Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The desperation of the ticket-selling promoter

Once upon a time, it was only the poor sods in the music and showbiz hackery game who had to put up with the desperation of the ticket-selling promoter. In the lead up to a major outdoor summer show, the …

Fri, Jul 27, 2012, 09:03

   

Once upon a time, it was only the poor sods in the music and showbiz hackery game who had to put up with the desperation of the ticket-selling promoter.

In the lead up to a major outdoor summer show, the emails and phone calls were ceaseless as the promoter and their spindoctors tried every trick in the book to gain column inches and radio show mentions in an effort to flog some tickets.

Back in the dark days when I did PR, I once spun a Fats Domino gig as “your very last chance to see the New Orleans’ legend in Dublin!” The show sold out so the promoter decided to bring him back a year later. That gig, though, didn’t do as well.

Thanks to social media, these dodgy machinations, shady sleighs-of-hand and incredulous claims are now lobbed at the Twitter timelines of the masses. There will be a few tweets about the weather and how the sun happens to be shining on that particular patch of grass when it’s strangely absent everywhere else.

There will be a clarion call to “get your tickets early” as if all 45,000 tickets for the gig might sell out. And there will be hints about a special guest, especially when you have someone like Bruce Springsteen hanging around the city on a few well-earned nights off from his world tour.

Promoting live music at a time of austerity and cutbacks is a hard game. People still want to go out and be entertained, but the price of those tickets is often beyond them. Without those ticket sales, the promoter can’t put on the show. Cue the cycle of desperation, retweeted again and again and again. Something to bear in mind when you see promoters throwing optimistic long-range weather forecasts for the August bank holiday at you.

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