Music Biz 101 & More is the only FREE advice talk show in America 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.
Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guests Blue Raven Entertainment’s Sean Gilday & Rachel Hill
In this episode, Sean Gilday & Rachel Hill of Blue Raven Entertainment, talk about how hard it is to get a band into the festival circuit and how persistence is the key to making that happen and to making a name for yourself (or getting your foot in the door) in the music business. They talk about booking artists, competition for shows, and answer questions via tweet.
If you want to skip right to the podcast, here you go!
Or enjoy our happy recap right now.
At 2:50, our student co-host, Joey Stefan, is introduced. Please put your hands together for him now.
At 9 minutes in, Rachel Hill talks about how she got into Blue Raven (she’s a WPU alum).
At 10:15, Sean talks about how he got into the business, starting with band merchandise (for the ’70s/’80s Southern Rock group Molly Hatchet).
At 11:25, Rachel & Sean discuss what Blue Raven does; from providing merch (t-shirts, hats) to booking bands.
At 13:00 in, Sean talks about the need for a license to be a booking agent.
At 16:00, Sean talks about a venue in Sussex County, NJ that has been brought back and is great for bands (The Newton Theatre).
At 19:34, the amazingly awesome Professor Philp asks Sean & Rachel about “co-pro” deals and how to book bands at festivals and cruises.
At 21:30, Philp asks what the pitch is to get a band in a festival. Specifically, Gilday says he won’t subject his bands to “pay for play.” Listen for an explanation.
At 23:00, Rachel explains Blue Raven’s strategy on getting their acts on festival bills. “Squeaky wheel” and persistence are emphasized.
Money. Big word. At 26:00, a discussion of how much bands can earn on festivals commences with vigor. This leads to the fact that the agent/manager/team work for the band. Bands may turn down gigs, so that’s important to realize from an agent’s POV.
“We probably get hundreds of bands a year – maybe more – who submit to us,” says Sean Gilday at around 28:00. Bands, he says, shouldn’t be represented by multiple agents at the lower level. They’ll all be submitting the bands to the same venues & festivals and the band doesn’t look good in that case.
At 30:00, you hear an awesome promo for the Music Biz 101 & More Theme Song Contest.
Questions via tweet come in at 35:00, read by student co-host Joey Stefan. The first question?
@MusicBiz101WP Is it easier to promote tribute and cover bands or original acts?
— Nicole DaRosa (@NicoleDaRosa95) September 10, 2014
Sean mentions a great story about how a couple tribute bands broke through to the artists to which they pay tribute (like Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac). The next question came at 38:08.
Mel’s question brought on some great comments by Sean that you should listen to because…
You’re gonna learn something.
Joey asked if a promoter was more important than what bands can do on their one at 42:00. Sean gave an interesting answer.
Marcone talks around 44:00 the basic model of taking passive fan and turning that person into a fanatic fan and how it relates to all of today’s promotional tools.
Good discussion at 45:25 centering around how hard it is to be an agent and the amount of rejection. But then, we go a bit deeper. Rachel is a female. Thus, she is asked if it’s harder for her in the business due to her femaleness.
The current industry is discussed at approximately 50 minutes, including the alleged death of the album and what models can work today.
The last question comes at 55 minutes in and it’s about merch – most successful ways to use merchandise to help artists.
At 57 minutes in, the lessons of the day are given to you in wrap-up form.
The show was then over and there was much rejoicing.
- 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
- Tom Hefter – Marketing Specialist at TicketMaster
- 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
Thanks for listening and, as always, Adios!