Concert promotion is an integral part of the music industry. Concert promoters are the people that get the artists scheduled to perform at a venue. Concert promotion is not to be taken lightly or entered into without sufficient backing in terms of finances and experience. Some people dream all their lives about putting on a great event featuring top talent. Concert promotion is a demanding career that requires serious attention to detail. In order to be an effective and successful concert promoter, a high level of organization is necessary.
Concert promotions are typically a 5% net margin business. Not exactly a sexy bottom line. Concert promotion is a risky and low-margin business. In Q2 07 — traditionally, the spring and summer are the strongest for the concert business — Live Nation squeaked out operating income of $36 million on sales of $1 billion. Concert promotion is a very ugly business. Everyone seems to jump on the promoter for everything.
The last people who catch the heat are the performers, although many times the problems surfacing at a scheduled concert can be laid at their feet. But the bottom line is there would be no concert without the performers. So what’s the chance that the performers are going to be held responsible. Now while it wasn’t a concert per se, the performance during the infamous super bowl half time show by Janet Jackson when there was the costume problem, the crap that flew because of that was laid at the feet of the artists. I personally think it did nothing but boost Miss Jackson’s appeal and give her career a little kick in the pants.
Whichever way you look at it, budding young concert promoter hopefuls are going to have a tough time breaking into the big time. But there is plenty of opportunity for a young aggressive business type to work on a regional level and hone his or her skill. It’s a fact that people love music. And music of all types. As proof of that I offer up the fact that in our local area, every year there is a big Accordion festival. Yes I said, Accordion. And it draws scores of fans. And I’m not talking about 40 fans sitting on a couple of benches. People come from all over the country to perform at the concert. And on top of that, music buffs from all over the country travel here to attend the festival. Go figure. Next time you see someone eating a bratwurst……who knows, they may be a big accordion fan.
Concert Promotions is a fascinating business and has a seemingly magical lure to a lot of people, but it is a very tough road to travel. There are many other jobs or careers that offer better chances of success, but the cachet connected with the music industry is just too strong for many to resist.