Monday, June 22, 2015

Re-Visit: Rock On!!!

This was originally posted in May, 2012..

Have you ever been to a rock concert? Wondered what it took to make that happen?

Here are some of the steps involved:

First, you need an artist-single or a group. Then, you need a venue.

A venue (VEN-yew)-is what they call the place where the concert will take place. It can be indoors or outdoors. Concerts take place in arenas, concert halls, civic centers, armories (usually used for training people in the military), town halls, open air parks that have band shells, large fields, anywhere there is enough room for the audience and a place for the artist to have his or her performing space.

                             Imagine all the work it would take to fill this arena!

Each venue will have its own ways of pricing (how much it costs to use the venue), insurance (they have to be insured against things like theft, people getting injured, or equipment causing damage); parking; ticketing; security (they need to be sure it's as safe as possible-this could be provided by a local security company or by the artist's security people. They will need to know where the artist will get dressed and enter the stage and be sure no one can get too close to the artist). Each venue has its own way of selling food at events, and it's up to the venue who handles the profits from that.

Someone will also need to check into local ordinance, that is, laws the community has about getting permits to have the concert and whether the area is zoned for such an event.

Then there is the matter of transporting the artist to the venue: if he or she arrived by plane, there needs to be transportation to and from the airport and/or hotel where the person stays; Typically, the tour will include one or more buses or trucks carrying equipment. There has to be space to park them and security to be sure no one can get close to them.

Other people needed to put on a concert include:
  • People who put up and tear down the set or sets used by the artist, such as a stage, design elements, backgrounds;
  • People who set up lighting, including spotlights and any light shows or laser shows;
  • Someone to operate unique stage elements such as elevator-type platforms or fog machines;
  • If the venue has a Jumbotron screen for people to see the concert better, that has to be coordinated and checked to be sure it's working properly;
  • The sound system(s) have to be assembled and tested;
  • Amplifiers for the instruments and singer(s) have to be set up and tested;
  • Microphones for instruments and singer(s) have to be set up and tested;
  • Any other kinds of special effects such as pyrotechnics (fireworks) will mean that permits have to be obtained, the pyrotechnics have to be set up, and it must be assured they are safe;
  • A stage manager to keep the concert running smoothly and to have all parts coordinated.
                                                  A sound technician

What kind of degree would help someone get a job with an artist making concerts happen?

If you have a degree in Marketing, you could be a concert promoter. This person 'markets,' or sells, the artist and the concert. In other words, this is someone who tries to get the most people to know about the concert and buy tickets. To do this, he or she could check out venues, put ads in papers about the concert, do promotions on local radio stations that typically have fans of that artist listening; there could be free ticket giveaways, interviews, and online information posted about the concert, such as on Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter. You could also be involved in having souvenirs made that would be sold at the concert: T-shirts, key chains, pictures, books, etc. The artist receives a small percentage of money made on those items. As a promoter, you need to be able to make many connections with other people and 'sell' them on the idea of the concert.

Other careers with concert tours:

A degree in Accounting can be used to help manage the finances of the artist; you might obtain a degree in Interior Design to be a Set Designer; a degree in Costume Design for costumes; or possibly a degree in Criminal Justice to be part of the artist's security crew. Associate Degrees are available in Audio Production (sound) or Sound Technician; Lighting Technician; Computer Technician to handle the computer-driven special effects; Carpenter; or Electrician.

If you like to travel, meet new people all the time, and have a keen interest in any of the mentioned parts of producing a concert, you might want to check out a career working behind the scenes with a touring artist.


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