Jesse Davidson

When a music scene is healthy, there are many people working together to make sure it is a successful one.

It not only requires talent to fill the stage, but people to make sure the stage exists. Oftentimes, the people behind the scenes, especially on a local level, don’t get the thanks they deserve. It needs to happen and is often rewarding in its own way. If someone wants to throw a successful event (and may not know where to start) here is a guide on the basics.

The promoter

It all starts here. The promoter organizes all aspects of the show. This includes organizing and managing all the positions listed in this article. It’s not a promoter’s job to act in these positions, but to fill them with competent people and check on them throughout the night. It is also courteous to coordinate with other local promoters to plan events so everyone can succeed. On a deeper level, the promoter represents the venue and the Antelope Valley, as a whole, especially to acts traveling from out of town. It’s important to bring your best for everyone’s reputation involved.

The bands

Pick a line-up that is complementary to one another but will bring in different types of people. Ideally, this would create an atmosphere where someone coming for one act would discover new bands they may not be familiar with. Bands should arrive at least an hour before their set to check in and unload their equipment.


It is the promoter’s responsibility to hire and pay a sound engineer. Even though the engineer typically provides the normal sound equipment, it would behoove the promoter to keep basic supplies on hand like mic cables, flashlights and gaff tape.


Working out an arrangement that benefits both parties is key. Start with established local venues where shows already occur. If this doesn’t work, seek out business that only have customers for a portion of the day the could benefit from additional business.


Find a responsible person to work the door and provide them with the proper supplies.

• A cash box with small bills for making change.

•  A card reader that can be used with a phone for non-cash customers.

• Wristbands,

 Sharpies, scratch paper and a copy of the set times are also essential.

There are a few things to watch for in this position. Sometimes people are more interested in watching the show than actually working the door. Someone with good customer skills is a plus. Make sure they are also attentive to patrons. Check in from time to time as the night goes on. These can both reflect badly on the promoter or the venue, whose reputation is also equally on the line.

Other things to consider, depending on type of event and expected attendance, this will determine if you need security, the number of flyers to be printed and distributed and if you need tickets printed.

Figuring out where your audience shops and eats narrows down where you need to drop off flyers. Local businesses are typically on board with leaving flyers, if you ask for permission. Larger corporate stores usually don’t allow it.

Last, even with the advent of Facebook invites, nothing beats person-to-person interaction. Sometimes, you must hit the streets with a stack of flyers and find those concertgoers looking for new entertainment.

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