Aspiring Concert Promoter Extraordinaire

April 23, 2008

Dear Dude,

..there are a lot of up and comers here in the south….all looking for shows. How would I go about organizing a show without actually owning a venue? I wouldn’t be looking to make money…only get the bands some exposure and see some kickazz metal.

Thanks in advance,

Aspiring Concert Promoter Extraordinaire

Dear Aspiring Concert Promoter Extraordinaire,

I have played all over the world in venues that are not your conventional night clubs. I’ve played a bomb shelter, ex slaughter house, ex Nazi buildings, air port hangers, parking lots, a few different type of boats, castles…My point is where there is a will to rock there is a way to rock.

If you don’t own a venue then you need to find one you can rent out. This has been done very successfully by people all over the US and holds true for the rest of the world. The types of places you should look for are: VFW Halls, churches, art spaces, warehouses, vacant parking lots, record stores, coffee shops, and even house basements. My first few tours were spent playing mostly these types of places and there are many bands who only play these types of non-conventional venues. So get out there and get creative. A punk, metal, ska, whatever show can happen anywhere.

So after you’ve found your location the next thing you need to do is negotiate a fee for the hall space and time. You need about 5 hours from start to finish for a 4 to 5 band concert. Get something reasonable, something you think you can cover with an entrance fee. Also make sure to allot some money for PA rental (good tunes need volume). The type of PA you need is going to flux with the size of room and type of concert you’re doing. Be reasonable and be respectful. Make sure if you are doing a show at a non-conventional venue you remember to let your neighbors know rock is going to happen. You never want to be the guy who puts on a show and gets it shut down cause he did something sketchy. That will kill your reputation fast.

Next, you need to find bands. You mentioned “getting the bands exposure” so I am assuming you know some bands. Contact them and work it out, be fair and honest. Those two things are rare in a promoter but that is not to say they don’t (or shouldn’t) exist. I have made many friends and met many legendary dudes who’ve helped build their local punk, hardcore, metal, scenes all over the world.

You will see that a DIY show in 2008 can still happen. As soon as you start to get a local buzz and people are hearing about this new, sick spot, all the local bands will be in touch. Booking agents will start calling or emailing you. It’s just how it works. If you can tap into the local audience and find the bands people love then you can put on some sick concerts! Just make sure once you become a big time concert mogal you remember all those local bands you started with!

The Dude