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October 09, 2011

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Sean Carpenter

David

Excellent post. Many people choose to tailgate and arrive late at concerts, blowing off the opening acts. This article shows a great reason why that could be costing the person who chooses that path to miss out on a new experience and possibly learning of a new act that they just might end up liking.

This same concept also works in reverse.

I remember in the late 80's/early 90's The Grateful Dead toured with Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. As a University of Florida student I was always a huge Tom Petty fan but hadn't completely "bought in" to the Grateful Dead. My older brother was a Dead Head so I had been to a few shows and liked their music but wasn't a full blown Dead Head. Knowing that Petty was "endorsed by them" made me like them even more.

That pairing also might have had something to do with the eventual pairing of Petty and Dylan as they created The Traveling Wilbury's (along with Orbison, Lynne &Harrison)?

Keep bringing the great stuff. You're surely one of my favorites. Who knows...maybe one of these days I will "warm up" for you.

Sean Carpenter
Columbus, OH

David Meerman Scott

Hey Sean -- many thanks for this. I would have loved to have seen Dylan and the Dead but when thy toured together, I was living in Asia. Would love to share the stage with you!

Claire

Ha yes, you could learn about an endless chain of new acts that way.

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Rob Maguire

The marketing behind opening act selection is indeed an interesting discussion.

At the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, we select openers for a whole bunch of different reasons. My favourite rationale, however, is when we're in love with an übertalented artist that is unknown in our market, and seek to build demand for them over several years.

For example, the first year an artist may open for a larger act in front of 3000 people, and perhaps play a small club show the next night. The following year, we can probably book the artist into some clubs on their own. Eventually they can play in larger clubs during the festival, and ideally, one day become headliners in their own right.

Since we're in a small market and have a mandate to program and promote non-mainstream music, we take the business of opening slots — and the marketing thinking that goes into filling them — very seriously. And nothing feels better than jamming a few hundred people into a sweaty bar to see a tremendous live act that was previously unknown in our town!

David Meerman Scott

Rob -- I really appreciate you jumping ins with your perspective on booking acts. Thanks. As a live music lover I am thrilled that you book based on the music!!

Brad Farris

We do this on a smaller scale by planning seminars with one or two other organizations. Each company brings a speaker, and their audience. We share useful & relavent content to each other's audiences and hopefully gain some fans.

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