You, Yes You Could Promote The Lubbock Music Festival
What makes being a concert promoter hard? It's the research and the gamble. When you take those two things out of the equation, being a promoter is as simple as making a few phone calls. Keep reading and I'm going to show you "the man behind the curtain" and how anybody could promote a show. More after the jump.
If you ever get a chance read the book "Freakonomics" . Part of the book is about a tactic that many people use called "information assimilation". Basically, if I never tell you how I do something, you'll always need me. It's almost another way of bullying people. My outlook personally has always been, I'll tell you how I do everything then out pace you by doing more. Seriously, there is another radio station that exists by just doing the things that FMX used to do. Now this "information assimilation" is how some people continue to get paid to put on shows for Lubbock business and tourist concerns. If anyone in the process had any real community spirit, they could just hand over a few phone numbers and we'd save thousands and thousands of dollars. Instead, that information is kept close to the vest so that people have to pay for the "help". Now let's get to the business of PROMOTING CONCERTS!
YOU, could bring VAN HALEN to Lubbock. This is not an exaggeration, if you had the money, you could bring Van Halen or whoever you wanted to Lubbock. Now, if you're a REAL concert promoter, you'd first find out if a good venue was available, then you would research how many tickets you think you could sell at what price, how much money you can get kicked back by sales of the bands merchandise, how much your expenses are (like security, towels), and you may even have to put in competitive bids with other promoters. Chances are still, like a lot of promoters, you'd loose money on a lot of the shows you'd produce.
Now if you're producing a community event, things are so much simpler. You call a booking agent, or even a bands manager and say, "How much to play Lubbock on Saturday September 27th or 29th"? Or even "what bands do you have that can play on those dates?". The agent then says "ten bucks, a decent sound system and a cheese tray for the band". You say, "I have an o.k. sound system and I don't know where to get a cheese tray". The promoter then says, "tell you what, give us twelve bucks, we'll use your sound and get our own cheese". The agent then sends you a contract, you give them 50% of the money up front, and you have a show. Kids, I'm sorry, that's all it is. It doesn't even seem fair that people get paid to do that.
Once again, when you put the element of risk in there, concert promotion is the kind of job that gives young men heart attacks. Research helps you moderate that risk. If, like the Lubbock Music Festival, you're just given money to book bands, it's almost a license to steal and ANYONE with a phone or email could do it. It's all about the "information assimilation", pretending that you have some special knowledge that others don't have to justify your worth. It's funny, I have this company called Lustig Enterprises that faxes out available band information a couple times a week. I don't ask for this information at all. It's oldies bands and tribute acts and the kind of bands that they book for the Lubbock Music Festival and I don't even have to ask to be kept up to speed. That's just one company, all you'd really have to do is get on a couple of mailing lists and all of a sudden you have all of the "contacts" of a big time promoter.
I do appreciate the fact that Lubbock does something to try to bring tourists in, but our two day concerts (X-Fest and The FMX Birthday Bash on 4/20 and 4/21) will sell more hotel rooms than the Lubbock Music Festival and it cost the City of Lubbock, or the Motel/Hotel tax people NOTHING.
All of this leads me to the following opinion: the motel/hotel tax is just way of getting friends paid, or the people behind it are truly, amazingly, spectacularly, stupid.
So here you go Lubbock Music Festival folk-Now, any one who reads this could do what's being done for about ten cents on the dollar (or less) of what you're paying now, are you interested?
I'd love to hear your side. Have you ever had anyone come to town for "the Lubbock Music Festival"? Do you friends and/or relatives ever come to town for FMX concerts?
This is part 2 of a 3 part series of articles on this topic. For part 1, click here!