with your eyes closed. Now, that is not to say you SHOULDN'T become a promoter - it just means it's not as easy as it might look. You should learn the basics before you get started.

First, just to be clear, when people talk about "promoters" in the music industry, they are usually talking to the people who promote live shows. PR people and radio pluggers who promote to the media fall under a different category (though they often are involved in promoting tours). Promoters are generally responsible for promoting one show in one venue, a show that they "put on." A promoter's responsibilities include:
  • Working with bands, agents, managers, and/or labels to agree upon a date for a show
  • Booking a venue for the agreed date (some promoters are tied to specific venues, some promoters book shows in a variety of venues
  • Come to an agreement with the band/band's representative on things like the fee for the performance, accommodation provisions, rider, backline and other needs the band may have
  • Promote the show to the local media/put up posters advertising the show
  • Arrange for an opening act, if needed
  • Generally make sure the night goes off without a hitch - make sure everyone knows when soundcheck is (and make sure everyone gets a chance to soundcheck), make sure everyone knows how long their set should be, set the band up with a place to sell merchandise
One thing to notice about this list is that there is simply a lot of work to be done. A promoter has to juggle a lot tasks at one time, and a band could forget to send you posters, show up too late to soundcheck, get on stage and forget their songs, and you can bet they would blame you for having a bad show. The things you are expected to do as a promoter can be a little vague, so it is a good idea to set out in writing exactly what responsibilities you will take on and what responsibilties you expect the band to shoulder so there are no misunderstandings.

To make money as a promoter can take some time. It is essential to keep an eye on the kinds of deals you make and the expenses you have. Stay tuned for more information about promoter deals in the future.
Comments
December 9, 2007 at 5:18 am
(1) victor says:

wonderful information, i would like to know more…..

December 20, 2007 at 10:23 pm
(2) Donald says:

I’ve decided to become a promoter and this info is very helpful. Thanks! I’ll write back after I have my first huge venue!

September 24, 2009 at 6:44 pm
(3) stephen says:

thanks for all the ideas i really want to become a promoter but can you tell me how can one go about getting an artic to proform in your country

May 12, 2010 at 8:37 am
(4) melissa says:

Hi. Im interested in becoming a promoter…please help me out!

May 15, 2010 at 10:48 pm
(5) miguel says:

this information is very helpfull i would like to know more and i like to became a promoter

May 19, 2010 at 10:04 pm
(6) david anderson says:

Theres alot of other good info on being a promoter out on the internet and books you can buy. I bought an ebook from from beapromoter.com and that right there helped me to get a good start.

June 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm
(7) Tamera Keys says:

I am on the path to becoming a promoter and would live more insight, if at possible can I get a little more insight to the business and where to start. Also who should I contact!

September 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm
(8) connie moore says:

Im very interested in becoming a promoter I would like to have all the information necessary to becoming a great promoter.

October 1, 2010 at 10:50 am
(9) jessie walker aka kat says:

im am very into the club! life i know alot of important people, but i can get the promoter job i want. i dont know how to go about it?

August 25, 2011 at 10:46 am
(10) Be a Promoter says:

I’ve been in the nightclub business for years and have had great returns. As is the case with starting a business, you are usually your biggest contender when it comes to starting up.

I wrote a blog post to help promoters or soon to be promoters:

1. Extensive Research, No Action

In business, due diligence plays a key role in your success, however you should not obsess over it and fail to ever take any real steps towards creating a successful event.

2. You spend too much time following the promoters that you look up to

We all have individuals who are top notch in our industry and their life is interesting. Be sure to balance out this overall curiosity by also working on your business in nightlife so that someone will soon follow your every move and read all of your press. After all, what do you think your idol is doing while you are reading up on their life?

Read the rest of this post

October 16, 2011 at 2:46 am
(11) Maco says:

This was really helpful thanx im interestd int how to start as a biginer

November 1, 2011 at 3:07 am
(12) Ray Ray says:

I’m doing it now and all that is true. But the payoff is great. You meet some, well you meet people. Its a great thing to do. And we are always looking to expand. I do it in AZ.

February 9, 2012 at 11:20 am
(13) Re Talley says:

Im looking into becoming a promotor in columbus, ohio. If someone could give me additional information as to where I should start would be very helpful. I would be starting from the bottom working myself up to hopefully have my promotional company.

March 27, 2012 at 3:26 am
(14) m'lis meller says:

I love music. I’ve seen 1,000,000 bands. I wanna become a promoter. Can you help me with this please. How do I get started? Please advise me…THX..m’lis meller..

September 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm
(15) dan says:

Im a promoter for local bands and now starting to move on to other bands, the most important thing to remember is that the buck does indeed stop with you that cannot be stated enough. The other important thing perhaps the most important is you have to have the money in place already, without it you are not going anywhere, its great saying you want to be a promoter but if you have not got the capital and a good substantial capital at that, there is no way you are going to be a promoter. If you have no money you cannot be a promoter end of really and that is reality. Investing in a band to play a venue comes out of your pocket no one else, then its up to you to put the hard work in as already said to make it happen.
Bands dont rely on good will but cold hard cash to survive(they dont play for nothing) like venues to make there money, its up to you to sell the tickets, do the advertising with flyers and posters etc and thats just the start! You should be there from the start to the finish if you get a gig or gigs off the ground because as a promoter its your job, and also your money. :)
I only promote a certain type of music and that type only, i love my brand of music and its a pleasure to do it. If you have the money behind you and want to start off booking local bands go for it, thats how i started. :D

October 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm
(16) DannyBoysStalker says:

what kind of money would i have to have in order to start doing this?
ps the names a joke. but my names dan too.

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