In part two of Understanding the music industry, we looked at the role of the artist manager, the types of manager there is and the difference between an artist’s manager and a business manager. In this blog we focus on what an agent does for an artist and why he is so important to the core team framework.

The Agent

An artist’s agent is sometimes referred to as a booking agent, and, as this term outlines, the main role of this agent is to set up gigs, tours, live concerts, events and basically bring in the business by marketing the artist. The agent is also sometimes involved in transportation, booking sound and light rigs, securing hospitality and booking hotels. Although, as the artists grows, a tour manager would handle a great deal of these responsibilities.

They will also negotiate on deals and offers, get involved on where the artist may perform and promote the artist in all capacity. They will ensure all details are covered in contracts and signed well before the event takes place. The last thing any artist or manager wants to do is to chase a promoter after the event for any due payments. The agent, if he has done his job properly, will have the money as per the contract, before the performance.

Agent’s Regions

It should be noted that agents normally cover specific regions, this is usually done because an agent covers a tight market. His contacts and influence are normally quite restricted to one city, state or country. The agent’s regions are generally accepted as Asia & Australia, Europe, North America, South America and Australia and New Zealand. Large artists can have one mega agent that will coordinate the individual regional agents to promote a tour or deal with similar issues.

Head Agents Duties

The artists management will dictate the schedule for the year, dedicating different times of year for different activities. And regarding tours, they will liaise with the head agent who then has to coordinate region by region and time of year to sub-agents. These top agents will also have to network with event promoters to ensure their artist is in the right place at the right time, and the marketing is also coordinated.

The agent will work hard at developing relationships with certain key promoters. Say, artist’s management has targeted a large festival they wish to attend, perhaps the Coachella festival. The head agent may agree to do a series of smaller gigs in the clubs owned by AEG, to either show what the artist can do or as a favor to highlight the club by a star entertainer performing there. Most of the big music events in the U.S are run by a small number of event promoters that are owned by large entertainment companies. To get into their good books an agent sometimes has to persuade their artist to perform in venues that they perhaps are not accustomed to.

In our final and concluding part of understanding the music industry we end with the deals the agents are usually involved in and the financial side of things.