Music Production and Promotion Tips

How to Manage a Band

Posted on | March 15, 2012 | No Comments

Band management could be seen as an appealing career choice. The glamour of the music industry, huge pay cheques and award ceremonies? Well you wont be surprised to discover that it’s not all like that, it wont surprise you either to find out that it can be a fun and rewarding job. Here are my tips on how to manage a band.

The first step on the long and winding road to becoming a band manager is to…er…find a band! The best way of doing this is by building strong connections in the local music scene (trust me you dont want to manage a band that isn’t local). Attend plenty of gigs, check out music websites such as Reverb Nation and search for local artists – Like their stuff? Ask them if they have representation. Management isn’t always easy to come by and a lot of small bands will be happy to let you help out on a trial basis. Keep the feelers out and have three or four bands on your radar, you never know which might start to build up a big following and need your expertise.

So what will your roles be? The job of band manager varies greatly from case to case, mainly depending on the size of the band in question. At the start, you may finding yourself doing some jobs you wont do for a festival headliner and vice versa. Be flexible. Some of the roles of band manager are:

  • Booking gigs and tours and liaising with promoters.
  • PR and promotion including talking to local and national press as well as blogs and online publications in order to get press coverage.]
  • Putting together a “Press Kit” including a demo and band biography.
  • Sending demos to record labels and promoters.
  • Brokering deals such as profit shares and fees for gigs, licensing deals and recording contracts.
  • Communication. Being at the bands beckon call 24/7 and always being on the end of the phone for anybody who might help your bands artists.
  • Social skills. You need to get on with the band or artist you’re representing, and you may even need to solve any tiffs or fallings-out in the band! Creative types can be notoriously hard work and you’ll need to be good at coping with this.

How will you make money? Most managers work on a percentage deal. For instance you will take between 10 and 20% of the band’s total earnings or profits (big difference). As you can imagine this can be a pathetically small sum of money, or a scarily big sum of money. You’ll work for it too, expect to be working unsociable and long hours.

In conclusion, this is a job not for the faint hearted. It can be very full on and there are no guarantees of income. That said, when the riches do come, they often come in abundance. Work hard and you’ll be rewarded.


Recommended Reading: The Music Management Bible


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