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Seminar 8

The Concert Tour

Index List of All Seminars -- Free Lite Version
All Seminars Must Be Read In Order!



SEMINAR 8: THE CONCERT TOUR


Greetings!

This session we will look at what it takes to put on a concert tour and thereby to further promote your, by now...chart buster!.

There are a few "loose ends" that we will need to address first however.

Nowadays the people of the music business have become more and more "independent." This is reflected in the fact that there are now many more "independent" CD releases. Many bands today will simply produce their own CD and start promoting it themselves. This independent type of promotion usually starts on the Internet (as we saw last session) and within their own local or regional club "touring" area. So, something should be mentioned about live performances at clubs. Club touring in a regional area is often a baby step that is carried out before a band tackles a national or worldwide concert tour.

Plus, due to the high cost of promoting a concert tour, many of the major labels are simply putting out a video and scraping concert tours, or, at least, cutting back on the frequency of putting on the national or worldwide tours.

And finally, although we talked about public relations, publicity and record promotion, and within these, a little about press releases and press kits, we should now focus in more on the press release and press kit because they are of special importance with regard to club "touring" and concert touring.




PRESS RELEASE

Publicity and Marketing -- SMP Hot Link


Since a press kit is actually a part of (or subset of) a press release, we will look at the press release first. A press release can be made for both a general purpose and/or a specific purpose. In general, a press release is a notification sent to the media to inform the entire music industry and the public of an event that is to take place in the near future, or to relate something that has just occurred. This may be the address of a new Home Page on the Web, the release date of an album, a live concert date, a change in tour itinerary, or just a clever anecdote that happened on tour, etc..

And more specifically on a local level, a press release could be used to simply announce an upcoming club, festival, or other band engagement.

Whichever the case, general or specific, a press release should be interesting to the media entity or person to which it is sent. Press releases should only be released for important (from a publicity standpoint) issues ("papering" your contact may end in the important releases not getting the attention they should). And, unless there is a lot of technical "stuff," it should be only one page in length.

In a typical press release, at the top of the page (always use standard 81/2 x 11 sized paper) should be a short headline that sums up the entire release in a business like manner. Then, below the headline, put the most important information first and so on down to the least. Order the information so it flows smoothly from a beginning to an end. Use action verbs. Although the first draft of the release may be long, the final draft should be short and precise (use a professional writer if possible).

Always tailor each release to the target audience/media person.

If pictures are sent, any people pictured must be identified (from left to right) via an identification name line pasted to the bottom of the picture. Give a short descriptive sentence explaining what is going on in the shot. If color slides are included, always number them in some logical order. Include a cutline/identification page or card attached to the slide box.

Double check all the spelling before the final draft is sent out. Put the piece down for awhile and then look at it again afresh. Something you thought was dynamite may just be a dud upon a second fresh look.

On each page (in plain sight), include your name, company name, mailing address, website address, e-mail address, and telephone and FAX numbers.

Unlike in a press kit, press release pages should be stapled together since pages are apt to get lost in a fast moving media office.



THE PRESS KIT

In general, the press kit is a printed "package" that serves as a means to convey the publicity of an artist or band. This is often an initial publicity release sent to newspaper editors, trade magazines, radio stations, various music business and professional people and organizations, and to promoters and potential promoters. It may also be sent to a record label or distributor or even an agent in order to further a career. The kit should be sent out with all networking and other "business" you do. (You never know when a connection can be created.)

More specifically, the press kit can be sent locally or regionally in order to try to book a band. For example, it could be sent to club owners, or given to various professional associations and non-profit corporations that may be going to put on conventions or hold fund raisers. Or, it could be sent out to event planners or to local businesses that may put on trade shows, fashion shows, hold ground breaking ceremonies, or put on company parties. Or, even sent to country clubs, park and recreation agencies, cruise lines (or to agencies who book for cruise lines), and to hotels and restaurants. And, of course, to college and university student activities departments, and even to local elementary, middle, junior high and high schools. There is an almost endless opportunity to promote your band via the press kit!


