Concert Venue

I live in a small city on the coast of Lake Michigan. It is a tourist town during the summer and is dead to all but locals during the winter.
However, as soon as spring arrives events pop up all over.
I have a high ambition to contact some widely known musicians/bands to play here.
I am thinking **logistics **here since I have no experience except playing in a bar band.

There are two outdoor venues available next summer. The town is packed during this time and City Hall appears to amenable.

Back to logistics…
Band members. Yes I know to contact the agents.

Stage Craft- lighting, cameras, audio.
The first two are not a concern.
The third is where I am at a confused state. Three (or more) semi-trailers with equipment.

I am having the heebie-jeebies that I am out of my league here.
Has anyone been through this before?

Mods… I thought I was in IMHO, can one please move it over there? Thanks.

Insurance for everything
Permits from everyone that you can think of.

Plus will the big acts deal with Joe Soap from nowhere?

Also lots of money to pay for everything up front as no one will give you credit!

There’s no rush. Start small and cheap, work your way up. From what I hear on the grapevine they are going to have summer every year for the foreseeable future.

Where I live, you also need:
An ambulance on standby.
Police: in uniform for directing traffic on public land. Additional police or private security firm for general security and crowd control duties.

Moved to IMHO from GQ.

samclem, moderator

Any band worthy of the name travels with all their own gear. You won’t be supplying stage craft.

Tour promotion and event planning are not games for newbies with zero experience. You could start learning by contacting the promoters/operators for some of the existing summer events. And work for or volunteer for them for a few events until you learn how it’s done.

Meantime get connected to whoever owns/operates your venue. Learn how they operate. What permits, insurance, payments, etc. they require. Also connect with the local government to learn about permitting, fire & security requirements, bathrooms and crowd safety laws, etc.

You’ve probably got a year’s worth of learning ahead of you before you’re ready to try contacting a band.

Are you anywhere near St. Joseph, Michigan? They are right on the lake and have a festival every summer. They bring in some pretty big name groups that play in a venue right along the shore. It couldn’t hurt to contact someone with the city and see if they can walk you through what you’d need to do.

First thing to do, though, would be to contact your own city government and ask them if they’d be amenable to your project. While these events often make money for a city, they can also cost a lot, too. And if they give you the thumbs down, the rest of the research will be pointless.

Here’s how the process works.


From the OP:

You’ll need to work backwards a bit based on how many people the venue can reasonably hold and if you can sell enough tickets. The cost most national touring bands would charge to come play will likely be in the tens of thousands.

What are some of the kinds of bands you’re thinking of to give us an idea of what tier they’re on and what kind of draw they’d have?

All good advice. Much appreciated.
Not looking to book a Rolling Stones tour, just a nationally known band for the local summer festival here.
I do have lots of help from folks who have co-ordinated this previously.