If you're considering becoming a band promoter, you should understand the risks involved. When you're starting out with a new band, they're going to have a low budget and they're not going to make much profit. Before they become successful they're probably going to incur some losses, and so are you. You'll have to pay for things like equipment rental, advertising and refreshments up front. Only about 40 percent of band promoters survive in the business for more than five years, and only about 25 percent are able to make it into a career [source: Education Portal].
You don't need a college degree to be a band promoter, but studying some of the following subjects will help prepare you for the job:
- Public relations
- Media relations [Source: Princeton Review]
Some skills you will need in order to break into the industry include:
- Organizational skills
- Listening skills
- Interpersonal skills and charm
- Attention to detail
It's best to start small by:
- Choosing one band to focus on
- Choosing one genre of music or one region, such as college towns, to focus on
- Getting gigs in local coffee shops or pubs before moving on to larger venues
- Taking an unpaid internship with an experienced band promoter
- Taking out free ads in the papers, printing black and white flyers, and making use of word-of-mouth advertising
- Keeping your day job until your career as a band promoter takes off
Networking is an important way to become a band promoter. You'll need to form relationships with bands, other promoters, sales agents, booking agents, public relations professionals and marketing experts, among others.
The band promotion business is a high-stress and high-risk one. You'll be working long hours and have an unsteady workload. If you think you have what it takes, go for it -- but it wouldn't hurt to have a back-up plan just in case.