Tour Manager: Jim Green, Beaver Productions, Memphis, Tennessee

Below is the results of an interview between Jeff Sackman, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University and Jim Green, a tour manager for Beaver Productions, Memphis, Tennessee. The interview was conducted in the spring of 2001.

 

What is your typical day/week?

I get into the office at 9:00 a.m. and check my email and respond if necessary, look at my phone messages and prioritize by who I need to get back with first, read over faxes that might have been sent late in the day or while I was not in the office, call all box offices that are currently selling tickets for my shows for ticket counts, create/revise/edit advertising campaigns for current or future shows, and then return and make all phone calls.

Is there any formal education needed for your job, or requirements, or skills needed to do your job?

Marketing, management, accounting, computer skills, and people skills are key elements to the job. You have to be able to manage money that is going out and coming in. Also know how to deal with people on a personal level. Stay level headed.

What is the best training for a concert promoter?

Everyone starts at the bottom of the food chain and works their way up. Pushing cases and rolling cable, loading and unloading trucks is the place to start. Making the right contacts from doing those gigs will help you up the ladder to becoming a concert promoter. It is important to know all aspects of the business.

What kind of personality is recommended for the job?

A pleasant personality that people like to be around. Being able to be flexible with situations. You cannot be a prick towards people. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

What experiences or qualifications are needed?

A combination of being a stagehand, promoting small shows, the business skills mentioned before, and a tolerant personality.

Where are promoter?s jobs?

Concert promoters are located all over the country. Not only are there promoters for big artists, but local promoters pull local, regional, and small national acts to do shows in local cities. You just have to be at the right time in most cases.

How would you obtain a job as a promoter?

Find a few artists you believe in and let everyone know, any way possible about their talent. Sell them to clubs.

Where can you go on the career ladder being a concert promoter?

You can go work for record companies, big retail chains, management for a company, run venues, the job possibilities are endless.

How did you become a concert promoter?

In college I started to work for a band with loading and unloading their equipment at shows. After awhile they gave me responsibility to watch the bands money. Then I gained more responsibility by booking them shows and then they claimed me as their manager. I ended up dropping out of college, which I was majoring in marketing with a minor in management, to manage the band. They were signed by a label and toured extensively. The label ended up going bankrupt and the band broke up. Through contacts I became a concert promoter for Beaver Productions. I was in the right place at the right time you could say.

Are you associated with any professional organizations?

Yes I am, North American Concert Promoters Association and Independent Promoters Organization.

Do you have those organizations information?

No I do not but my secretary has it. I will send it to you.

List pros and cons of the job.

Pros would have to be that I do not have to dress up for work. I get to work with incredible, creative people that motivate and touch people’s lives.

Cons are, long hours I spend in the office and at shows, all the work I do and no appreciation, and the time I have missed and lost spending with friends and family. You have to be willing to break a lot of relationships to be successful in this business.

What is the salary range for a promoter?

$50,000 to an upwards of $500,000.

What shouldn’t a person do to become a promoter?

Don’t be a pest, get involved with the party scene or bad habits, star struck, or fly off the handle if something goes wrong. Job stability is low in this business and only the strong survive.

What is looked down upon?

Basically everything mentioned before and not being reliable or accountable will turn heads away.

Suggestions on becoming successful in the entertainment industry?

There is no formula for success but be nice, work your ass off, and eventually luck will find your way. One last thing, my quote that I live by is, “anything worth having, never came easy.”