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Obviously, most people have no concept of what producing a show entails. Following a sold out Matchbox 20 show, I had a customer come up to me and say, "You sure made a lot of money, didn't you? Tickets were $25 and you sold almost a thousand tickets. That's almost $25,000. Wow!" He actually thought that all that money was going in my pocket so I began to ask him questions. "Well, do you think the band played for free? And do you think all of the people that worked here tonight worked for free? Do you think someone printed your ticket for free? And did you see any advertising for this show? Do you think that was free?" He got the point that the expenses of putting the show together were almost as much as the show generated and he left extremely disillusioned.
I take offense at being referred to as gutless and "lame-assed." It's very easy to provide lip service. What's really tough is putting your own money on the line night after night in an environment as fickle as Charlotte. There are a few "sure things," but basically, promoters are professional gamblers and just like when you go to Vegas, if you leave with more than you came with, you're doing pretty good. So to Tim Davis and Mr. Anonymous, step right on up. Let me know which shows you want to put your money on and I'll do my best to book it. When you're getting your money together, don't forget that you'll need 50 percent of it upfront for the deposit and add in $1,000 to $3,000 for advertising, security, sound and lights, a hospitality rider for 3-5 bands, guarantees for all support acts, lunch for 10, dinner for 30, performing rights societies, loaders and stagehands, 3-4 dozen towels, insurance, a runner and we'll go over the rest later.
-- Penny Craver, Tremont Music Hall