FRENCH MARKET – TOURNEURS: CARTEL CONCERTS
This article is based on an interview from April 2016 when I was working on a startup projet in live music recommendation. Even if it is a bit dated and focused on my questions at the time, I still find it relevant to share the main points we discussed.
What are the main problems facing the music pros? What kind of products or services would they need to solve these issues?
This series of posts wants to bring answers to these points, to help start-ups and other project owners who wants to transform the music business and offer relevant and innovative services. Presented here are the feedbacks from Antoin Jamet, CEO of Cartel Concerts.
The job of a tourneur*
Tourneurs help artists to expand their musical universe to the stage, by defining a tailor-made live strategy for the artist depending on his career advancement and music style for example. The tourneur selects the most relevant venues and plans concert dates, coordinating all the stakeholders.
* »Tourneur » is the French word for promoters, booking agents and overall the teams helping artists book their shows. It is kept here in French as tourneurs in france have a slightly different relationship with artists compared to agents in other markets. More on that in another piece! In the meantime, the MaMA panel discussing the differences between live jobs in France and the UK (in English):
The issues Antoine is facing:
How to choose the artists to add to the roster?
Tourneurs receive a lot of EPKs everyday, more or less relevant to their own artistic choices. It is difficult for them to get to see all the artists they choose to represent in concert before signing them. They do a first selection by listeing to the EPKs, going online to watch videos… a time-consuming procedure. And to do a final choice, tourneurs have to see the artist live before making any final decision.
Developing artists’ career:
In France, there is no legal constraint biding an artist to his/her tourneur at the end of the contract. This explains the difficulty for small artisting to find a tourneur, and the reluctance of some tourneurs to invest a lot of resources developping an artist that might leave them afterwards.
Selecting relevant venues for each artist:
It is crucial for an artist to play in venues that are adapted to their career advancement and music style. This can make or break the success of an artist live. All venues and festivals are not adapted for all artists. Tourneurs have to choose amongst all the venues and events to find the most relevant ones, and hope they have open dates. While some venues are happy just renting their space, some of them are more attentive to which artists get to play there. It is especially true for SMACs (another French specific type of organisation) but also larger venues who specify in a music genre.
What kind of tools does he use at the moment?
- YouTube videos, to get a first impression on an artist or a venue (what was the mood at the show? was it full? what was the energy like?)
- Infoconcert (French website recaping all concerts played for the past 20 years or so in France) to analyse the choices made by artists similar to theirs
- Bandsintown and other concert promotion solutions
The tool he’d need would:
- Provide easily all the key infos needed on a venue: previous artistic choices, public type, average sellout rate… It’s a tool that could also be helpful in reverse for venues and festival schedulers.
- Simplify the analysis of similar bands’ live strategy
- Facilitate matching between bands and venues (but not take care of the booking!)
Who is Cartel Concerts:
- Activities: Concert production & booking agency
- Since : more than 10 years
- Music genres: Urban, Rock, Metal, Electro, World
- Artists in roster: Deluxe, Naaman, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Chinese Man, Jahneration, Natacha Atlas, ASM – A State Of Mind, Guizmo…
- Website: www.cartelconcerts.com
This post is also available in: English