Here is where you will need the SMP Membership Full Text Version of Seminar #8, along with the access it gives to the SMP Hot Links…you will find out how to "Take Care of Business" with more detailed step-by-step answers covering:

1) The Press Kit…a detailed list of exactly what to include in a professional press kit.
2) The Bio…what it is and what is in it.
3) The Cover Letter…what it is and what to include in it.
4) The Package…the secret to getting it noticed.
5) The Color Code…don't drop this tip.
6) The Tailor…this is not a garment maker!
7) Record Label vs. Club Press Kits…find out the difference!

You get all this and much more with the SMP Membership Full Text Version…

Go To SMP Membership Full Text Version -- Index List of All Seminars
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THE CLUB CONTRACT

Booking Agreement -- Form Contract Purchase Online


Now that you have used your press kit and press release to set up your first club engagements, you must now be sure to protect yourself. It can be very costly to invest big bucks into setting up gigs only to see them never actually take place! The club circuit "stepping stone" to concert touring could turn into a "stumbling block" quickly if you do not protect yourself via a club contract.

So, to facilitate the ability of your band to collect payment for the gigs you set up, you should negotiate a club contract prior to each engagement.

To begin with, the reputation of the club and club owner should be taken into consideration. If you deal with reputable clubs, enforcing your contracts become much more enjoyable and will seldom end in litigation. The types of contracts clubs will offer range from the standard AF of M contract (contact your local AF of M for more information) to a simple verbally negotiated agreement (remember, a verbal agreement will hold up in court, so a band can be held liable if they verbally agree to appear and then simply don't show up). However, a verbal agreement is a risky way to do business. Memories fade as to what was exactly said, and misinterpretations of what was said will loom large if a hassle about payment ensues.


Here is where you will again need the SMP Membership Full Text Version of Seminar #8, along with the access it gives to the SMP Hot Links…you will find out how to "Take Care of Business" with detailed step-by-step answers covering:

1) The Club Contract…13 points that need to be included in every Club Contract.
2) Signing the Contract…the main pitfalls and who specifically does the signing.
Legal Notes -- SMP Hot Links Supreme
3) Getting Paid…tips on how to protect yourself and how to make sure you get paid.

You get all this and much more with the SMP Membership Full Text Version…

Go To SMP Membership Full Text Version -- Index List of All Seminars
Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!

Booking Agreement -- Form Contracts Purchase Online




BOOKING AGENT

Booking Agents -- SMP Hot Link


Although the band leader will sometimes procure employment for the band, oftentimes, single and multiple night gigs at clubs will be handled by a booking agent. If you use a booking agent, there is a lot you should know ahead of time.

A booking agent is simply a special type of agent.

An agent, in general, is a person or company, usually licensed by the state (call your State Attorney for licensing information), who acts for or represents another (who is called the principal) by implied or express permission.

The principal is held legally liable for acts performed by the authorized agent. For example, a songwriter must allow the use of his song where it has been lawfully licensed by his representative agent (e.g., by his music publisher). Or, a record label is responsible for the actions of a producer who they have hired to produce a record. Or, an artist is financially responsible for purchases made by his road manager agent where the agent is acting to facilitate the artist's concert tour.

The booking agent is an individual person (or business agency) who is hired to procure performance engagements or other employment for an artist or band. Or, on the other hand, he is the middleman who provides the talent to those who are buyers of talent.

For example, a band can use the services of a booking agent not only to secure single and multiple night gigs at clubs, but also to book single appearances at private parties or festivals, or to obtain the services of a producer to shoot a video. And, looking ahead, it would also be the booking agent who would be used to secure the dates for a full concert tour.

Sometimes booking agents are indispensable since some buyers of talent will not book an act without an agent.

Plus, the booking agent is often the one who does the negotiation of the club contract or other employment contract that enjoins the artist with the talent buyer. This is especially true for agents who procure employment for artists on a day to day basis (such as single and multiple club dates as discussed above).

