Be­ware of gig pro­moter hype, what­ever the weather

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film -

ONCE UPON a time, it was only the poor sods in the mu­sic and show­biz hack­ery game who had to put up with the des­per­a­tion of the ticket- sell­ing pro­moter. In the lead up to a ma­jor out­door sum­mer show, the emails and phone calls were cease­less as the pro­moter and their spin doc­tors tried ev­ery trick in the book to gain col­umn inches and ra­dio show men­tions in an ef­fort to flog some tick­ets.

Back in the dark days when I did PR, I once spun a Fats Domino gig as “your very last chance to see the New Orleans leg­end in Dublin!” The show sold out so the pro­moter de­cided to bring him back a year later. That gig, though, didn’t do as well.

Thanks to so­cial me­dia, these dodgy machi­na­tions, such shady sleights-of-hand and in­cred­i­ble claims are now lobbed at the Twit­ter time­lines of the masses.

There will be a few tweets about the weather and how the sun hap­pens to be shin­ing on that par­tic­u­lar patch of grass when it’s strangely ab­sent ev­ery­where else. There will be a clar­ion call to “get your tick­ets early”, as if all 45,000 tick­ets for the gig might sell out.

Pro­mot­ing live mu­sic at a time of aus­ter­ity and cut­backs is a hard game. Peo­ple still want to be en­ter­tained, but the cost is of­ten be­yond them. With­out those ticket sales, the pro­moter can’t put on the show. Cue the cy­cle of des­per­a­tion, retweeted again and again and again. Some­thing to bear in mind when you see pro­mot­ers throw­ing op­ti­mistic long-range weather fore­casts for the Au­gust bank hol­i­day at you.

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