Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Music Biz Savvy: If you're an indie artist, local band, or new National act who plays live shows…

Greetings from Los Angeles,

I wrote this on
My Space a while back, but as my brain cells fail to come up with anything witty to say on this busy afternoon, thought I'd post this here to give even more people the heads up...

Lately I've been noticing a scary trend that affects indie and agentless artists who play a lot of live shows:

Young promoters who've managed to get hold of large sums of money to produce shows, but who don't know the basics of live performance contracts.

I see this trend growing, because lately has been flooded with very basic questions from young concert promoters who have funding.

I find this troubling, because if someone doesn't know the basics of a live performance contract, it's highly likely they also don't know about local ordinances, OSHA regulations, event insurance, union rules, music licensing for live venues, or any of the ten million other details that go into putting on a safe, successful show.

There's a strong probability artists who work with them will get screwed over (from inexperience more than malice in this case). Or worse yet, the artist will be named in a lawsuit in the event of an accident--simply from the buyer not knowing what they're doing, and the artist getting tangled in the fallout.

So...If you're an artist who plays out a lot, know who the A-level and B-level talent buyers are in the cities where you play regularly, as well as for the cities where you want to branch out.

If an opportunity comes from a promoter you don't know, check them out. Find out what shows they've done in the past, and talk with some of the artists who were on the bill (better yet, their managers or tour managers)...Especially those at your level of your experience in the industry, and one level above.

A few things to ask...

Did they get paid? Were there any disputes/misunderstandings with the performance agreement? Were there any problems with the show? Were they resolved quickly? How did the promoter resolve them? Did Settlement go smoothly?

Meanwhile, take the time to learn your business so you'll know how to spot a bad promoter...and will know how to handle some of the problems that inevitably come from a promoter not knowing theirs.

Live your dreams,


Randi Reed, Founder / Editor in Chief,

Copyright 2006 Randi Reed and All rights reserved.