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News Release No.18
For Immediate Release

Stompin 76 music festival to be inducted into The IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall Of Fame

41 years later, the legendary bluegrass festival is to be recognized by the International Bluegrass Music Association

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

Oct. 24, 2017

- This week the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced it was inducting Stompin 76, the August 6, 7, 8 bluegrass spectacular to the IBMA Hall of Fame in their museum located in Owensboro, Kentucky..

Promoter Hal Davidson was gratified to hear the news after 41 years of relative obscurity. Davidson thanked the IBMA and everyone in attendance.

Performing at the three day classic were: Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Bonnie Raitt, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Vassar Clements, John Prine, Doc & Merle Watson, The Rowans, The Dillards, Osborne Brothers, John Hartford, David Bromberg, Papa John Creach, Eric Weisberg and Deliverance, Ry Cooder, Hickory Wind, Red, White and Bluegrass, Star Spangled Washboard Band, New Grass Revival, Grass on the Rocks, Good Ol' Boys, and Joe & Bing.

The epic lineup, 20 state promotion in the Bicentennial year, and a $12 weekend ticket attracted over 100,000 to the wild weekend now thought of as the Woodstock of Bluegrass. See more pics, stories and Tshirts at

Hal Davidson, only 20 years old at the time, still promotes festivals, last year producing Rock Fiesta for the Latino market in Quartzsite, Arizona. He also authors books or concerts and festival organization at


News Release No.17
For Immediate Release

Concert Promotions receives 2016 American Excellence Award

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

March 26 2017

- Concert Promotions has been selected for the 2016 American Excellence Award amongst all its peers and competitors by the American Economic Institute (AEI).

Each year the AEI conducts business surveys and industry research to identify companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their local business environment and industry category. They are recognized as having enhanced the commitment and contribution of small businesses through service to their customers and community. Companies of this caliber enhance the consumer driven stature that American is renowned for.

Concert Promotions has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values. This recognition by AEI marks a significant achievement as an emerging leader within various competitors and is setting benchmarks that the industry should follow.

As part of the industry research and business surveys, various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the selected companies in each category. This research is part of an exhaustive process that encapsulates a year long immersion in the business climate of American.

About AEI

The AEI is a leading authority on researching, evaluating and recognizing companies across a wide spectrum of industries that meet its stringent standards of excellence. It has spearheaded the idea of independent enterprise and entrepreneurial growth allowing businesses of all sizes to be recognized locally and encouraged globally.

Particular emphasis is given to meeting and exceeding industry benchmarks for customer service, product quality and ethical practices. Industry leading standards and practices have been developed and implementation of the same has been pioneered by the dedicated efforts of the business community and commerce leadership.

News Release No.16
For Immediate Release

All New 2015 Concert & Festival Promoting Manual Released

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

Jan. 3, 2015

- After 3 months of research and painstaking editing, Author and Concert/ Festival Producer and Consultant Hal Davidson, has released through his in-house publishing company, an expanded 410 page professional manual on the business of promoting both concerts and music festivals.

No other book exposes such detail in a business full of promoters reluctant to share real industry facts and methods with new promoters or the outside world.

Noticing there was no help to learn about concert promoting, Davidson wrote and sold the first concert promotions instructional manual in 1979 through classified ads in Rolling Stone Magazine. This first publication was typed then copied and bound like a college paper, primitive but informative. Twenty years later in 1999, Davidson published a collection of notes and facts in a 160 page book that would become the present "Bible of Promoting", as some of his readers would call it.

The new 2015 publication is the most comprehensive work on the business of concert and festival promoting. Davidson has updated just about every aspect of the book adding more contact information, instructions, important industry facts, contracts, agreements, diagrams, sponsor solicitation information, diagrams, plans, proposals, vocabulary, intellectual property explanations and Davidson's learned insights saving new promoters ahhravation and trouble in a very difficult and complicated industry.

The new book reveals great detail in the major components of any event, raising investment, stage production, hospitality, site design and production, relationships, ticketing, box office, conventional and online marketing, writing plans and proposals, analysis of the cost and revenue sheet, talent buying, administration, staffing, security, government considerations, insurance, terminology, event planning and management.

Davidson says "even if you're not actively promoting, the book gives someone outside the business a complete picture of what's involved in promoting, and it's much more than most people would think. It's interesting reading for anyone and is valuable to business people in other industries." Since 2000, How Not To Promote Concerts and Music Festivals has been sold in 25 countries.

Not available in stores, the Hal Davidson's incredible books are only sold online through Amazon or He also authors Concert Promotions Simplified focusing on concerts only. The book also comes with a CD loaded with forms and contracts. Book are shipped within 24 hours shipped U.S. Priority Mail.

