PWS MUSIC BUSINESS
RUNNING A GIG
Event management is the application of project management to
the creation and development of festivals, events and
Event management involves studying the intricacies of the brand,
identifying the target audiences, devising the event concept,
planning the logistics and co-ordinating the technical aspects
before actually launching the event. Post event analysis and
ensuring a return on investment have become significant drivers
for the event industry.
The industry now includes events of all sizes from the Olympics
down to a breakfast meeting for ten business people. Many
industries, charitable organisations and interest groups will hold
many events of some size in order to market themselves, build
business relationships, raise money or celebrate.
Before doing anything, have a think about why you want to organise the gig and what
others involved will want to get out of the event .
As the organiser, understanding everyone’s motivations will make it easier for you
achieve what you want, will be useful during negotiations and will ensure that
everybody working on the gig wants to be there – so that ultimately you put on a good
Here are some examples of objectives when planning a gig :
The band: To sell records, for audiences to hear their music, raise the band’s profile,
more live performing experience and make cash
Agent or band manager: Raise the band’s profile and make cash
Promoter: Make money, build their reputation and a name for the event
Venue: Entertain existing customers, attract new customers, raise the venue’s profile
and make money
Event student: Get event planning and management experience and make contacts
Charity fundraiser: Increase awareness of the organisation and raise money
Depending on the size of the event, you may be one or even three of those roles, but
whoever you are, and whatever your reasons for putting on the gig, your main job is to
put on an awesome event and exceed your audience’s expectations. If your audience is
having a good time, they’re more likely to buy your CDs or raffle tickets, return to the
venue for another event, look out for other events you’re organising and want to see
you perform live again.
WHY PLAN A GIG?
Events can be classified into four broad categories based on
their purpose and objective:
Leisure events e.g. leisure sport, music, recreation.
Cultural events e.g. ceremonial, religious, art, heritage, and
Personal events e.g. weddings, birthdays, anniversaries.
Organizational events e.g. commercial, political, charitable,
sales, product launch,expo.
TYPES OF EVENTS
What skills do event managers need?
Good communication skills (verbal/written)
Respect and Honesty
Building interpersonal relationships
Find two skills which are not mentioned above and be ready to
talk about why they are important to have as an event manager.
TASK 1: EVENT MANAGEMENT SKILLS
Plans and executes the event.
Behind-the-scenes running the event.
The event manager is an expert at the creative, technical and
logistical elements that help an event succeed. This includes event
design, audio-visual production, scriptwriting, logistics, budgeting,
negotiation, client service. It is a multidimensional profession.
Event managers will need to source the following people and sort out
WHAT DO EVENT MANAGERS DO?
Site surveyors Securing
Venue hire Press releases and
Bars and Food
Stage Props Police Transport of artists Social Media Equipment/
Artists Security Accommodation Sound & Lighting Posters
Sourcing Riders Budgeting First aid/ OWHS Road crews Stationary/supplies
1. Make Contacts and Networks (Go and see bands, plan a gig that would work for
both parties, something to ‘brand’ and market!)
2. Book a Venue (Careful on dates!, Does your venue suit your artists?, Venue can
be ANY THING!, Cost of hire? What equipment do they have (PA comprising mixing
desk, amplifiers, microphones etc?), 6 weeks lead in time, capacity, sound
engineer, insurance, APRA, fee’s- refer to box)
3. Book Artists (Choose bands that will put on a good live show, Availability -playing
too often, similar sounds, look the part, sound good, 3 -4 bands, set times,
headliner vs. supports, cost of bands, riders, change -overs, backline/equipment
sharing, merch, tickets, music during breaks. contracts)
4. Posters (bands, cost, venue, date, time, what else to sell this event! B&W vs
Colour, How many? Where can you put these up? Distribution)
5. Advertising, Publicity, PR, Social Media (Must have a story!, Print vs Digital vs
Radio, Following up, Press releases, Advertising, Advertorial, street press, bands
promoting show, competitions, )
6. On the Night of the Gig (Guest list, Talk to everyone, be helpful,
reviewers/photographers, Blutac, nikko pens and GAFFA TAPE!!! Enjoy the event)
7. After the Gig (Paying bands, settlement, GST/TAX)
STEPS TO RUN A GIG
Start small scale/ Life Long Learning
Professionalism at all times
Use as least $$$ as possible
Know your audience
Plan the END to START.
Treat it as a business not a hobby. Be careful not to mix business
with friendships. I.e. booking a mates band because you like
them. You have to think about your audience, not yourself.
Planning/Preparation is key. Back up plan B’s.
Mistakes happen. Learn from them.
Network but don’t kiss ass
Take calculated risks
Don’t be a jerk as it’s a small industry.
Think outside the box at all times….anything goes in the music
CORE BELIEFS FOR BOOKING GIGS
Split into groups of 3-4
Choose a genre that you all agree on to promote for our gig
Decide on a serious music industry business name for your
group that will be used to book your bands and venue.
Choose a logo/font or design one (use DAFONT.COM)
Think about how you could promote your music event
TASK 3: WHAT IS YOUR EVENT GROUP
Do some research into the cost of the following services you
will need to run your gig:
How could you cut down on some of these costs but still be
TASK 2: COST OF SERVICES
Posters Supports Rider Transport of artists
Social Media Accommodation
Design a festival using YouTube or any music sites which includes:
A line up of 50 artists, but you can choose more!
Decided on your main headliners and work out which bands are
mid range bands and then the lower range support bands.
Work out how much a ticket to this festival would cost.
Where is it going to take place and why?
What date? I.e summer/winter/day/night/one day- two days?
Will there be a theme? Think of colours, branding, styles that
might go with this event? What would they be? What would your
festival look, feel, smell, sound like?
What name will you give your festival/event?
What other elements will it have? Merch? Food/Drink? Signing
Tents…what’s something else that is creative?
Use pens and paper to sketch out a rough idea of your ‘Ultimate
TASK 4: THE ULTIMATE GIG
Research an event/festival/venue and identify the following:
What is the name of the festival/event or venue?
What is the capacity of the venue?
How much are tickets generally?
Where is the event/venue/festival located?
What type of music does the venue cater for? Name an artist
that has played here
What arrangements does the venue provide for posters, sound
engineering, publicity etc
Has the event had any OWHS issues?
Put this information into a PowerPoint including images and
TASK 5: EVENT RESEARCH