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Live Music: Touring and Revenue Streams


Units: 6


Many music industry executives assert that while the top 5% of music artists can still make money selling records, the other 95% go on tour. The changes in the music industry have affected everything from how people listen to their favorite artists to the profit revenue streams for labels, promoters and artists. 

This course will examine the live music touring industry on various levels, from DIY, to mid-level road dogs, to arena giants. There will also be a focus on the personnel behind a successful tour including the management team, booking agents, promoters, publicists, venue owners, roadies, and technicians. We’ll discuss life on the road from the artist’s perspective and how each team member can best interact with and support the artist. Students will be able to understand the practical aspects of touring deals and the intricacies of a tour budget. Students will also work to identify and optimize touring monetization and identify best practices for promotion and merchandising, including the importance of sponsorship and branding.

*Course material will reflect a pre-COVID-19 live music and touring world with discussions addressing the impact and implications of the pandemic. 

Learning Outcomes

- Identify the players and their roles in tour planning and execution including the managers, booking agents, talent buyers/concert promoters, publicists, merchandisers, technicians, road crew, and media.

- Analyze tour dynamics and how professional roles shift based on the band's level of fame and business potential, from DIY, to mid-level road dogs, to arena giants.

- Understand typical types of touring deals and identify the economics of a music tour including revenue streams and shares for concert promoters, agents, management, and artists as it relates to live performance.

- Understand the intricacies of a tour budget and articulate the logistics involved in developing, budgeting, marketing, and producing a music tour in today's competitive economy.

- Understand day-of-show venue operations, positions and protocols, as well as how the Band, the Promoter, and the Venue camps interact and work together to create a successful event.

- Identify and optimize touring monetization including the importance of sponsorship, branding, merchandising, promotions and gaining media attention.

- Plan and present a 6-city tour for a popular band based on Pollstar tour history including tour documents such as show contracts, budgets, settlement sheets, travel itinerary and routing, etc.

Prerequisites Description