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How Much Does Working In The Music Industry Really Pay?

When people hear about the music industry, they immediately think about rock stars or DJs rolling around in millions. While that could be the case, artists aren’t the only ones with all the dough. Comparing salaries in the music business tends to be second nature to those involved, but the average Joe often forgets the other side of the DJ booth, music studio or performing stage. Behind the scenes is where the crew is and people don’t factor in the difficulty of their jobs and just how much money they can make.

There are a lot of people who are part of the music industry. Below we will be showing you the various salaries of the artists and their crew through a series of graphics posted by Billboard.

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Meet Steve Lieberman, the Production Lighting Expert Behind Coachella, EDC and Ultra Music Festival

Lighting and audio-visuals are an aspect of event production that can at times be overlooked or misunderstood. Nevertheless, it is an important element that can make or break any event, as well as the experience overall and the lasting brand image you hope your attendees leave with. Undoubtedly, extreme technical expertise and a sense of flair are needed to pull off such a spectacle.

This particular expertise is the specialty of people like Steve Lieberman, a notable production lighting expert for music festivals and similar productions. Steve has worked on the lights and visual design of hundreds of productions, including popular music festivals such as Coachella, EDC, Insomniac, and Ultra. His is expertise drawn from years of experience, beginning in the 1990s when he started working on lighting for underground rave parties in New York.

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Promoter Tips: The Best Time and Frequency For Your E-mail Campaigns

E-mail has become an invaluable tool today for communication. In particular for those who organize and promote parties, concerts, music festivals, and other events, e-mails ensure that invitations and other information on these events are sent at a much quicker pace and get to reach more people. But the technology is just part of the equation for a successful event. As far as emails go, one must make sure that those invites sent actually reach the eyes of their intended recipients.

That part, admittedly, poses quite a challenge. Sometimes, invites fail to reach their intended recipients due to factors like the e-mail being detected as spam or unfortunately getting buried in the many e-mails the recipient gets in a day. There is also the question as to how often should event organizers and promoters send e-mails in the first place. Sending too many e-mails annoys recipients and will result in a spam block versus the sender. Meanwhile, sending fewer e-mails run the risk of reduced engagement that leads to lower attendance.

These questions have been addressed recently by Eventbrite in its first Event Email Benchmarking Report. Gathering input from the survey responses of over 340 event organizers in the U.S. and U.K., this report seeks to provide event organizers and promoters an idea on how to improve their communication for these events and ensure their success. If you’re an event organizer or promoter, read on and learn from these invaluable insights.

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9 Business Skills You Develop as a Club/Festival Promoter

We will be the first one to admit it: there is a negative connotation attached to the word “promoter” when it comes to the nightlife and electronic music industry. A promoter can be a number of things, but is essentially the person behind planning, marketing and executing an event of any size, be it at a small local lounge, big city nightclub or even a festival.

The stigma attached to the job title of “promoter” is one that we feel is unfair and often overlooks the true skills and activities that a promoter does to pull off a successful event. Career Cast listed “Event Coordinator” as the 5th most stressful job of 2017, behind such industries as firefighters, police officers, enlisted military personnel and airline pilot. Whereas the first four are directly concerned with matters of life or death, an event coordinator, which essentially is the same thing as a promoter, is constantly dealing with a million moving particles at once and more often-than-not having to combine a wide array of critical skills to ensure multi-scale productions go smoothly despite the high risk of anything out of their immediate control going wrong. A promoter executing events in the nightlife industry faces these struggles constantly, and perhaps even at a higher frequency due to the nature of the events they are handling and all the elements that come into play when putting together club nights, live shows or multi-stage festival production.

6AM has been working tirelessly for almost a decade producing and promoting hundreds of events of all sorts of sizes and scope. From small intimate lounges to organizing Electric Island Festival — a festival on the island of Guam that is turning 5 years old this year— and everything in between, 6AM’s team has done it all, learning invaluable and critical skills along the way.

Being a promoter is much more than “spamming Facebook with event invites and flyers,” and has essentially become one of the self-starter entrepreneurial careers of our time. We are sharing what we have learned, and are constantly still learning, with you today, in recognition of the hard work and skills it takes to be a promoter in the electronic music industry today:

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Most Common Pro-Audio Pitfalls At Electronic Music Events

Producing an electronic music event is no easy feat. There are a million and one things to properly execute that could go wrong at any time. From taping down the power cables to artist pick-up, many factors contribute to a successful, or not so much, experience.

We’ve done our rounds of event production and know there are common professional audio pitfalls at electronic music events of all sizes and kinds. Subtract Music founder Anton Tumas has been DJing and curating his own events for years now, gaining valuable experience in the process as both an artist and a party-curator. We put our experiences together to compile a list of common issues that can arise at any electronic music event,  and thus could be thought of and prevented beforehand.