Now fireproof, tested through 4 decades of hardened experience, Hal Davidson consults and produces festivals for clients worldwide. He brings a unique toolbox of skills to any event. In 2015, he looks forward to producing a number of important festivals in North America. Hal Davidson is based in Maryland and can be reached at

News Release No.15
For Immediate Release

Hal Davidson Reveals America's Freedom Compared to Australia when Promoting Music Festival

A complicated process in the U.S., planning and producing a major music fest, is made far more complicated and expensive down under.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

Aug. 27, 2013

- Hal Davidson travels internationally consulting for other promoters and on mnay events, runs the show. A specialist in outdoor multi0day music festivals costing over $2 million, he recently returned from Byron Bay, Australia.

Splendour in the Grass and Byron Bay Jazz Fest have made this little, bohemian, beachside town famous for music festivals. But those are the only two and the shire passed a law last year that these are the only two allowed with attendances over 6,000. It seems that the county administrators feel that fests drain resources and that the town cannot support anymore.

Hal with festival planners
Hal (in blk) with fest planners- Ballina, AU track

Screaming matches between OZ promoter Peter Noble and the town have resulted in him making his own festival site 10 miles out of town and Splendour (selling our 18,000 tickets in 2012 in 42 minutes) purchasing hundreds of acres in the northern part of the state, New South Wales (NSW).

Davidson was hired by a Melbourne promoter to produce a music festival in Byron Bay during Schoolies, every November, the start of their summer, hundreds of thousands of Aussie graduating teenagers storm the beach towns and raise hell for 3 weeks in 1 week waves. The time and the young people are called "schoolies".

Now Byron Bay has passed a secret mandate telling hotel and motel owners to not even rent rooms to schoolies. Within 3 days, Davidson learned of the hostility not only toward schoolies, but toward any new music festivals at any time of the year. Byron was the opposite of their global image, a friendly little festival town.

Draconain, backward, self-serving, narrow minded, placating the area's well- healed seasonal residents, with town rulers like that, who'd want to put on a festival there? The road control lights and barricades, added security and lawyering alone would have totalled more than $200,000.. Few outside Australia are aware of Byron's great paradox. Hal needed another venue.

In recrutiing Splendour's festival consultants, Hal learned of another town 25 minutes south, Ballina, where the airport for both Byron Bay and Ballina is.

But alas, there is also a 105 yr. old horse racetrack in Ballina capable of holding over 100,000 people. The manager there in favor, a former publican (pub manager), all that was required now was endless meetings with the local government, a $30,000 festival plan accompanied by a risk assessment and sound tests from equipment mounted all over town. Usage data explaining how the many buses required to commute campers from the airport property to the racetrack would microscopically wear the road surface was needed and of course the police. State Police were the appointed force and they were not infavor of any music festival welcoming drugs and partying kids. The drinking age in Austalia is 18.

So Davidson waded through the months of due diligence working with a team of festival consutlants, each expert in their own field. only to find the young club promoter hiring him could not come up with the multi-million dollar budget. "At least I learned to surf and bought a really nice bike" Davidson said.

Two years later, Davidson was subjected to the same detailed barage of over-regulation on the west coast, north of Adelaide in South Australia (SA) where he was able to complete a major music festival on the sprawling acres of Monarto Zoo in 129 days. And this time, not only did he have an overbearing police department and alcoholic beverage board on him like glue, but he was dealing with one to the most corrupt and dishonest men he has ever known. Though he tried to resign twice, he continued on and finished LIVE AT THE ZOO next to the lion's den and everybody had a good time, except Hal.

Paradoxically to the dysfunction of his client Peter Rowe, Hal was amazed how good the workers were. Almost every college in Australia teaches music festival certification. It's more of a program teaching how to get through the paperwork than how to choose bands and understand which concepts are best, but this national awareness and education of a business considered unstructured in most other countries, the young people graducating from a "uni" there, were top quality workers, getting things done efficiently without an attitude!

Australia's 48 music festivals have peaked though, with some discontinuing in the last 2 years after a 10 year explosion. The limited population of 22 million, high cost of international talent, long trip for artists to get there, and the need to tour an artist in a number of Aussie events to justify their appearnace at your event all collectively make it tough to compete with major well-funded promoters.

Hal Davidson has continued to consult there, but by skype and email lately. It should be considerably easier in the next destination, Cyprus. Hal was coincidientally hired by an Australian DJ to perform the due diligence for a Yacht Festival there intended for 2015. "I get to meet the President this time." Hal said.

