How to Produce a Successful Music Concert

There are some people who constantly ask how does one become or organize or plan to produce a concert?

Well, here is what you may do;

You already know most of the artists, you listen to music all the time, so you basically know which most people, your audience like and listen to most; so that’s who you want to focus on booking for your next concert.

The type of the artist you are considering has to be able to fill the venue you have in mind for the concert. I have worked in the past on concerts with artists like Seal, Boyz II Men, Simple Minds, Paul Simon, etc., so I don’t really know how to book an artist, not so huge for a small concert. The type of the artist you are considering has to be able to fill the venue you have in mind for the concert.

I have worked in the past on concerts with artists like Seal, Boyz II Men, Simple Minds, Paul Simon, etc., so I don’t really know how to book an artist, not so huge for a small concert. I am currently in the middle of the negotiation to produce a great live conference event and music concert with some of the world’s best acts in Sandton, Johannesburg in October 2009.

So, this is what I usually do when I plan to produce a new live concert; I first figure out the type of music I want to have for the concert and the artist(s), and then I check out the venue, it has to be the appropriate venue, the venue that my prospective artist(s) can fill out at full capacity.

And then I check out if that artist is on tour and if he or she is, if she or he will be in the proximity area. Because if they are on tour, you’ll get her or him cheaper, because they already are scheduled to be in the area.

And once I check out their tour schedule, and even if they are or not on tour, then I contact their management. You can find their management contact information everywhere, CD covers, official web sites, etc., and if you can’t find his or her management contact info, I usually just contact his or her record company, and this is what I say when I contact his record company.

Hi, my name is this and that, would you please give me the booking contact info for your artist “artist name”. And they will be gladly give it to me, no further questions asked.

And then I contact their booking agent, and this is what I say. I am this and that, “my name”, with “company name” and I am interested in booking your “artist name” for a show in “city name”, and then they may cut me right off and ask me, what venue, and I tell them the venue. If they are not familiar with the venue, they will ask me how many audience does it hold, and then I tell them because I have already checked it out and know it well.

And then, they may ask me what is our budget, and here is where I don’t tell them how much I have, because they are simply trying to figure out how much to charge me. And I simply tell them that I’d like to know their fees, and they will ask me how much will I sell the tickets for, and then I give them a bulk figure.

Then they may ask me if the artist will be the headliner and or will there be other artists and I tell them yes or no, depends on what/how I am doing the concert.

And then they give me a bulk figure of how much the artist charges, including lodging and air fare and ground transportation. Then if the price is reasonable, I may proceed. What they will need from me from there on is an official offer from me stating exactly my offer to the artist, fees, etc, for the artist to do the proposed show.

This is where the catch comes in. Your letter has to be worded professionally and on a company letterhead. Because they will take that letter and evaluate it and then decide whether to accept the offer or not.

If they accept the offer, they will contact me, and if they don’t contact me sooner, then I contact them to follow up in a day or two. Then once I or they call me back, then they will, not me, draft up an Agreement with all the details; including their Rider Agreement, which simply details their production requirement and stuff, such as their sound, lighting requirement, etc.

They will likely require a deposit depends on your letter offer, they may require 50% up front and the rest on the day of the show before the show or a few days before the show, this is really just depends on how they trust you and or believe in your financial ability.

But before you sign and pay your deposit, make sure you also have talked and secured the venue for the exact date and time.

There are many details and stuff that follow and leads up to the show. I used to do this full time for a minute. I am a certified audio and multimedia engineer, worked for a major TV network and other Film companies around the world doing live TV news, ENG, live sound, studio recording, engineering, mastering, sporting events production, etc., and concert production. I co-founded a record label and production studios, I have worked on many numerous concerts around the world, at one of the worlds’ largest out door concerts with The Rembrandts, and many other acts. So, I have the experience and skill in doing this.

I still do that, but only part time though, because I love it and now, I mostly volunteer doing sound at my church, The Potter’s House, and yes, it has one of the finest sound and TV production equipment. Feel free to come visit with us and check out our system.

So, if you need help in producing your next show, feel free to contact me. And boy, typing these long stuff is just too much time consuming, but I don’t mind helping out. And I am located in Columbus, Ohio and I go back and forth to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York. So, if I can help, just let me know.

Hopefully this helps a bit and good luck!

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14 thoughts on “How to Produce a Successful Music Concert

  1. Hello Simon

    I came across your blog while searching the internet for information on producing a concert. You seem like a very experienced professional, and your blog gave me a lot of useful information. I don’t work in the industry – I’m just someone who wants to know how to go about bringing a band from overseas for just one or a few small gigs at small to moderate sized venues, and would like to pick your brain if I can. If you’re available to get involved, all the better!

