Top 5 Reasons Not to Be a Concert Promoter

Promoting a Nas show like this one could cost you more than just money.
Promoting a Nas show like this one could cost you more than just money.
Photo by Marco Torres

Have you ever dreamed of promoting your own shows? I'll bet you've even sat around at times plotting out your own bills, dreaming of how awesome it would be to see an all-star line-up of, let's say, Poison, Ratt, Tesla, WASP, White Lion, and Cinderella. And while that sounds absolutely horrific, I'm sure other people have done the same thing and had better ideas

But being a concert promoter is hard work. It can even be threatening to your life. It's not a job for the weak at heart and it's not nearly as easy as it looks. See, you have to deal with not only satisfying your whims, but satisfying the whims of both artists and their fans.

That's a whole lot of people to make happy all at once. Not everyone can manage that and in these specific cases I bring up to crush your dreams, even experienced promoters can run into some serious snags.

Top 5 Reasons Not to Be a Concert Promoter
Photo by Jim Bricker

5. DJ Shadow Being "Too Future" This recent incident occurred when DJ Shadow was playing a show in Miami. Shadow got just a short time into his set when someone came up and told him that he had to leave -- because the music he was playing was "too future" for the crowd.

As you can imagine, the audience was pretty upset, not at DJ Shadow but at the organizers of the show for kicking him off stage. Since this got picked up in the media, I don't expect many Miami residents will call on the Mansion club in the future. Bad publicity is just one more thing you have to worry about when promoting a show like this.

Top 5 Reasons Not to Be a Concert Promoter
Photo by Marc Brubaker

4. Danzig and His French Onion Soup Perhaps you remember this one from 2011. One of that year's major Fun Fun Fun Fest draws was Danzig, performing a three-part set consisting of one-third Danzig, one-third Misfits and one-third Samhain. Well, it didn't happen, save for a short Danzig set.

Behind the scenes, Danzig had been throwing fits all day, off-and-on claiming he wasn't going to play at all, complaining about having a cold and the bad weather, complaining about his set time and the stage, and ultimately demanding that the promoters bring him some french onion soup and a chicken sandwich from Wendy's.

When he did play, he was late and the promoters had to shut down the show before he got to finish. Then he tried to incite a riot. Imagine you were the person who had to deal with Danzig's shit all day, then had to tell fans they weren't going to hear him play any Misfits material, then had to deal with a potential riot. You'd be about ready to call it a day on running concerts.


Top 5 Reasons Not to Be a Concert Promoter
Photo by Marco Torres

3. Flo Rida's No-Shows and Cancellations Lots of artists no-show concerts or cancel them at the last minute. We've seen it here in Houston countless times and it's always massively disappointing to us as fans. But oftentimes, the ones who suffer the most are the promoters, who have to make back all the cash they lost on the preparations of the artists.

Flo Rida is apparently notorious for no-showing and canceling dates and it caught up with him last year when he was sued by two different concert promoters in two different countries to recoup their losses from his behavior. The best part? They served him with the summons through Facebook, which is now legal in a few different countries. At least that's a bit easier on the promoters these days.

Top 5 Reasons Not to Be a Concert Promoter
Photo by Marco Torres

2. Rick Ross Performs for 15 Minutes Rick Ross calls himself a boss for a reason. He does what he wants when he wants. So maybe we shouldn't be surprised that last November he showed up at Bojangles Coliseum in North Carolina, took his $90,000 cut, performed for 15 minutes, and then got the hell out of Dodge.

Now the ripped-off promoters are suing him for underperforming, given the exorbitant amount of money they paid him just to show up, and for leaving a "lasting negative impression of the quality of events promoted by SMGU" in the eyes of the fans.


1. Getting Kidnapped Over Nas There's always a worst-case scenario. Sure, it sucks to piss people off by cutting off DJ Shadow or Danzig, or getting ripped off by Rick Ross or Flo Rida, but there's always something worse; like what happened to the guy who promoted a Nas show in Angola on New Year's Eve.

The people funding the concert gave Nas a $300,000 dollar advance prior to the show, which was probably their first mistake. When the big day rolled around and Nas didn't show up, they were furious. So instead of doing something sane, they tracked down the concert promoter, kidnapped him at gunpoint, took him to Angola, and demanded their money back. When he told them he had already sent the money to Nas, they demanded an extra $50,000 back as well.

This poor guy is still running around Angola because, even though they let him go, he's not legally permitted to leave the country. Now you'd think Nas would step into clear the whole thing out, and to his credit he has made an offer. He's willing to pay the $300,000 back, but not the additional $50,000 that the creditors want.

So the concert promoter, Patrick Allocco, is still trapped in Angola with two powerful forces essentially fighting over the future of his life. All because he wanted to put on a good show for Nas fans in Angola.

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