The answer to how to become a music promoter depends on the kind of promotion work you want to do. If you want to work in indepedent music, becoming a concert promoter might simply involve taking the leap and booking your first show. If you want to work in larger venues and with larger artists, becoming a promoter often involves doing some work with an established company. Here, look at the two different paths to becoming a music promoter.
Path One: Work for a Promotion Company
Concert promotion companies, such as AEG, tend to handle promotion for big name artists. They may plan festivals, stadium/arena shows, or they may work for specific music venues, handling all of the promotion of shows for that location.
If you learn the ropes at one of these companies, you may start out doing very basic things, like distributing fliers/posters for events, and work your way up to being the lead promoter on events. You may also specialize in advertising, accounting or some other facet of putting on an event.
Path One: Pros and Cons
- Get to work on major events/with big name artists
- Often more lucrative than indie promoting
- Don't personally take on financial risk for shows
- May have to work with music you don't like
- Can be hard to break into
- May take a long time to climb the ladder
Path Two: Working for Yourself/Indie Promoting
Sometimes, getting started in concert promotion is as simple as booking your first show. Where there are musicians, there is a demand for people to promote live shows for them. All it takes is a few successful shows to make your phone start ringing off the hook with calls from people who want you to put on their show.
Path Two: Pros and Cons
- You get to pick and choose the shows you work on
- You are the boss from day one
- Carry the financial risk of a show
- Lots of responsibility - requires a large time investment
- Advancement can be difficult - you may end up in cycle of promoting small club shows that don't allow you to make a living
Which Path is the Right Path?
There is no right answer here. It is a matter of personal preference and of course, your career goals. If you crave the excitement of putting on a music festival or working on arena shows, than working for a promotion company is a great way to get started. If you like working with indie musicians and labels, than working for yourself is a good way to get started. Consider your end game and choose the path that leads there.
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