CONCERT PROMOTER’S SEQUENCE OF EVENTS or ORDER OF ACTION
Much of this order happens simultaneously. With each new day, you continue to build your event.
For a concert, start about 16-22 weeks out of the intended show date to start.
- What level of funding do you have? This determines your event size.
- Your concept. What do you want to promote? What’s your plan?
- What type of event, indoor or outdoor? What size? Which venues are you considering?
- What type of music, particular acts in mind? START RUNNING POLLSTARPRO REPORTS. Research bands playing to similar venue seating capacities. When did that artist perform there last?
- What city are you promoting in? What other nearby markets are within range of your home market?
- What dates are you interested in, weekends preferably?
- What are the start and ending times of your proposed event?
- What ticket price do you propose? Compare like events; ask around what people would pay.
- Check out the competition. Do your Due Diligence. Research the market.
- What else is planned that weekend that is not directly competitive?
- Weather history on that date, that time of year.
- What are the venue availabilities, terms?
- Do you have a sample facility contract?
- Have you met with the facility manager?
- Walked around the facility; taken notes?
- Permit requirements?
- Organize your computer and hard file foldersand categorize that pile of paper in front of you:
- COST SHEET
- MEDIA PRODUCTION
- MEDIA BUYS./ CONTRACTS
- RECORDING CO.
- NOTES, PHONE NOS., EMAILS
- LEGAL/ INSURANCE
- ACCOUNTING/ BANKING
- Calculate the budget. Do you have adequate funding to launch the event? a. Calculate the breakeven point, costs, and ticket price. Can you make money? b. Do you have a working bank account? Have the funds on hand before you make the first commitment! c. After you have the funding, contact the talent agencies for the acts you are interested in. Before calling the agent have your venue dates available in front of you. What are the availabilities of the acts compared to the venue date availabilities? d. Are the bands within your budget? Are the terms specifically set in the talent contract? The talent buying process and phones calls can take a few days or roll over to couple weeks but is usually consummated with a fax or an email with a “firm bid” from you. e. Ask of a particular band, “What are they going out for now?” If available, the agent will throw out a figure after asking you the basics, i.e.: “How many seats is the venue; what other acts are playing; ticket price?” f. Before making a final commitment to the talent agency, check again with the venue on date availability before signing the talent contract. Reserve date at venue now.
- Prepare and fax or email OFFER SHEET to agent, do not snail mail it. Things are moving fast now.
- Request talent contracts and move quickly on reviewing and signing them. Send deposit back with contract; don’t wait. Review Rider carefully first before signing so you know what is being requested on the back end (% of their merch., special tech./ equipment, backline, can you put their band name on your Tshirts, how many hotel rooms needed, what else are they asking for?
- If it looks like things are solid, either get ready to amend your existing web site or register a web address with godaddy.com and secure a server to host your site- now. Start planning your simple web site.
- Reserve Hotel rooms now, estimate of you don’t have firm answers from bands yet.
- Ask building for caterer contacts. Reserve 12 seat van at airport.(Enterprise).
20 weeks out
- Set ticket prices based on: a.) same act’s price in other cities @similar venues b) talent price c) market conditions d) venue size
- Sign Venue contract; pay deposit as soon as you have a firm offer accepted by the talent agent or artist.
- Contact contractors, i.e., sound and lights, stage, stage manger, stagehands, insurance estimate, security, if outside- commodes and trash; place deposits ASAP to reserve dates. Plug all costs into Budget Sheet.
- Order tickets asap, select online merchant account/ gateway or independent ticketing agency.
- Secure live location ticket outlets within one week.
- If advertising in magazines, insertion order and ad must be submitted 1½ mos. before release date.
- Contact recording company for support materials; press releases and as many glossy photographs as possible. Ask about support media for your market, like tags on the back of the recording company’s radio spots or snipes in alternative print media.
- Get the Talent Contract and Backstage/Production Rider to the Production Company or sound and Lights Company. Keep a copy in your Production file.
- Plan, design and arrange advertising. Meet with radio stations, negotiate promotions. How much trade/ barter?
- Make a Marketing/ Production Calendar so you have in plain site a collective schedule of all of the important times, meetings, deadlines that are important to you. This should be the size of a desk blotter or just use the large monthly desk calendars popular at every office supply store.
12-20 weeks out
- Put tickets on sale asap.
- Send out Press Release stating when they GO ON SALE
- Coordinate tickets on sale with web site.
4-8 weeks out
- Non-Ticketmaster tickets arrive; count each one; compare to ticket Manifest.
- Do you need some non-automated tickets for day of show box office sales.
- Produce radio spots, print ads. Send dubs to stations, get print ads to papers. Make sure, if you have more than one spot, each is dated for start/end time.
