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Recap: Concert Promoter Round Table in Atlanta

By Chloe Peacock

At this NARIP program in Atlanta, two top concert promoters – Live Nation SVP Rich Levy and Eddie Owen Presents’ Eddie Owen– discussed how an artist’s career trajectory can be improved with strategic bookings; how shows are bought, sold and built upon; and how people make money from them. They shared insight into these and other areas that affect the record business, using live performances as artist development vehicles for new acts, and give a glimpse into what the future of live music may hold.

Photo (L-R): Wesley Moore, Eddie Owen, Beth Bachman, Rich Levy, Chloe Peacock.  Photo by Terrence Lewis.

Owen was quick to tell everyone “Play, play, play. Write, write, write.  Meet, meet, meet.”  When asked during Q&A by an aspiring artist how best his band could use their time, practicing, playing local gigs, or just making appearances at local venues to shake hands and network, Eddie’s answer was simple: “Yes.”  Meaning, there is no wrong answer, just get out there and  get your music heard, and your face seen so that you can start building a loyal fan base that will help you sell out shows and move up to larger venues.  As Eddie said, “Being fantastic never goes out of style.”

Levy emphasized that there is no guaranteed formula for success, especially in the entertainment industry.  It comes down to hard work and preparation, so that when you are in the right place at the right time you can fully seize an opportunity.

In regards to booking shows, Owen said that there is only one thing that has remained constant in the music industry, and that is that the opening act got paid $100 25 years ago, $100 15 years ago, and still gets $100 today.  Throughout the panel he made several references back to this point partially for laughs but also to emphasize that headlining is where the money is if a band can bring the crowd.