CRS In Action: 'How To Create A Win-Win For Radio Music Events'
February 27, 2015 at 12:34 PM (PT)
The CRS panel "HOW TO CREATE A WIN-WIN FOR RADIO MUSIC EVENTS" took place TODAY (2/27). WILLIAM MORRIS ENDEAVOR's BECKY GARDENHIRE, CAA's BLAKE McDANIEL, LEIGHTON BROADCASTING's MATT SENNE, and RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT's MEGAN WILSON were on the panel. BEVERLEE BRANNIGAN moderated.
BRANNIGAN kicked off the panel by asking, "When you go to put your radio shows together, talk to us about the people involved and how you interact with them."
"I represent small market radio," shared SENNE. "We had a dream like a lot of radio people do, where we come to CRS and want to get the next LUKE BRYAN at our show. If you have a dream you can build it. We started with a very, very simple small acoustic concert series bringing in people like LOCASH COWBOYS before they were anybody. Bringing in MIRANDA LAMBERT for $3,500. So, it all started at CRS with a dream. Then, you start working with people like BECKY. When I had to call places like WILLIAM MORRIS or CAA, you don't know what to say, but you do it. Dive into the deep end right off the back. Just call them. These people are very, very nice. They'll help you through it. You can't ask a dumb question. The only question that is dumb is the one not asked, in my opinion. Start with a budget too and let them know what it is. You don't want to waste their time."
BRANNIGAN followed up by asking GARDENHIRE, What booking agents expect from radio and what is the process after you get that phone call?
"MATT is right. When you call, we would love for you to be prepared," said GARDENHIRE. "Know your budgets, know your dates, know what you're expecting to put on. Is it a smaller show? Is it a bigger festival? Is it a paid event? Is it a free event? All of that really matters to the artist and their manager. Keep in mind, we're working with lots of clients and the budgets for our clients range from small $1500 acts to big six figure plus acts. We definitely want to help you book talent, but we need to help you figure out what makes the most sense for your event. I've had many calls where people will say 'we want someone for $20,000 but they need to be able to bring in 10,000 people.' That's not realistic. That's okay; we'll help you and educate you on that, but you need to work with us on that. Once you figure out who's available to work with you on that date, we need an offer with all the details."
BRANNIGAN asked McDANIEL, "What does that offer look like. Is there a magic form on the internet or is there an email?"
"I'm sure BECKY has the same thing, but we have these templates we can send you and you just fill out the information," shared McDANIEL with the audience. "If there's something you don't understand, then you can call and we'll walk you through that as well. You submit that offer and at that time we take the offer to management. Of course since this is a radio scenario, management will check with the label and see what their vibe is on it. If it fits the parameter of what the artist needs, then we'll confirm the offer and issue a contract. You'll look over those contracts, send that back, and then we have an official date."
WILSON, who represents the artist management side, chimed in saying that when looking at offers, and making the decision of accepting it, "First and foremost I think it has to do with what we're doing tour wise that year. It needs to be able to route with whatever else we're doing in the area. We also look and see if there's been a recent play in the market and what ticket prices are."
The panel also agreed that when booking an act, you need to factor in production costs. GARDENHIRE pointed out that production costs might be a much bigger cost than you anticipated, but it is important that production is up to standard for the artist, so they can be presented in the best light possible.
Another concept the panel all echoed each other on, is to start having all of the conversations listed above well in advance of the event, so everything can go smoothly.
GARDENHIRE and McDANIEL also reminded the audience that once the offer is submitted, to not expect the "yes" back in a few days. Sometimes getting an answer back can take several weeks due to all the factors involved.
BRANNIGAN then asked the panel to explain why merchandise is important to the artist.
"Merchandise is obviously an important revenue stream for the artist, but it's also a takeaway for the fans to remember that show, and it's also great advertising for that fan to be out walking around in your tour t-shirt.," shared WILSON.
There are other factors though when dealing with merchandise as well.
"I have an example where a festival created a t-shirt without anyone knowing and they used the wrong picture of the artist," shared GARDENHIRE. "It was a really big deal. It was really unfortunate because then all of sudden we had a shirt out there with a picture of an artist that was literally a five year old image and the artist was really upset about it. It's one of those things, just be upfront with us and if you do have an event shirt, talk to us about it."
BRANNIGAN then asked about the best time that radio stations should book acts.
McDANIEL responded by saying that in the SUMMER months artists are at a 20-30% higher rate, but in the WINTER months when you're dealing with indoor venues, you may get a better rate but then "you're looking at back end costs, etc. If you're looking for a flat rate, something that can be easily calculated and figured out, then SUMMER months are usually the best to do it, but you're gonna have to pay a premium."
GARDENHIRE then jumped in and shared "if there are times where if you can be flexible on your dates, you can get a better deal maybe because of routing and they need that date to get from point A to point B and you're the perfect spot to go through."
BRANNIGAN then asked SENNE how he handles airplay when he books an act for a show, particularly an up and comer.
"We get to pick who we want at these shows, and if we're picking and we have the budget to afford those people, then I think you owe it to your festival, you owe it to your event, and you owe it to your listeners to play the artists' music," shared SENNE. "I don't think we've booked anybody that we don't believe in. I'll give you a perfect example, we didn't have our festival come together when we wanted it to. The committee didn't have their budget set, so we fell behind. We ended up having a couple of bans that weren't the biggest stars. We still played their music. We still had to invest in the festival. I think you owe it to everybody that's involved. If you don't believe in it, then why would a person pay $50 for a ticket?"
The panel concluded with reminding the audience how important relationships are in this business, and to not burn any bridges. Everyone talks, and make sure when they're talking about your station and their experience there, it's a positive one.
WILSON added on to that saying, "In addition to super-serving the artist and the touring personnel, super-serve the fans and people that are coming to the event. Make sure it's an easy process, from buying tickets to parking, to facilities to concession. That it's a really easy flow for them and an enjoyable event. The last thing you want is for the artist to have a really great time, but nobody else did."