To be successful in today's music industry, you have to optimize every revenue stream possible. Not only does an effective tour kick-start your marketing and promotion engine, touring also continues to be the major source of income for bands large and small – from independent artists playing club dates to The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Radiohead's arena shows. The touring industry also employs thousands of professionals in every support role imaginable. For anyone with a career interest in the music industry, it's indispensable to have a thorough understanding of how these diverse parts work together.
Concert Touring will teach you the essential components of a successful tour: assembling a management team, putting together a plan that works for your particular situation, typical types of industry deals, alternative streams of income, and who gets paid what in the end. At the same time, you'll learn effective merchandising and promotion techniques, the ins and outs of sponsorships, and the technical side of touring: stage plots, sound and lights, and how to settle up the show when the music's over. The course provides working musicians, aspiring artist managers, booking agents, publicists, merchandisers, concert promoters and entrepreneurs with a detailed overview of the complete touring and music merchandising process, from start to finish.
By the end of this course, you will:
- Understand the preparations and logistics involved in developing, budgeting, and executing everything from individual performances to entire tours - from start to finish.
- Identify all the different players and their specific roles in the touring industry.
- Understand typical types of touring deals and alternative revenue streams.
- Learn the terms and concepts used in the concert and touring industry.
Lesson 1: The Touring Artist: In Search of Fame and Fortune
- Overview of the Current Touring Industry
- What Does Touring Mean for an Artist?
- Revenue Streams in Touring
- How Do We Measure Success?
Lesson 2: Consulting the Management Team
- To Serve the Artist
- Managers: The Communication Link
- Agents: We Sell Your Show
- Club Owners, Promoters, Event Organizers—The Buyers
- The Multitudes Who Work Behind the Scenes
Lesson 3: Putting Together a Plan
- Your Goals as a Band/Individual
- Your Short and Long-Term Goals
- Press Kits
- Working with an Agent vs. Going It Alone
- Making Contact
Lesson 4: Offers, Contracts, and Deals
- Dissecting a Contract
- Applying the Contract to the Touring Industry
- Putting Contracts and Offers into Context
- Weighing Different Types of Deals
- Deal Terms and Concepts Used to Predict Potential Earnings
Lesson 5: The Tour Budget
- Why Do I Need to Create a Budget and What Does It Tell Me?
- Projected and Actual Budgets
- Who Creates and Maintains the Tour Budget?
- Tour Budget Categories and Subcategories
- Analyzing Budgets for Possible Savings and Shortcomings
- The Argument for Tour Support
Lesson 6: Ticketing—Pricing, Scaling, and More
- How Are Ticket Prices Determined?
- Scaling the House
- What Other Charges and Fees Are Included in the Ticket Price?
- New Trends in Ticketing
- Thwarting the Ticket Scalper
Lesson 7: Merchandising
- The Merchandiser
- Merchandise on Your Own
- Preparing a Sound Merchandising Plan
- Tour Merchandise Hall Deals
- Fighting Illegitimate Merchandise
Lesson 8: Sponsorships, Endorsements, and Promotion
- The Pros of Sponsorships and Endorsements
- The Cons of Sponsorships and Endorsements
- Creating Your Own Sponsor, Brand Your Own Product
- Need to Start Somewhere
Lesson 9: Beyond the Deal: Riders, Stage Plots, and All That's Technical
- The Smoking Gun.com
- Advancing and Routing—Itineraries
- Sound and Lights
- Trucks and Busses
Lesson 10: Where's My Crew?
- Tour Manager, Road Manager, Accountant
- Production Manager, Stage Manager
- Sound, Audio, Riggers
Lesson 11: Show Day: From Load In to Load Out
- Load In
- Sound Check
- Load Out
Lesson 12: Settling the Show
- Who and What to Expect at Settlement
- Calculating Gross and Net Revenues
- Show Expenses
- Arriving at the Bottom Line
- Calculate the Bottom Line
- Handling Disputes
Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements
This course does not have any prerequisites.
- No textbook is required. There will be suggested readings from provided articles and Web sites. In lieu of the cost of a textbook, the student will be required to visit a concert performance as part of their final project.
After enrolling, please check the Getting Started section of your course for potential deals on required materials. Our Student Deals page also features several discounts you can take advantage of as a current student. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
General Course Requirements
Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in live chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course.
- Latest version of Google Chrome
- Zoom meeting software (available in the course when joining your first chat)
- Speakers or headphones
- External or internal Microphone
- Broadband Internet connection
Author & Instructor
John Czajkowski has been active in the concert touring industry for nearly two decades now. A freelancer who’s worked for numerous productions, Mr. Czajkowski has fulfilled the roles of tour manager, tour accountant, production manager, and road manager giving him a broad overview of the touring industry. The roster of artists he has worked for includes: Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, Shania Twain, Prince, Ringo Starr, The Strokes, and Oasis, just to name a few. Through his work with several of the world’s top performing artists, he’s seen the concert touring industry evolve and has followed the latest trends in production, ticketing, VIP sales, merchandising, and numerous other ancillary revenue generators. John has become highly sought after and is capable of managing tours and settling shows of all sizes from small theaters to massive stadiums. He currently maintains a busy touring schedule, traveling worldwide at the requests of artists, agents, and business managers seeking his vast background and expertise.
Mr. Dorenfeld is a Professor of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music. He has more than 20 years experience in higher education and more than 30 years experience in the music industry. During his tenure at Berklee, Dorenfeld has been the recipient of the President's Award for Leadership, the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence and Dean’s Award for Innovative Teaching. Dorenfeld co-authored the online course “Concert Touring” that won The University Continuing Education Association best online college course for 2008. As faculty advisor for Berklee's student-run record label, Heavy Rotation Records, he negotiated a recording contract with Epic/Sony Records—the first-ever college label and major label collaboration. In 2015, Dorenfeld founded The Berklee Popular Music Institute, an experiential education program offering students the opportunity to work and perform at some of the biggest festivals in the world. Dorenfeld also developed a number of scholarships for Berklee students, including The Epic Award, Berklee/Lollapalooza Scholarships, and the Berklee/Vans Scholarship, totaling over $1.7M. Prior to teaching music business, Dorenfeld was the personal manager of the multi-platinum band Boston. Under his management, the band had a No. 1 Billboard charting album and a top grossing tour. Prior to managing Boston, Dorenfeld was tour coordinator, tour accountant, and lighting director for platinum artist Sammy Hagar and performed tour accounting for multi-platinum artist Ozzy Osbourne.
Jeff Apruzzese graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2008 with a degree in Music Business. Jeff is the Media and Operations Manager for the Berklee Popular Music Institute, which provides students with an experiential learning experience in live music and performance. He is also a course instructor for Berklee Online’s Concert and Touring course.
Jeff was the bassist of Passion Pit (signed to Columbia Records) for 8 years. During his time in the band, he toured the world extensively, performed at some of the largest festivals (Lollapalooza, Coachella, Summer Sonic, Austin City Limits), and played on some of the most high profile late night shows (Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel). A career highlight for Jeff was selling out the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 13, 2013 during a blizzard. Read Less
When taken for credit, Concert Touring can be applied towards these associated programs: