Music Biz 101 & More is the only FREE advice talk show in America broadcast & podcast on college radio that focuses on the business side of the music & entertainment worlds. Hosted by William Paterson University’s Dr. Stephen Marcone & Professor David Philp, the show airs each Wednesday at 8pm on WPSC-FM, Brave New Radio.
Adam Kornfeld – AGI Booking Agent – Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast
In this episode of the Music Biz 101 & More radio show, AGI (Artist Group International) booking agent Adam Kornfeld talks about tour routing, how artists should proceed once signed to an agency, the importance of festivals, and more.
You can listen to the podcast right now or go on to read our recap. Here’s your first chance to listen:
If you’re in recap mood, awesome. But first…
Your Intro Theme: The Ally Mac Project – “The World Is Ours”
…if you want to skip right to the podcast, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.
At about 2 minutes in, your favorite doctor Steve Marcone describes how he knows the night’s guest, Adam Kornfeld (who will be called both “Adam” and “Kornfeld” during this write-up).
We introduce Phillip Gorokhovsky, your Producer Extraordinaire, and student co-host, Tim Gysin, 4 minutes in.
We also thank previous guest George Dassinger (hear our last podcast with him HERE) and his William Paterson University Media Use In The Music & Entertainment Industry class (part of the WP Music Management program – see more about that HERE) for getting a bunch o’ press for your favorite radio show/podcast, Music Biz 101 & More.
Then,, out of the blue, with the sudden-ness of a tropical rainstorm in the Great Plains, our guest, Adam Kornfeld calls in. What you hear from then onward is awesome. Please take out your notepads and brains now.
Adam starts talking about how he got started “doing what I do” at 6:30. Note how, in high school, he was already working on his career.
At 8:30, Marcone asks how Adam advanced up the ladder from mail room guy to assistant.
In the 11-minute area, Adam talks about the structure of a talent/booking agency. He uses the term “responsible agent” and explains what that is. Ever heard that before? He also talks about territories and market specialization.
All right. Now at around 13:50, you need to pay strict attention to the Gospel according to Adam. Why? He explains how, if you/your band is fortunate enough to get signed by a booking agent/talent agency, the story doesn’t end there. You still have much more work to do. You need to “champion” yourself within that agency. Listen hard.
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There is talk of planning, of teamwork. Good stuff.
In the 15-minute area, Adam gives the rundown on AGI (Artist Group International) and how it compares to larger agencies like ICM, CAA, and the William Morris Agency.
How has the booking agent’s job changed over the past 10-15 years? Adam answers Marcone’s question at 18 minutes in. The word “business” is thrown around a lot.
What role does Adam play in a typical tour? Listen to Adam’s explanation at 20 minutes in, which includes tour routing and scheduling, the deal based upon ticket prices, “gross potential,” and expenses to run the night:
- Renting the venue
- Advertising to marketing
- Overseeing the marketing of the show
- The paperwork
- The contracts
- The deposits…
There’s a lot, huh?
We talk about the Billy Joel/MSG residency 24 minutes in and why Mr. Joel still needs a booking agent, even though the shows have been booked so far in advance (two years). Adam talks about how much that goes into the show, from sponsorships to the MSG network to other tasks that must be overseen.
Philp asks at 25 minutes in about the responsible agent’s interaction with artists, managers, and their respective labels.
Philp follows up asking the difference between the agent and manager so it’s clear to the listeners, like you! In Adam’s words: “The manager is the center of everything.”
At 28 minutes, Kornfeld speaks about VIP Packages. Who comes up with the ideas and who gets paid?
At 32 minutes, Marcone & Kornfeld talk about “flex ticketing,” which is sometimes called Dynamic Pricing. Airlines and hotels use this concept as well.
Does music genre matter when it comes to booking a tour? Adams speaks to this at 34 minutes.
Kornfeld talks about how important festivals are to an agent in the 36-minute portion of your Music Biz 101 & More show.
At 38:33, our first question via tweet is this:
@MusicBiz101WP Do you have any advice for unsigned bands who want to jump on a tour with bigger, already established touring acts?
— Matt Guglielmo (@matt_circuitry) February 26, 2015
Adam’s answer may surprise you. The next question:
Philp follows that up with a question about how much gut vs. social vs. analytics an agent uses to figure out venues for their artists to play.
At 42 minutes, Adam is asked what he looks for when signing a new band. “What potential do we see in this band? You have to really believe in a band.” But, he adds, belief isn’t just an emotion. It connects to the artist team, the artist’s label, how many tickets they’re already selling, and more.
@MusicBiz101WP This may be a dumb question, but,do you handle booking shows internationally or just in the US? If so, what’s the difference?
— Joelle Filippi (@JoelleFlip) February 25, 2015
Adam was asked this at 45 minutes in:
Marcone asks Adam about EDM music and its future in the live space.
Our final tweet of the night, which led to a discussion of money, was this:
@MusicBiz101WP Question for the radio show: What is the most stressful thing about booking a show for an artist?
— Glacelys D. (@delahozglacelys) February 26, 2015
We then talked about when artists are getting paid. Adam deals with the caliber of artist that gets paid well in advance of a performance.
We take a short break at the 50ish minute mark. Go make yourself some homemade potato chips and come right back.
From L to R: Dr. Steve Marcone, Producer Phillip Gorokhovsky, Student Co-Host Tim Gysin, Professor Dave Philp.
At 51:28, listen to Tim Gysin’s jingle for this awesome Music Biz 101 & More radio show/podcast. Thank you, Tim, who just happened to be our co-host this week.
Then we are back. We finish up with Adam and Marcone talks about how we didn’t get to cover revenue splits, ticket pricing, and more. Adam said he’d come back and we’ll force him to. From there, Philp & Marcone recap what Adam Kornfeld talked about. Marcone focuses on the passion that Adam had even back when he was Dr. Steve’s student.
Philp then brings up a Brave-athon contest that was held by your Music Biz 101 & More radio show in order to give unsigned artists an opportunity to play live on the radio. Click HERE to find out what that was all about.
We’re done at 58:46. Our outgoing song? The same as our intro song – “The World Is Ours” by Theme Song Contest Winner The Ally Mac Project.
- Steve Leeds – Sirius/XM Radio
- Karl Guthrie – Entertainment Attorney Extraordinaire
- Dr. Rob Quicke – Founder of World College Radio Day
- Dr. E. Michael Harrington – Copyright/Intellectual Property Expert
- George Dassinger – PR Guru (that means Expert)
- Aaron Van Duyne – Business Manager for KISS, Dave Matthews Band, and more
- Harvey Leeds – Personal Manager for Southside Johnny
- Elena Lanza – Independent Dance Radio Consultant
- Dr. Dave Demsey – Coordinator Jazz Studies Program, William Paterson University
- Paul Sinclair – Head of Digital Strategy, Marketing, eCommerce, and Product Development at Atlantic Records
- Jane Stein – Performing Arts Presenter, William Paterson University
- Sean Gilday & Rachel Hill – Agents, Blue Raven Entertainment
- Wayne Chernin – Island & Republic Records
- Steve Corbin – WEA & Lupo Entertainment
- Dave Lory – Jeff Buckley/Courtney Love Manager
- Chris Henderson – Guitarist for 3 Doors Down
- Frank Robbins – Guitar Tech/Hall & Oates and moe.
- Howard Freeman – Executive Producer Quick Chek NJ Festival of Ballooning & Rock, Ribs, & Ridges Festival
- Chris Butler – Songwriter/Guitarist for The Waitresses & Tin Huey
- Ron Bienstock – Music Business Attorney
- Rob Fusari – 2-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer
- Al Cohen – Founder, ACM Records
- Jim Neglia – Personnel Manager, NJ Symphony Orchestra
- Lauren Marsh – Independent Artist
- Rosie Lopez – President, Tommy Boy Entertainment
Thanks for listening and, as always, Adios!