Learn from our own and other’s mistakes. A lot of these issues are resolved simply by hiring a competent sound company to do the work for you.

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The Underground Electronic Music Scene Needs More Collaborations

“Let’s link up and collaborate!”

Yes I am completely aware of how stereotypical that sounds, but given the climate of the electronic music industry we live in today, the need for collaboration is higher than ever.

Here is a simple truth: promoters can choose to view everyone else around them as competition or, instead, as essential elements in nurturing the scene they themselves are a part of. In the United States the more underground sounds of electronic music are still playing catch up to the EDM beast that exploded shortly after the turn of the new century. Every week I hear and read comments from house and techno fans asking for bigger and more, especially when they compares the United States’ scene with that of Europe. They want bigger events, more production and, more importantly, acts that don’t tour in the States often. Let’s be honest here though, these acts are either really expensive to bring Stateside or are simply too high a risk for the promoter as they don’t promise high enough attendance to make the booking viable.

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We Must Allow Drug Testing at Festivals and Clubs – Here’s Why

We here at 6AM Group have long talked about the ineffectiveness of the current “zero tolerance” policy against drugs. As the figures have shown thus far, it has only served to exacerbate the drug problem in the United States and other countries. Being involved in the nightlife and electronic music scene for a long time, we have had the unfortunate chance to witness this stark reality many times.

Unfortunately, and despite improvements, the U.S. government has ignored the failure of this policy by continuing  to forward the same approach in the way it passes legislation and enforces it on a federal level. At best, the zero tolerance policy is merely a “stop gap” measure that does not address the root of the issue. Worse, it is actually detrimental to the people who are supposed to be given help and support in the first place.

This raises a question: is there a better way to deal with the drug problem in the electronic music scene? We believe there is one: allow drug testing.

Effective, Lifesaving Education

First things first, let’s get the misconception out of the way. Not all drugs are created equal. There are the “safe” drugs like marijuana as well as the more lethal ones like crack cocaine and heroin, among others. Unfortunately, not everyone knows there is such a distinction and, in some cases, this leads at times to avoidable fatalities.

image courtesy of Counterpunch

As such, is important to educate people about these types of drugs. Not the ineffective “zero-tolerance” education implemented in those D.A.R.E. programs in schools, but a more “direct” approach. Setting up a facility in clubs and festivals for drug testing where people can freely approach to see how safe or dangerous is the substance they may have is an example of such education. Learning firsthand the different effects each drug provides or which ones are fatal in an environment they are somewhat comfortable in not only raises awareness about drugs, but also allows for the lessons to be ingrained deeper in one’s mind than any classroom lesson offered by today’s federal programs.

A Need for a Positive Approach

The problem with the government’s current approach on the drug problem lies in the fact that it fosters unwarranted fear on the part of the user. In many cases, the fear of being jailed for taking drugs does not encourage the user to stop. Rather, it provides the excuse to continue taking drugs, this time in secret, and it compounds the problem even further. So if the purpose of the “war on drugs” is to save the user, doesn’t this approach defeat the purpose of saving the and individual?

If striking fear is not working in the context of this problem, maybe fostering positive encouragement will. An environment where one can test for drugs willingly, without the fear of being arrested or prosecuted, and does not in any way deter people from enjoying themselves can provide such positive reinforcement that will encourage them to do what is proper and be able to avoid those that would cause greater harm. Ultimately, the goal to save lives is realized in a more effective approach like this one.

It’s not there are no examples backing up this approach. In fact, we have reported a number of instances that this positive approach worked. More recently officials such as a prominent British Police Chief have come out with the belief that this approach helps curb the drug problem, especially in clubs and events. It is now time for the government to seriously reconsiders its current policies and think of more effective ways to deal with the drug problem.

Encouraging voluntary drug testing may not be the magic pill that will solve the drug problem for good, nor do we think this is an applicable solution in all cases.  However, we believe we must seriously consider this approach in dealing with the drug problem in our scene.

Destigmatize Drug Testing

The stark truth is that people have been and are consuming drugs everywhere. It is irresponsible to assume Zero-Tolerance and criminalization will completely curtail consumption. Consequently, criminalization has caused a massive incarceration problem in our country, despite most of the drug offense arrests being non-violent offenders.

It is important to understand that local United States official are perennially under the influence and burden of the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act, a law similar to the previously proposed RAVE Act that has been criticized for disincentivizing venues from implementing harm reduction measures for fear of prosecution. As covered in the legislation, it is illegal for people to knowingly open, lease, rent, or maintain − whether permanently or temporarily − any place for the purpose of using, distributing or manufacturing any controlled substance. It also made it unlawful for a manager, employee or owner, to profit from, or make available for use, any place for the purpose of storing, distributing, manufacturing, or using a controlled substance. Similar bills have been passed at a local level throughout the United States, adding to the burden that promoters and venue owners already feel.

