If you want to become a promoter, you should start putting on little shows with local bands in the town hall or school hall. At lot of big promoters and agents got into it by becoming entertainment officers at university and helped run the student union; people like Steve Strange [X-Ray Touring], Steve Zapp [ITB] and even Ricky Gervais was the ents manager at ULU. You could start representing local bands and trying to book them into places – that’s a big part of the business. It could be as simple as going along to your local venue and volunteering to help out and getting into it that way.
More and more, the people who do the grunt work – the sound guys, the riggers and the roadies – are getting proper qualifications. They are going to college or going on an apprenticeship scheme. It is the way the industry is going, where it’s a lot more professional. Health and safety are huge parts of the live industry now – and that is for insurance purposes more than anything else. Because so many people are coming out of colleges with formal training, that’s the way the industry is going by default.
If your friends are in a band and they need help loading in their amps, that’s one way to get into the industry. But your friends won’t be touring 12 months a year, so therefore you might not get any money for five months; you need to have a bigger plan to earn a living out of it.