A Promoter's Life Explained

Marcus McDonald

By Marcus McDonald

The time is 11:00 a.m. I get a note from a local band. They want to get more shows.

DMs like this are normal. It's not easy but I have about 5 or 6 venues in mind that will probably suit this up-and-coming act. I send some emails and EPKs (Electronic Press Kits), and throw some dates out far enough in the future to plan around their current schedule.

After responses roll in from the various venues, I start putting wheels in motion. Who should appear with them? What type of a crowd will it be? 

The biggest part of a successful show is marketing. Any musician could have the best show of their lives on the greatest, biggest stage in the sky, but it's worthless if nobody shows up to see it. A show without a crowd can ruin your relationship with venues, musicians, press and even fans. Nobody wants to see an artist or band perform in an empty venue. It's discouraging all the way around.

Although, a stark reality in the business is that not all of your shows will sell out or have the mosh pit-sized crowd you desire. But a solid marketing plan can ensure at least a decent-sized crowd at your event.

The key ingredient? Time. A solid marketing plan always starts with time. A rushed event never pans out like you want it to. People, especially, creatives, love being spontaneous; however, big events take time to organize. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Giving your event time to succeed is crucial.

Finally, nothing can be done without socializing and meeting new people. Some of the most influential people I’ve met have been random encounters on the street or internet. Creating a community of people who believe in a shared dream in places I’ve only visited a few times like New York, New Orleans, Orlando and Atlanta is exciting.

What I hold dear the most are relationships. I try to keep in touch with everyone I’ve met in the industry no matter how busy I get to maintain ties with them. People really appreciate it when you check up on them or keep in touch via social media.

I started Adesso Entertainment so I could take what I’ve learned and help the folks around me achieve their goals. When I first arrived in Charleston, there was so much talent just waiting to be discovered. The void left by the crumbling frat scene left room for a take-over by a hipper, more artistic crowd. I’m happy to be filling it.