Bob Babisch has worked in the music industry for 41 years – 37 of them booking Summerfest, “The World’s Largest Music Festival” in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In that time Babisch has booked some of the biggest acts on the planet including Paul McCartney, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Pearl Jam, Tina Turner, and Prince.
Rodney Holder here and thanks so much for joining me on my MusicBusinessFacts Podcast.
If this is your first time here- welcome. My goal is to do my best to help educate you on the intricacies of the music business by interviewing as many music business professionals and experts as I can and asking them to give us the facts about their businesses. And if you’re a repeat listener- thanks so much for coming back and keeping me motivated to continue this podcast. I really appreciate your time and attention! And if I can ever help you or you have some ideas for people or topics you’d like me to cover then hit me up at Rodney@musicbusinessfacts.com
For those who don’t know me, I played in a metal band called Alchemist for over twenty years. We released numerous acclaimed records and toured the world, did the indie thing, signed a variety of record and publishing deals. It was an amazing ride!
But running parallel to my music career I was also a successful concert promoter. I’ve been running numerous shows, concerts and tours from the beginning of my career, over the years but my biggest success was running Australia’s largest and longest running metal festival called Metal For The Brain– which was a charity show that used to raise tens of thousands of dollars for a friend of ours who received irreversible brain damage as a result of alcohol fuelled violence.
Concert organisation and promotion has always been a huge passion of mine! So today I was stoked to be lucky enough to speak with a guy that’s been running one of the worlds biggest music festivals for over three decades– truly amazing!
The festival runs between June 29 to July 3 and July 5 to July 10
Over 800 Acts.
Over 1,000 Performances.
Nearly 900,000 of your closest friends
The 2016 lineup features Paul McCartney, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Weezer, Panic at The Disco, Selena Gomez, Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon, Blink 182, Willie Nelson, Garbage, Nelly, Neil Finn, Billy Idol, Joan Jet and The Blackhearts, Michael Frante, Weird Al Yankovic, The Violet Femms, Cheap Trick, Kris Kristofferson, Chris Issaac, Blue Oyster Cult, Hollywood Vampires.
Tickets just $20!
And I can only imagine how busy Bob Babisch must be running such a seriously enormous event, and here is giving me a good three quarters of an hour of his life. And as you’ll hear Bob is very hands on with the event too.
But anyhow, I think concert promotion skills and knowledge are really important for any music business entrepreneur to have. And even though I know not everyone is born to be a promoter, it’s still good to know how to do it and how to do it right. Because if your career is anything like mine was, then maybe you can’t get a good gig! That’s certainly was the situation I found myself in at the start of my career- So I started booking my own shows and inviting bigger acts to come to my town, where of course- my band got the main support.
Also in an age of streaming music and illegal downloads- A concert or a gig is the last bastion that can’t be downloaded. You can’t download the live experience! So it can be a great way to both make and lose money.
Michael Chugg– The godfather of Australian touring once told me that being a concert promoter is akin to going down to the racetrack and gambling on the horses. Because you are gambling on the hope that the acts that you’ve invested in and that you’re presenting, are the same ones that your audience want to pay to see.
Anyhow guys I’ll stop rambling. I really hope your enjoy my conversation with Bob Babisch from the Milwaukee Summerfest. There’s a lot of great insights into this one. Enjoy!
Well there you go people- Bob Babisch, the man behind Summerfest- The World’s Largest Music Festival, MILWAUKEE
June 29- July 3
July 5-July 10
B.Babisch@summerfest.com – Bob Babisch
Ok guys well I hope you liked this episode of the show.
If you like Music Business Facts then search for me in the iTunes store and Subscribe– that way you’ll never miss an episode.
And if you really want to help me out then a review and rating in the itunes store is the best way you can ever do that.
It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Final note, in a few weeks I’m about to embark on an 8-week intensive online music business training course with one of the world’s best modern music managers.
Andy Farrow manages a slew of successful metal acts including Opeth, Devin Townsend, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, and Anathema to name just a few.
Andy’s course is an in-depth look at his experiences and opinions on how to successfully manage bands. And he’ll be covering everything from income stream maximisation, promotion, attracting sponsorship, music publishing and recording to name a few.
So if you’d like to be a part of this very insightful training check out howtomanagebands.com