ARTIST VS PROMOTER
Over the past few months I’ve been to a lot of shows. I’ve been to shows featuring some very non-talented artist (in my opinion), promising up-n-comers, and some of the heavy weights in Christian Hip-Hop. In regards to the shows that have featured artists who have a larger platform than most, there have been quite a few times that the Facebook likes, Twitter followers, and Soundcloud plays that they flex online didn’t translate into people showing up to see them. In my experience this seems to be a re-occurring issue for the CHH community. The promoter books the artist, or the artist contacts the promoter, the promoter pays the artists their required booking fee (more on that later), the promoter pays for the artist to get to the show, the show gets a date, and now comes for the hard sell – but where does the responsibility lie?
There are two different points of view regarding this matter. Promoters normally will argue that the responsibility is with the artists to bring their fan base and the artists will argue that the promoters’ role is to effectively promote the show. I believe there should be balance of equal participation by both parties in order to make any event successful. Let’s take a look at this issue from the promoters’ perspective.
When promoters invite artists to come out to their venue to perform, they expect the artist to do as well as they can and bring value to their show. As I said at the beginning of this article, I’ve been to quite a few shows this year, and some of the artist that were featured or headlined the show didn’t really deliver. I have seen artist forget words to their verses on stage, perform with minimal enthusiasm, they can be unreasonable, make ridiculous unjustified demands on pay, and even catch poor attitudes while on stage. All of these things are unacceptable in my opinion!
Promoters pay artists between little too large amounts of money to come and perform/minister at their venue, and that may just be the booking fee, which means that cost doesn’t include travel. Promoters have different reasons for booking an artist for a show, whatever the case may be, the promoter normally wants to make back the money they have invested to bring the artist out. The cost to put on a show these days is rising, audiences are shrinking, and new artist are popping up every day. If an artist as a marketable entity isn’t able to bring value to a show, then regardless of how talented they are, who they have worked with, they’re simply not worth putting on the bill.
In some cases artists will hassle a promoter to book them for a show. They promise a huge turnout, sometimes in places they’ve have never even been to, and then they don’t deliver on that promise. If a show does poorly it’s not fun for the artist, but it’s the promoter that loses out the most, both in enjoyment and financially. A friend told me that it should be about the ministry. My response to that is this, you don’t have to do music to minister to someone or share the gospel with them, and if it’s all about ministry then these artist can stay home and perform for free at their local churches instead of wasting people’s time and money flying around the country on someone else’s check book to only give a mediocre performance.
I’m not just trying to come down on artists in this article; there are always two sides to every story. There have also been times when I have seen “promoters” drop the ball, but I’m going to talk about that on part 2 of this series, until then chew on this.
*ARTIST TIPS is a new feature on GuerillaCross.com to help new artists develop and be a step ahead of the rest of the game professionally, musically, and spiritually. Weekly articles or videos will be posted in this category on our site as well as segments for artist development live on SPEAKLIFE Radio each Tuesday 7-9pm PST.