The Fundamental Problem With Amateur Promoters

This extra tip would fit rather neatly into the ‘The Fine Detail’ chapter of Road Rat’s Tips: Make the promoter aware that you only want to be at the venue for the soundcheck and gig, and that the rest of the time you must have the option of resting at your accommodation. I’ve played some fairly big festivals where the changing facilities haven’t been great, particularly in wet weather, so this also gives you the option of changing into stagewear at your accommodation.

There’s a fundamental mistake that amateurish promoters all seem to make. I must say I’ve experienced this more on the rock and roll scene than anywhere else. The problem is very simply this: The promoter(s) assume that you’d want to be at their festival even if you weren’t working there. This means that you may end up having to hang around a noisy festival all day after a long and tiring journey. There seems never to be anywhere to sit, and taking a nap is out of the question. The inevitable consequence of this is that you end up with a band of tired and irritable musicians having to go on and play late at night. It doesn’t bode well for a good performance and remember, giving your best possible performance must take precedence over everything.

I recently played a rock and roll festival in France and my accommodation was 8km from the festival site. The promoter hadn’t really made adequate provision for me to get to and from the site for afternoon rehearsals and evening performances. He’d made the fundamental mistake of assuming I’d want to be at the festival all day. Having played that circuit for some years, I had sufficient contacts for it not to be too much of a problem, but had I been a ‘Johnny-come-lately, I’d have been stuffed.