Managers-Promoters-Tour Managers

Today I want to continue our round up of some of the supporting roles in the industry.


There are typically 2 types of managers. One is a friend of the band. He is unlikely to have professional contacts, but he is likely to be a fan of the band and therefore enthusiastic and committed.

A professional manager will (hopefully) have important contacts and is often a big source of money for unsigned artists. However, they may have other artists to manage and the most successful artist is likely to be their main focus and your career may suffer from neglect in their favour.


Promote the artist’s career in all ways and at all times

  • Scheduling
  • Record company relations
  • Getting deals
  • Booking tours/gigs
  • Setting up product endorsements
  • Arranging interviews/promotions
  • Blagging cheap studio time
  • Needs to be a tough negotiator
  • Surrogate nanny
  • Filters approaches
  • Incredibly organised, focused, resourceful and determined
  • Keep motivation and morale going
  • Typically paid 20% or artists gross income



Normally works for a venue or series of venues or may be independent

  • Rents venues for the night
  • Books acts to appear on his nights
  • Advertises and sell tickets
  • Pays for venue, bands, tickets, advertising
  • If enough tickets are not sold the promoter loses money
  • If lots of tickets are sold the promoter makes a large profit
  • If the gig is cancelled the promoter can lose big money , so insurance can be essential for large gigs


Tour Manager

As the name suggests he is responsible for the smooth running of a tour. He will liaise between the band and agents, promoters and venues.

Large scale

  • Books hotels for band and crew
    • Ensures everyone is at venue in time for sound check
    • Books buses/planes etc. between cities
    • Monitors and manages set-up and break-down and packing of equipment
  • Smaller scale
  • Drives the van
  • Brings the maps
  • Ensures you have enough CDs and other merchandise to sell at shows


OK, next time we’ll look at some other supporting jobs and some employment contracts used in the industry


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