The talent buyer may be required to pay either the artist (who then pays his agent) or the booking agent (who then pays the artist) depending on the way the contract was drawn up. For example, the fee paid for club gigs is usually paid to the artist who then distributes the agent's fee to the booking agent. Whereas the fee for a package deal put together by an agent (e.g., producer, artist, musicians, and production studio for a television commercial spot) may be paid to the agent who would then distribute the appropriate amounts to all those under contract.

Typically, a booking agent at the local level will try to persuade club owners to hire live entertainment and then he would try to find acts that would have enough draw to enable everyone involved to make a profit. This can sometimes be much more difficult than it seems. This is because the agent may have many day to day headaches to deal with to include semi-alcoholic slow paying/no paying tavern managers as well as name dropping undependable opening acts.

Also, there is often an attempt by competitive local agencies to obtain the same talent. If a booking agent is not knowledgeable or aggressive enough he may not be able to obtain maximum pay for a particular act and may lose his contract through lack of performance.

On a national level, the agent may have to deal with fly-by-night concert promoters and other agents that are less than honest, or who become difficult to contact when it is time to get paid.

Successful booking agents are usually the ones who are knowledgeable, streetwise, honest, creative, aggressive, persevering, and have earned the respect of both the artist (seller) and the buyer of the artist's talent.

The booking agent usually represents many artists (this is in contrast to an artist manager, for example, who generally only represents one or a few artist's). Also, it should be pointed out, that this wide scope of representation can lead to a conflict of interests. For example, if the agent books an opening act for the artist based on a motivation to enhance his own commission fees rather than to enhance the artist's career, the legality of his action may come into question.


Here is where you will again need the SMP Membership Full Text Version of Seminar #8, along with the access it gives to the SMP Hot Links…you will find out how to "Take Care of Business" with step-by-step answers covering:

1) The Exclusive Artist Contract
2) Agent/Talent Union Agreements
Unions -- SMP Hot Links Supreme
3) Booking Agent Commissions
4) Statutory Regulations…avoid contract annulment by the courts and uncollectable commissions!
5) Ongoing Agent Evaluation

You get all this and much more with the SMP Membership Full Text Version…

Go To SMP Membership Full Text Version -- Index List of All Seminars
Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!




THE CONCERT TOUR

Performance -- SMP Hot Links Supreme
Concerts -- SMP Hot Links Supreme
Tour Itineraries -- SMP Hot Links Supreme
Tickets -- SMP Hot Links Supreme


By now, hopefully, you are ready for the "big time!" Yes, big time bands put on big time concert tours!

So, as we have seen, the booking agent is a major player in the concert tour "big picture." This is because he is the one who will actually do the procurement of the dates of the concert tour itself. However, there are several other players and situations that need to be understood that relate to the concert tour.

The concert tour or "road tour," is a sequence of performance engagements carried out in numerous locations in a relatively short period of time, e.g., 12 engagements in cities from coast to coast in 3 weeks.


Here is where you will also need the SMP Membership Full Text Version of Seminar #8, along with the access it gives to the SMP Hot Links…you will find out how to "Take Care of Business" with more detailed step-by-step answers covering:

1) The Concert Event…the Concert Promoter, the fees, licenses, the ins and outs.
2) Artist's Road Manager…what his many responsibilities are.
Management -- SMP Hot Link
3) Product Merchandising at Concerts…who has the rights and what to exploit.
4) The Video…Instead of Touring?…weigh the options.
5) Video Rights and Royalties…know your rights and the restrictions pitfalls.
Video -- SMP Hot Link
Synchronization Rights and Licensing -- SMP Hot Link
Performance Rights and Licensing -- SMP Hot Link
Royalties -- SMP Hot Link

You get all this and much more with the SMP Membership Full Text Version…

Go To SMP Membership Full Text Version -- Index List of All Seminars
Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!



This concludes our discussion of The Concert Tour. Next session we will take a look at Performance Rights Organizations such as ASCAP and BMI, and the licensing agency called the Harry Fox Agency.

See you next session!


*R*


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