The Life Of… a Tour Booker

By Alice Hogg, EU & UK Tour Booker & Buyer at Live Nation


An interview with Alice Hogg, EU & UK Tour Booker & Buyer at Live Nation.

What does a Tour Booker and Buyer do?

My role involves working with 30 different Live Nation offices across Europe to book European tours. It involves a surprisingly good logistical and geographical knowledge. Then the buying aspect is negotiating the deal for the tour with the artist representative, usually their  live  agent, this involves strong communication and financial expertise. The role is really varied, I’d say problem solving and people skills are the most needed in my job.

I found a great role in Artist Liaison where I would work backstage… This was where I made my first proper industry connections and really kicked off my career through the contacts I met. 


What is a standard day at work like in this role?

It’s mostly office based and lots of email, phone calls and spread sheets. If I’m not at the office I’m at a meeting or at a gig. Every day is different depending on what projects you have going on. You might be under deadline to get a routing together so the day is spent at my desk getting avails and holding venues – or you might be in a lunch meeting pitching for a new client.


What is your background i.e. did you study business/ music or work at other companies prior to Live Nation?

I studied event management at Manchester Metropolitan University, I always wanted to work in music events, specifically festivals. When I was at uni, I used my summers to volunteer at festivals, I did everything from Oxfam stewarding, to bar work. I found a great role in Artist Liaison where I would work backstage and look after artists, make sure they had everything they needed like drinks and transport. This was where I made my first proper industry connections and really kicked off my career through the contacts I met.


How closely do you work with the artists on your roster?

We work more with  the  representatives  of  the  artist,  so you build a working relationship with the agent and management. As a promoter, you mostly see and meet the artist at shows and festivals, but it also depends on your relationship with the act.


What is the role of a National/International promoter, and how does this differ to booking agents?

A national promoter is usually a large company who would work across a territory i.e. the UK. There are several across the UK like SJM, DHP and Kilimanjaro. There are less International promoters like Live Nation who operate globally. I would say our main competitor would be AEG.

The difference between promoter  and  agent  is  that the promoter pays the artist a fee for touring services,  and we promote and make the show or tour happens.

So the promoter would organise the event and pay for the costs and needs to sell tickets to make money. Essentially, we take the risk of putting on the show or tour. The agent works a lot closer with the act to look at a strategy for their live campaign, working alongside the label, PR, radio plugger and other members of the artist’s team.


Do you have contracts in place with artists or is it more of a handshake agreement?

There are contracts in place between promoter and venue (in which the venue would contract), and artist party and promoter (usually the agent would contract this).


At what point do artists engage larger promoters in assisting with shows/touring?

The live agent would decide on the promoter or promoter team across the territories they are responsible for. They may work with any kind of promoter from any level, this could be built on existing relationships or on previous campaigns. A lot of the time acts tour with local promoters to begin with, and they may have a national promoter in London, who would run the national advertising campaign for them. It totally depends on the act and the strategy of their campaign. This is the main role that live agents undertake– making sure the act have the best team surrounding them to help grow the live career of the artist.


What are hardest parts of your job when programming tours?

It can be a longer process than you think; you are faced with changes of mind or campaign plans, and release dates will suddenly pull a tour you have just spent 3 months working on and you have to start again from scratch. Lack of venue availability is the worst!

Alice Hogg

EU & UK Tour Booker & Buyer at Live Nation

By Alice Hogg, EU & UK Tour Booker & Buyer at Live Nation

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