- Advertising Schedule starts between 4 and 8 weeks out. Be careful in plotting your media expenditures. You have to sustain whatever campaign you commence. You can’t have large gaping holes in your media schedules. You should start most of your media on the same day. Trickling different types of media into the mix generally doesn’t give the punch you need when starting a campaign.
2-4 weeks out
- Send out complimentary tickets with promo information to VIPs
- Check production needs and developments. Order Catering.
- Visit ticket outlets once set up; look for signage and information availability; poster?
- Order Catering. Arrange tradeout pizza for crew.
- Customize advertising, change ads to keep them fresh, your copy on all ads, especially any last week-of print ads.should say:
“NEXT WEEKEND” (up to the Sunday night before).
Then, as of Monday say: “THIS WEEKEND”, or “THIS SATURDAY NIGHT”, Then, “TOMORROW NIGHT”, then “TONIGHT”, Box Office opens noon, Doors 7pm.!”
- Track ticket sales daily and where they are buying them.
- Check radio station concert calendar lines, newspaper event calendars, send out postcards reminding important media of upcoming event.
WEEK OF SHOW
- Ensure stage manager has arranged limo and backstage requirements for bands.
- Send a last Press Release. “Show is this weekend”. Call reporters.
- Procure Insurance Liability Coverage you asked for 4-8 weeks ago.
DAY BEFORE SHOW
- Make a 1 page Day-Of-Show Production Schedule with latest changes, send to all management.
- Call Stage Manager; is everything ready? What time does he need you there?
- Reconfirm 15-min. security staff meeting. What time? And what time is staff in place?
- Put gas in car today.
- Reconfirm catering arrival, ice and food for crew at lunch at noon or 1pm. Ask your Production guy when is best. It’s a nice gesture if you pick up lunch for the crew (stagehands, roadies, light/ sound/ stage operators). Arrange 8′ tables for simple lunch buffet for crew (a lot of pizzas you may be able to trade for), or foot long subs, soda, water, chips, some cookies. If you feel generous, energy drinks and energy bars. Always remember veggie eaters when ordering. Figure about 40 people for a 6,000 seat facility. If you have volunteers in other positions not related to backstage, but they’re there during the day, it’s a standard thing to offer them a meal as well. You want your staff full of fuel, hydrated and sharp.
- Important for you to sleep well the night before. Don’t stay up late, you will tomorrow night. Don’t allow staff to party, they need to be sharp and energetic tomorrow. Turn off and charge your cell phone off.
DAY OF SHOW
- Be at building when it opens, 7AM-9AM whenever Stage Manager arrives.
- Meet with Stage Manager early as possible with final production schedule copies.
- Arrange possible day of show interviews, autograph sessions, radio interviews, etc.; adjust advertising again as necessary. Make sure you get the free publicity- make those newsroom phone calls. It’s now a news story and the newsroom is looking for a story is that are happening that day. That’s what news is, it’s happening right now.
- Day of show: Arrive early A.M.
- Make sure Box Office is open, hang there when possible.
- Inspect stage, backline rentals, backstage, dressing room, white towels. • Fire extinguishers?
- Check on status of other rider requirements for band.
- Lunch with the band’s manager?
- Is sound and lights working? When is sound check?
- Meet with Box Office Manager, prepare to open Box Office 10AM-4PM
- A few hours before opening doors, check all doors, should be secure.
- Call media if necessary, try last minute interviews, stories.
- Sound check. 11am-4pm.
- Check all producers’ work; check- stage, sound, lights, facility doors, security, box.
- Office, backstage dressing rooms.
- Check again all day of show publicity appointments (appts.) are met, that the act is there early and picked up early. These appts. should be written down on colored index cards with the what, how, when, contact, phone, email written down and confirmed two days before and then the morning of the appointment again.
- Catering/ beverage delivery to dressing rooms.
- Meet day of show with talent manager. Lunch if possible. Discuss settlement time.
- Meet with ushers, ticket takers.
- OPEN DOORS, monitor all entrances, box office.
- Do you have a pressroom or a place where your PR representative can meet the Press? Be prepared and have spoken to the band’s manager first, because the Press will want band interviews, and it is unlikely you will be granted them within 2 hours of the show or immediately thereafter.
- Have the press arrive earlier in the day during sound check. Always check with the band’s manager the day before or the morning of the show day.
- Just prior to performance, financial settlement with artist’s manager.
- Settlement with Building Manager as soon as Box Office closes. Do final paperwork on profit or loss. Final ticket Manifest with tickets sold or left over.
- Settle with all other production contractors.
- Supervise clean up, secure area where equipment is sitting, and observe load out.
- Make sure somebody locks the door and that you have left the venue with everything you came with….. Now you can go to sleep.