What this essentially means is that any venue or festival housing drug education or harm reduction initiatives such as DanceSafe can be targeted for “allowing” drugs to be used or distributed. Due to the penalties involved it has become not only easier but practically imperative for club owners and festival promoters to operate a Zero-Tolerance approach to avoid prosecution by local, state and federal officials.

 

As evidence strongly proves, drug consumption should be destigmatized through open conversations about what and how much to consume. It should be treated as a public health issue and not a criminal one.

It may be virtually impossible to do this until local and federal laws such as the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Acts are repealed, but in order to combat drug culture and related deaths we must focus local, state and federal campaigns on education and harm-reduction initiatives.

A vast amount of trash remains near the Pyramid Stage as Glastonbury Festival comes to an end at Worthy Farm, Somerset. June 29 2015.  (David Hedges/SWNS)

The Need for Sustainability in Today’s Music Industry

More and more artists are prioritizing the need for sustainability in today’s music industry. They are slowly transforming music parties into greener more environment-friendly festivals. It all begins with small initiatives such the single-use of plastic bottles and the technology that allows tour trucks to utilize sustainable biodiesel to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In ecology, sustainability (from sustain and ability) is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely and as part of the ecosystem. It is up to each one of us that inhabit this beautiful planet to do our part to help attain homeostasis without causing further harm to the environment. More importantly in our industry, it’s imperative for each one of us to to act out and promote the need for sustainability.

As a producer, you can help out by producing more environment-friendly festivals and put a stop on wasteful party practices. Here are some of the biggest festivals that have adopted the “leave no trace behind” policy and practices recycling and other means just to cut down C02 emissions: Grassroots, Outside Lands, Sweet Life, Lollapalooza, and Lighting In A Bottle in the States, or DGTL in Amsterdam. There’s plenty more out there, with festivals, big and small, old and new, rising to the occasion to forward as many green initiatives as they can.

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The Music Business Has a Gender Problem and This Is What Everyone in the Industry Can Do About It

 

You are lying to yourself if you think that the music business does not have a gender problem. Whether you’re a DJ, producer, promoter or work for a record label, the signs and evidence are all around you: female DJs are grossly under-represented on lineups (and not due to lack of skill), mansplaining occurs even at the highest level with international touring acts, stories of sexual assault and misogyny continuously pop up left, right and center and of course the typical rebuttal to all of this sounds something along the lines of, “she fucked her way to the top and doesn’t even make her own music.”

Having been involved with the dance music industry in the United States for the past five years, I have noticed the uneasy and lopsided pressure on women in music. In the fall of 2016, at the Sørveiv conference in Norway, a panel was conducted on the subject of gender in music that led to a revealing discussion that highlighted several key points on the subject. A man, interestingly enough, took a stance and argued that women simply need more role models, once again putting blame on women for the gender plight that is so pervasive in this industry. The gender problem is not just a woman problem, it’s a problem every single member of the music community is responsible for in one way or another, and shifting the blame back to women is not only irresponsible and short-sighted, but only serves to cement the status quo that we find ourselves debating in the first place.

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Internal Communication Tools To Keep Your Event Team Organized

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One of the biggest issues young and new promoters face is keeping their team synched and organized. Most of the time and out of habit, it’s easy to find yourself depending on online messengers and text messaging. While these are okay when you’re having a day-to-day normal conversation, you can never be dependent on these things when giving assignments and important information as you can lose track of valuable details and overlook due dates. We couldn’t stress how crucial communication is in order to increase efficiency and productivity amongst team members.

There are a wide range of internal communication tools available in the market right now but we have chosen 10 of the best ones to get you started in better organizing your event team, regardless of how big or small.

Email Over Verbal/Text/Unregulated Chat

E-mail is a trustworthy form of written and internal communication tool that almost everyone in the world uses. It is without a doubt better than verbal, text, or unregulated chat when dealing with business matters. As a promoter, you have to keep track of your daily-to-dos and follow up your team members on how they’re handling their assignments. Although a text message could do the trick, it is important to remember that text messages can easily get mixed up and you can result in lost details along the way.

Use of e-mails over Facebook chat or regular texting is strongly encouraged for a wide variety of reasons. With e-mails there is always a trace of every conversation you’ve had with your clients, event sponsors, and team members which you can later use for reference and/or legal purposes.

Slack

Slack is an exceptional online internal communication tool with a vast assortment of options and settings. It may not contain everything you’re looking for in a communication tool but it certainly is the best for group messaging and back-channel chat. Slack is real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams, with some added bonus features thrown into the mixture.

Enter Slack. “You don’t want your phone buzzing in your pocket all day,” says Hardie. “So you can just do it through Slack, instead.” Indeed, Slack offers all the functionality of texting, and more: The features designed to make the workplace more playful—GIFs, embedded songs from Spotify, custom emoji, funny replies from Slackbot—turn out to be equally fun with friends.

