(from Billboard Magazine, October 13, 2012) Traditionally, venues are not promoters. However, more and more often if a venue wants a show, it must put its own resources on the line to guarantee the show’s success.
Serving as a promoter adds additional responsibility for a venue. Once a venue has agreed to promote a show, it is no longer just the host. As a promoter, the venue becomes financially responsible for the show’s success. This proposes a major risk for the venue. Frequently, public money is at stake with publicly owned venues, even if a venue is not publicly owned, suffering a loss in revenue from a show can damage future success.
According to Apregan Group President Jeff Apregan, “Most of the venues that are buying shows and promoting in-house would consider themselves promoters of last resort.”
Although venues would like to steer clear from serving as the promoter, the harsh reality is when facing to many dark nights, venue management must step up and find ways to fill the venue. This is especially true for venues outside the major markets or in cities with more than one similarly sized venue.
Money is a major consideration for a venue when deciding to promote a show, but it not the only consideration. Venues must also take into consideration how the show is serving the needs of the community.
The good news is there are ways for venues to protect their assets before making a deal they might regret. Venue management should do thorough research before considering a deal for a show. “Deals need to make sense,” Apregan says. Venues must evaluate the risk before making a deal, and determine if the risk lies in favor of the venue.
The bottom line is all venues should have a useful set of tools at their disposal when deciding to promote a show.