    The band I’m interested in is called “Buck-Tick” – they’re from Japan. They are HUGE in Japan – I’m talking “Tokyo Dome,” “Budokan,” and venues of that caliber. The reasons I think it would be a worthwhile venture to bring them here are:
    1) They’re seasoned, experienced musicians who know exactly what they’re doing. They’ve had a successful career in Japan for over 20 years, which is unprecedented in that country.

    2) They have a completely unique sound and style that really isn’t classifiable, since they’ve pretty much done whatever they want throughout their career – and STILL kept their huge fan base. Their music ranges from standard rock and pop to goth, industrial, and experimental alternative stuff. Yet, there is a definite underlying sound/style that is distinctively “Buck-Tick,” so that if you hear a song, you’d identify it with them almost immediately.

    3)The founder/guitarist/songwriter, “Hisashi Imai,” has worked on side projects with people like Raymond Watts and Sascha Konietzko (KMFDM), Daniel Ash (Bauhaus/Love&Rockets), who remixed one of Buck-Tick’s songs.
    So they’re not unfamiliar with western culture/music – in fact, Imai’s musical influences are from a vast range of American and European artists. Buck-tick has also opened for Marilyn Manson on occasion.

    4) They have NEVER done anything outside of Japan!! (except Korea, once, and the recording of an album in England)

    5)They have a HUGE fan base outside of Japan – here in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Mexico, and of course, other Asian countries. On YouTube alone, hundreds of videos and comments by non-Japanese fans are constantly being posted. In my research, I’ve found countless forums, websites and blogs devoted to them through Live Journal and other places on the internet – all non-Japanese. These fans are so READY for a gig out here!

    6) Some of their songs are actually written in English – and all of their music is very accessible to Western audiences. Also, they have just finished their tour of their most recent album, so they may be available for the next few months.

    I recently came across a news article about a small 3 or 4-concert American tour by a lesser-known, musically inferior Japanese band called “Dir en Gray,” that had an explosive response and great success – in fact, they had to change the L.A. concert to a bigger venue because of the overwhelming demand. “Dir en Gray,” incidentally, are big fans and admirers of “Buck-Tick.”
    This made me think that if someone could manage to convince “Buck-Tick” to come out here – maybe even just Los Angeles (there’s a huge Japanese community) where it would be easy to fill a venue like “The Wiltern,” it could be the start of something really big, in terms of music transcending borders. At the very least, it would give Americans a taste of something new and cool from somewhere other than Europe – and test the waters for potential future events.
    Sorry to be so long-winded, but what do you think?
    Would you be able to help – and if not, what would be your advice?

    Here’s the link to the article about the “Dir en Gray” tour that I saw.
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/posts.html?pg=2

    Thanks for your time – if you got this far reading!
    Best Regards,
    Susan

  2. Hi Simon

    I just read your blog and its helped a lot with the work that we’re doing here.

    Im from a band called Carp`e Diem. We’re essentially a Melodic Rock band with our influences being 80’s Arena Rock and Norweigen Rock.

    Our group is extremely talented and are lacking in the form of exposure. We’ve played a number of small gigs but unfortunately nothing to change the minds of people here in this country regarding the tigma attached to Rock.

    So I was wondering if you had some advice regardng this.

    thanks

    Lance (From the Fiji Islands)

  3. I want to have a mini local concert in my city which will feature local talent and my own artist as the headliner. How do i get started and what is the very first thing i need to do in order to get started.

    Please advise.

  4. Just had my third concert in Sept….bands,sound,location all Super ! no one showed maybe the cost? First two went well what happened?

  5. Mr. Kapenda
    My name is Ryan, I recently found an awsome venue and I want to produce a concert. I am gearing it toward youth. It is going to be comprised of Christian artists. I want to show case some old school gospel, praise and worship, some metal, to electronica. Here is the catch I have no experience. All I know is this venue is perfect and all things are possible through God. I would appriciate any Imput. Thanks for your time. God bless

  6. Pingback: The Beginning | Plan, Promote, Produce

  7. Great tips an advice. This may be a long shot but if like to talk to you about an event I’m putting together. It’s a lot to describe. The whole thing is a charity event and I have my whole plan written out. Would like help grabbing major sponsors.

  8. Hello, my name is Denise Newsome. I am part of my churches Media/ Sound Ministry. I would like to do a Gospel Benefit Concert to raise money to build up the Kingdom of God. We need new equipment to upgrade our ministry and funding to get our Bishop on the word network. His ministry is just amazing. If you can get in touch with me that would be wonderful. My email address is azz1productions64@yahoo.com.

    Thank you so much
    Denise Newsome

  9. is there any blog or book which details all the information when producing any concert from conceptualization until strike of the event. giving ideas on load in/set up time/ schedules/ worksheets/ contracts/ negotiation/ production planning/ rigging/ tech rider/ technical gears/ insurance/ risk assessment

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