Welcome to Andy Reynolds’s Live Music Business – BETA

by Andy Reynolds on November 4, 2009

Welcome to Live Music Business  - a production and management resource for bands, groups, artist managers, booking agents, promoters, venues, tour managers,  sound and light technicians and roadies.

My name is Andy Reynolds, I am a freelance concert tour manager, live audio engineer, lecturer and author who has been working in the concert touring industry for nearly 25 years.

This is a BETA site – I am still adding functionality and design elements. The posts and tweets are real and will be continuing.Thanks!

‘Tonights show has been cancelled…’

by Andy Reynolds on October 9, 2013

A singer on stageThe band Passion Pit recently posted this, citing some of the reasons they have, or would consider, cancelling a show.

I understand all the reasons they state and admire the fact that Passion Pit acknowledge the number of people, other than the fans, that a cancellation adversely affects. Ultimately though, a cancellation does affect a bands relationship with their fans and , from what I can see, cancellations are all too The band Passion Pit recently posted this, citing some of the reasons they have, or would consider, cancelling a show.

I understand all the reasons they state and also admire the fact that Passion Pit acknowledge the number of people, other than the fans, that a cancellation adversely affects – promoters, touring local crew, the other bands on the bill for example. Ultimately though, a cancellation does affect a bands relationship with their fans and, from what I can see, cancellations are becoming all too common.
Maybe shows always used to get cancelled and it’s only our increased use of social media that enables us to be aware of the fact? Or are there just too many bands/artists/turntablists who view their commitment to performing as per the contract too lightly? All I know is, in 25 years of touring, I’ve only had to cancel three shows. Two because of extreme illness and the third because of ‘transportation issues’ (read: our plane could not take off because of a hurricane).

In contrast to the state of cancellations, I have worked with a major-label band whose entire back line was stolen the night before a show and who subsequently begged/borrowed and bought enough gear to play the show that night. The band was connected with their fans and would not, could not, let them down.

Whatever happened to ‘the show must go on?’

“First Three Songs, No Flash”

by Andy Reynolds on September 12, 2013

Concert stage from the FOH desk“First three songs and no flash” is the catchall restriction applied to professional photographers given passes to take photos from the pit (the space in front of the stage between the stage and the crowd safety barrier, if there is one). This basically means that after three songs, the photographers must exit the pit and take no more photos. They also cannot use a flash while taking photos in the pit.

The reasons for this restriction are twofold. Firstly, you will become hot under the stage lighting and may have become sweaty and dishevelled. That is not a good look for pictures that are going to be featured in official blogs, national newspapers or magazines.

Secondly, most musicians onstage are playing some kind of instrument that usually requires them to look down at their instrument (guitar, bass, keyboards, strings, and woodwind, for example). Whereas the stage lighting rig will be focused to shine on the musicians from above and behind, a photographer’s flash gun will be aiming straight at you, from below. You may therefore become slightly distracted when studying your fret board and some photographer blasts you from the pit with her mega-camera flash.

Beside all that, photos taken with flash look lousy.

Let the Audience Know the Show Is Finished

by Andy Reynolds on September 5, 2013

Picture of musicians on stageAudiences can be very ignorant about the fact that the show is finished. In my experience, you will always get a handful of people who will shout and plead for more songs. As a performer, you should try to resist the urge to play more songs just because someone asks for them. If you have worked out a really good set and played a good show, then know when to finish—stick to your set list plan. I always think it looks really unprofessional when acts keep coming back onstage, especially if the crew thinks it’s time to go home and they start packing up the gear!.

Signal the end of the show by making sure that the house lights go up in full and that you put on some music over the PA, preferably a genre or style of music completely opposite the style of the last act. I always find some ultra-fast 1920s or 1930s jazz clears alternative rock fans away pretty quickly.

Using Guest List Tickets to Boost Your Career

by Andy Reynolds August 29, 2013

Artists I work with often complain that their management or record company gets their hands on the band’s guest list passes and tickets before the band members do. This is especially true of festival tickets and passes. Although I can see the band members’ point of view, I find this complaint to be short-sighted. I […]

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You Are On Tour – What Is Promo?

by Andy Reynolds August 22, 2013

 Promotional activity (‘promo’) includes anything non-show related such as interviews, live acoustic sessions or meet and greets. These activities are often arranged (by the artist management or record company) to take place at the venue on a show day as it is easier for all the journalists and film crews to be in the same […]

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5 Tips For Better Touring

by Andy Reynolds August 14, 2013

I’ve been travelling around various continents as FOH and tour manager this summer. I’ve been part of some great shows and also witnessed some situations that needn’t have happened if bands, road crew and promoters had put a bit more thought into what they were hoping to achieve. I have listed a few tips here, […]

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The Etiquette of Sound Checks

by Andy Reynolds August 9, 2013

Playing a show will usually involve some kind of sound check. This check will take place before the public arrive and involves setting up your equipment, having the sound engineers place appropriate microphones and DI boxes, cabling everything into the mixing console and playing a  couple of songs in order that the front-of-house engineer can […]

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Banned from the clubs?

by Andy Reynolds November 29, 2012

A Spanish club promoter and booking agency, WIP, apparently posted on its Facebook page that is was ‘banning Traktor’ from the clubs and events it promotes. (In case you did not know, Traktor is a hugely popular DJ controller software/hardware system as used by, well,  everyone really). Although it seems Facebook post has now been […]

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How much do musicians and their road crew earn?

by Andy Reynolds November 28, 2012

If you are curious as to how much money you could be earning from your music, producing other people’s music or working as part of the road crew you should check out the new study from Berklee College of Music, Music Careers in Dollars and Cents. Originally released in 2010, this revised study by the […]

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New book on concert tour management

by Andy Reynolds November 14, 2012

Mark Workman, tour manager and lighting designer for such bands as Testament, Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Machine Head, Queens of the Stone Age, Soulfly and Sepultura has written an excellent book about modern concert tour management, called ‘One For The Road – How To Be A Music Tour Manager. I’ve just bought it and I can […]

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