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Concert and Festival Promotion

The core of promoting any event is the Marketing Plan. Before you have signed the talent contract, if you are working with a major agency, the talent agent is likely to ask you for a Marketing Plan. They want to know that you are spending adequately to promote their act and that your media mix makes sense and shows you are professional. This does not need to be an ad agency quality prepared book, just an overview of how you intend to promote the show using the 3 components of marketing: advertising , promotions and public relations.

Make sure you include a document title, the intended artists, performance date, intended venue(s) and your contact information up top. Always date all documents. Use a standard font and margins should be between .7 and 1". Fill up the page and don't leave huge gaps between paragraphs. Use paragraph headings or page subtitles to guide the reader though an easily digestible flow of information and ideas. This is no place for fluff, your theories or opinionated commentary. Don't be artsy here. No art at all is OK, unless you have a logo for the event you want to display. Most one-off concerts do not use logos because it's just not necessary. In concerts the marketing emphasis is on your headliner. For a festival, a professionally designed logo is definitely necessary and the emphasis is on the overall festival not one act. Due to the larger budget for a festival, the Marketing Plan should be longer and be more complicated, as the enclosed plans show.

Any sponsors on hand or anticipated should be mentioned and what that sponsor's interaction with the marketing will be. If you already have a sponsor committed, it will add credibility to your plan if you show their logo(s). Do you have future plans for this event? The intention to make it annual shoudl also be stated in the Overview or in the Summation.

The Marketing Plan should be factual starting with an Overview paragraph explaining briefly what's inside and why you are going to primarily use these methods. Is your market unique, with special methods necessary to get to the target demographic? You should have done your due diligence by now and researched all of your marketing alternatives. Now is your chance to boil it all down to a medley of media, promotions and PR, how much and when it will be implemented. Use this plan as your template to promote the event filling in the details and making adjustments along the way. This document is to impress the agent with your promoting powers. Be careful not to state anything you really can't accomplish or afford. These should be the components of your Marketing Plan.

  1. Overview
  2. Marketing Budget (listed on a marketing calendar) and Media Mix
  3. Marketing Radius
  4. Marketing Schedule
  5. Establish Demographic and where your target can most efficiently be found
  6. Types of Advertising you have chosen
  7. Principal media chosen, which radio stations, newspapers
  8. Ideas and abbreviated proposed ideas for promotions(with radio stations, web sites, newspapers- ticket giveaways, etc.)
  9. Press Release topics, release schedule and possible titles
  10. Possible co-sponsors, strategic media partners
  11. Summation

Your marketing plan has a finite number of media options. There are only so many ways to break up the marketing budget. What is the most effective means of getting to your target demographic in the your target market?

Here are the marketing mix media pie alternatives:



Network or local affiliate TV



Website make one word

Blogs, Newsgroups, Forums


Email blasts

Viral Marketing

Mobile platforms

Social networks FB 900 million subscribers, Twitter 290 million, Linkedin 250 million, pinterest 150 million, google+ 126, tumblr 125, Instagram 100 million, flickr 80 million and MySpace 40 million

Youtube Channel 1 billion unique viewers per mont.





Bus boards

Aerial banners

Public Relations


News (internal link on website to archive releases)

PR Agency

Press Events

Media/ Products Promotions

Field Promotions

(Remote, street promoters)

Flyers, posters, cards




PDirect Mail

Throughout the rest of the book, we’ll discuss each form of media and their design, materials, planning, buying, cost, negotiation and implementation.

On Insurance Coverage. . .

General Liability Coverage

This is required by the venue. A building, ranch, race track, county fair grounds- all want to be covered from liability due to physical damage, fire, riots, accidents or whatever else may place them in a position of liability due to actions stemming from you, your workers or your patrons. You are responsible as the promoter to insure the venue.

A nightclub may require General Liability Coverage of $½ to $1 million, an arena usually about $2-5 million and a racetrack or very large facility (especially wide-open events located on large tracts of land) may require $5- $10 million of coverage, inquire.

You have to look at this from the venue’s position. They need to protect their interests; their property, reputation and good faith they have built over the years can be wiped out if someone is raped, run over, shot, stabbed or burned to death at your event.

Insurance for a small event is usually about $800 to $1,500. A medium size event will cost you about $2,000 to $3,000 to insure and a large event can range from $3,500 to $20,000 depending on the amount of bonds, the amount of general liability coverage and the inherent risk in the type of event or music format and it’s history. The promoter does not matter that much.

The concert insurance coverage business has changed dramatically recently. With nightclub fires globally, stampedes, the Woodstock 99 aftermath and the advent of punk rock mosh pits and hip-hop show stabbings and shootings, most concert insurers of 10 years ago are no more or they simply refuse to write this kind of business. Insurance coverage for your event is just plain harder to get. Instead of being put on the back burner, insurance coverage should one of your primary concerns early on. The great thing about getting a quote is that it usually just tales a phone call once you know where when and with who you will be presenting.

Usually, your subcontractors will carry their own insurance. For a security company to become licensed they need to offer a certain amount of General Liability Insurance.

Require your subcontractors to provide you with a copy of their insurance coverage for your files, make sure the dates are current.

Nowadays, the agency quoting the insurance coverage will want to:

  • Know the security requirements and seat capacity
  • Research a bio of the band
  • Know about the Liquor liability
  • Know if you intend to have a mosh pit

Your intent to have metal detectors (are you going to pat people down)

Review the insurance requirements of the venue contract. When do they need to have the insurance certificate? Sometimes, its required right after booking the building. Do not wait until the week of the show. Have your coverage certificate in hand early.



HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS© and HOW TO PROMOTE CONCERT SIMPLIFIED© by Hal Davidson, 2023 all rights reserved. Published by Concert Promotions Publishing Co., Rockville, MD, USA 20855. Stompin 76™, and is the property of Hal Davidson, 2000-2023 all rights reserved. The content and layout of this website is the property of Hal Davidson. Commercial use is strictly prohibited. Written permission is required for use to sell or promote other promotional materials.