Asana

Asana is a flexible and well-designed online internal communication tool which specializes in workflow and task management. As a promoter, you can use Asana to keep track of your daily assignments and to-dos. It’s also a good way to keep track of your members workflow. It is far more productive than an e-mail and certainly better than any text messaging app, as it allows you to see progress for any project without scheduling a status meeting or sending an email, enabling teams to move work from start to finish.

You can check their pricing information here.

Facebook at Work

You want to stick to Facebook? Sure, but at least make sure you switch to Workplace by Facebook! Facebook has developed a new internal communication tool that is perfect for new and young promoters, following the same functionality utilized by the regular Facebook site while at the same time being specifically designed for the workplace.

We’ve brought the best of Facebook to the workplace — whether it’s basic infrastructure such as News Feed, or the ability to create and share in Groups or via chat, or useful features such as Live, Reactions, Search and Trending posts. This means you can chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group, or follow along with your CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live.

We’ve also built unique, Workplace-only features that companies can benefit from such as a dashboard with analytics and integrations with single sign-on, in addition to identity providers that allow companies to more easily integrate Workplace with their existing IT systems. (Source: newsroom.fb.com)

Allo

Allo is an online chat application created by Google for Android and Apple devices. It is regarded as a beneficial internal communication tool by event promoters, producers, and even student groups. It is integrated with Google Assistant and does most things you would expect from a messaging application like sending pictures, stickers, and group chats. It also identifies you by your phone number or Google ID which make sit easier for your business contacts to sync.

Introducing Google Allo, a smart messaging app that helps you say more and do more. Express yourself better with stickers, doodles, and HUGE emojis & text. Allo also brings you the Google Assistant.

Spaces

Your easy way to figure things out, together.

Another Google application, Spaces lets Gmail users make a group via invitations and start conversations regarding different topics. You are also allowed to share links, videos, images, and even articles. One of the amazing features of this internal communication tool is that it allows you to browse through shared links without leaving the app. Mainly because Google has unified its services like Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome in this application.

Furthermore, Spaces allows a free flowing communication with lots of people in a group and lets you search past conversations with ease. Definitely better than text messaging! When someone shares a new message or file, a conversational view allows you to look at the entire group’s chat at that certain moment. In instances where you want to review past topics or conversations, you can use Spaces quick search feature to find what you’re looking for.

Workgroup

“Forget email, communicate and discuss your projects in real time, with all the right people.”

Workgroup is aimed towards professionals and people who converse and deal with multiple clients and businesses, thus the name Workgroup. It’s basically an application that makes group work communication effortless, faster, and more convenient through online messaging. While a lot of internal communication tools like emails and Slack are more popular, these could leave you with long chain emails with endless CCs and such. Workgroup saves you from such hassle.

Trello

An internal communication tool that organizes your projects into boards and cards. Trello is a great tool for promoters to keep your team and workflow organized. It has a minimalist but highly customizable interface, especially if you own a Premium Account. The drag and drop feature makes it fairly easy to use even for beginners, and you can arrange your cards by colors to specify its hierarchy on the priority list and represent groups. Trello also shows you what projects are being worked on and who are working on them at one glance.

On top of it, Trello’s Slack plugin is an excellent feature.

Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.

Google Documents, Sheets and Slides

Google Documents, Sheets and Slides are a free and impressive online suite of office applications which are accessible from web browsers and various portable mobile devices. All three features have an an elegant visual design packed with great features, enabling promoters to work effortlessly with their team both remotely and none, thanks to Cloud file sharing. You can also chat with your group members directly inside a document or add comments with their e-mail addresses, allowing for modifications, corrections and reference on the go and from anywhere in the world with internet connection. With Google Docs, Sheets and Slides it is easier to work together as a team with one document at the same time.

Google Docs brings your documents to life with smart editing and styling tools to help you easily format text and paragraphs. Choose from hundreds of fonts, add links, images, and drawings. All for free.

Dropbox for Business

Dropbox is well-known for its sharing and syncing features. Unlike the personal account, Dropbox for Business is integrated with additional security and amazing features, one of which is its unlimited version history cache. This enables users to recover past/lost documents. They also allow users to retrieve deleted files through their web application simply by clicking on the deleted items icon.

As a promoter, it is important to keep a record of all documents relating to your event planning and transactions. It is also ideal to keep records of past events that may deem useful for future planning. It also allows you to share your files with your team members and even people outside your team like clients and sponsors. Dropbox for Business makes saving and sharing documents easy as a breeze.

Securely share, sync, and collaborate

Dropbox Business is the secure file sharing and storage solution that employees love and IT admins trust.

For a list of Dropbox Business Plan comparisons, click here.

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