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By Alexandria Vargas

The art of planning a music concert

Have you ever wanted to be a part of the world of music, but just don't feel like you want to be in a band or even up on stage delivering the music yourself? Well, guess what? You don't have to be musically inclined or even in a band to be a part of the music world. After all, bands and songwriters can't do everything by themselves. They need a network of support and people there helping them along the way; one of these people just so happens to be an event or concert coordinator.

Multiple aspects need to be considered when organizing an event such as a live concert. From having the patience and the drive to spend months planning one concert, to hiring the bands and the many other people needed to create a successful show, it would be primarily your job to make sure that everything got planned and ran smoothly. This process, at a minimum, would take three months just in preparation and making sure that nothing was left missing from the event.

Make a budget

Starting off with a budget is an excellent way to keep from overspending and to make sure that you can afford the event and the live bands. This budget will need to accommodate the following:

– Cost of the bands. A typical concert has between three and six bands, and the band genres will typically mesh with one another.

– Venue cost. This could be a local theater, cinema, or concert hall.

– Production costs. This will include the cost of lights, more amps and speakers, or any cost required to put on a good show.

– Public liability insurance. While it applies to only the event night, it is better than a lawsuit.

– Marketing costs. This includes printing tickets and advertising the concert.

– Staffing. Aside from the bands and yourself, you are going to need a few extra hands on deck to help make things run as smoothly as possible. This includes a sound engineer for sound checks and to support the PA system during the event, and an MC to introduce the bands and close the night out. You might also need additional security if the venue does not provide it.

– Transportation might be needed for equipment and staff.

– If you are going to have food or merchandise vendors there, you will need to budget appropriately. This includes band merchandise vendors that may be selling during breaks and after the concert as well as food and drink vendors.

Equipment, storage and band comfort

Having multiple bands in one venue can mean a lot of equipment, including drum sets, microphone stands and guitars. While some bands get picky about their equipment, most are willing to share equipment with the other bands for the night. Communicate this with each band and organize who will be bringing and supplying what equipment for the night. Not only does this cut back on storage costs if you are required to buy temporary storage trailers, but it also increases cost effectiveness by decreasing the potential amount of transportation that may be required.

It is also advisable to have a green room available for the band members to hang back and relax in when they are not on stage or manning their merchandise stands. This gives each band member the personal space they might need without having to make a dash to their respective vehicles. A tip for the green room: have refreshments and snacks available for the bands. Not only will this be a creature comfort to the members, but it will also let them know that you are looking out for them as the concert coordinator.


Scheduling, and making sure that everything is scheduled properly, is another aspect that takes time and a lot of effort. First, you will need to have the venue scheduled at least one month in advance, and be aware of any time constraints they might put on the show. This leaves time for marketing the concert, and it is a good idea to make the tickets available for sale as soon as marketing begins.

You will also need to make sure that the bands are scheduled appropriately. Each band should be given the same amount of stage time. The band with the smallest fan base is usually assigned the first spot in the line-up. However, you will need to allow about fifteen minutes between sets for swapping out any band equipment and potential sound checks that may be necessary. The best way to compensate for this dead air is to have music playing between bands, something the sound engineer needs to be made aware of.

Marketing and pricing

Marketing the concert is a necessity. You cannot rely solely on the fan base of the hired bands. As such, you will need to proactively get the word out about the concert. Social media and email subscription lists are just two of the online methods you can use to market your event. Another is to put physical posters up in the local area. Most coffee shops, small businesses, and bars will give their permission to post them in their establishments.

Calculating ticket pricing can seem a bit daunting at first. However, there is a trick to it. Take the total amount for expenses for the event and divide it by the largest number of tickets available for sale. Do not include any tickets you intend to give away in that number, as this will cause overpricing of the tickets. If the concert is for profit, you can meet this in ticket sales by adding an extra 20%, but keep it at a round number.

Concert night

Though the doors may not be open, the bands will need to be at the venue two to three hours early. While this may be the night of the main event, there is still a lot of work that will need to be done. You need plenty of time for sound checks, starting with the headlining band. During this time, you will need to keep up communication. Take this time to go over the plans for the night one more time, making sure to clarify any questions that are brought up.

The first band should be on the stage about thirty minutes after the venue doors open. Take this time to be seen at the door. Make your presence known, welcome everyone to the event, and then mingle throughout the crowd as the night goes on to make sure that they are all having a good time. During this, keep in mind that communication still needs to be maintained with the event staff and the bands.

After the show

Once everything has wound down for the night, be sure to pay everyone promptly and spend some time with the bands and staff. Talk to them about how they thought the night went. As with all lines of work, especially management positions, do not be afraid to ask questions. If you receive criticism, listen to it, and improve your skills based on what feedback you receive.

Events are always challenging to plan and carry out, especially a concert involving multiple bands. However, the time and effort used in creating a concert or any live event is well worth it. Just take a look around the crowd and you can see the fruit of your labor, even if it is not a monetary reward.

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