As I discussed, I started my concert promoters business in 1982 because I was frustrated with the lack of concerts in our area. My first concert as a concert promoter was a memorable one. A friend who was really into blues music wanted me to bring a young, new artist from Austin, Texas, to Kansas City for a concert. He had heard the artist play in a club in Austin several months earlier. He and I got together and decided to try to do the show as a partnership. To make a very long story short, we somehow managed to find the correct phone numbers for the artist” s agent, told the agent we wanted to book a concert with the artist, and thus the process was started.
Even though we were rookies in the business, the national agent wanted his artist to perform in our city so he could start building a national following outside of Austin, Texas. We agreed to pay the artist the price the agent wanted for the show (we didn’t negotiate with the agent simply because we didn’t know we could). I believe the cost was $1,250 plus two hotel rooms. We now had the date!
Both of us then did all the promoting of the concert…..we booked the hall where the show was to be performed, ordered tickets, did the media (all of the things that we will teach you in our concert promoters course) and moved through what we thought the process was until the day we had the concert. It was truly an exciting night! We did not sell the hall out, but we did sell 440 tickets at $8.00 each (remember 1982 ticket prices). Even with our inexperience (resulting in many mistakes), after we paid all of the expenses, we profited $950, which we split between us.
We also got to hang out with some great new friends with whom we have stayed in contact and subsequently done business over the years. Yes, there is loyalty in this business. The concert was an extraordinary event for us. Not only was it our first, as a concert promoter, but the artist who performed showed glimpses of the superstar he was to become just a few years later… his name…