Hal Davidson is a life-long concert and festival producer. He also authors the best books available on the subject of concert promotion and festival planning only available at You can also check out Hal at

News Release No.14
For Immediate Release


Many new promoters falsely think sponsors or ticket monies will fund their events.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

Promoting concerts or a big music festival is a dream many share. Unfortunately, many entry level wannabees think it’s just a matter of booking a venue, hiring a band and printing some flyers or building a Facebook site from their basement. Unfortunately, most will never see their aspirations come to fruition due to the high cost of admission.

Small start-up independent concert and music festival promoters don’t have the cash and in this economy, risk capital is almost impossible to raise. So most newbies think they will just secure some sponsors and use ticket sales. Not so fast.

Sponsors capable of contributing the cash required to power a concert featuring nationally known artists won’t participate in any event without the artists first being booked. They justifiably ask “who’s performing” before the conversation goes any further. If you are fortunate enough to impress a sponsor with a professional sponsor deck or proposal, there are 3 types of sponsors or combination thereof, cash, media or product and increasingly sponsors are only concerned with ROI.

If there’s no plan for the sponsor to receive and market their products or services, sponsors will pass. Even if a sponsor does agree to contribute cash, the transfer is not made before the event, it is customarily transacted once they see the bands are booked and web site is up.

“Using ticket sales monies isn’t an option either” says Hal Davidson, veteran promoter and festival consultant. New promoters find out Ticketmaster, TicketsWest and every other concert ticketing agency keeps your ticket sales money until after the show, sometimes up to 2 weeks, usually within 5 days of the event’s end. “They’ve just been burned too many times. Some used to allow you to use your own Visa/ Mastercard merchant account, and collect their fees along the way, but now they’ve even stopped that because in the case of cancelled event, the customer still looks to them for a refund.” Hal said and continued. “Ticketing companies can’t take the risk of paying ticket monies to promoters without knowing the outcome, just too risky. Due to the track record of promoters, the media also makes promoters pay up front for all of the radio, TV, print and billboards they buy.”

Promoters desiring to enter the marketplace need to keep two things in mind with regard to tickets. Have your event funded completely, and/ or consider funding it at least 70% and using your own merchant account or paypal to sell your own tickets that you either sell in hard tickets or purchase software for customers to print out or use their mobile device to purchase. Then the the ticket sales money ends up in your company’s checking account within a few days. More than 80% of all tickets are purchased through either credit cards, debit cards or paypal (bank debit). “It’s still not advisable to promote a major event without 100% up front backing and if refunds are necessary, it’s all you. Lack of funding and knowing it before you start can later be considered fraud in most states” Hal said.

Davidson says there’s basically 3 ways to do concert ticketing:

1)   Using a ticketing agency like Ticketweb, Front Gate Tickets, Paper Bag Tickets, Ticketfly (specializing in mobile platforms and added online marketing methods), Groove tickets or many club shows use wanttickets. These agencies will manage your online and phone orders, you may then have then print tickets at a small fee for you to open independent ticket outlets at already existing retailers if their contract allows.

2)   Paypal, The promoter then pays additionally to print the tickets from a ticket printer like Quicktick based in Houston, staff their own phone, create a shopping cart and open authorized outlets if desired.

3)   Obtain a legitimate bank merchant account and additionally obtain a shopping cart capable of taking customer’s credit cards for ticket payment. ( offers a credit card shopping cart linking up with Paymentech which offers credit card merchant accounts.)

Using options 2 or 3 offers the promoter total control over fees charged to the customer. The advantage to these methods is that the promoter can charge a relatively low fee covering the $2.75%-3.5% merchant bank or paypal charges plus any staff, ticket printing and shipping costs. Tickets can actually generate a profit and become an additional revenue stream for every event.

Which method the promoter chooses really depends on how involved the promoter wants to be and how much control over the funds a promoter needs to retain.

Whichever method chosen, it’s wise to have all 3 means of ticket selling: phone, internet and authorized retail ticket outlets (at least 10). You simply offer the outlet free advertising generating store traffic for being listed. They can ask for a service fee to offset any charges.

“No matter what you do, always imprint “RAIN OR SHINE” and “NO REFUNDS” on every ticket. Davidson says.

Lastly, many venues have already existing contracts with ticketing companies such as Ticketmaster and there is no other option other than finding another unattached venue.

If new promoters want to maximize their use of ticket monies, they’ll seriously consider the options and decide whether they are comfortable in having a company hold onto their funds. In these times, the promoter needs to get every financial edge they can.

Hal Davidson is a Maryland, USA, based concert and festival consult available to promoters worldwide. He has promoted concerts, music festivals, Ringling Bros. Circus/ Ice Follies, Las Vegas Casinos, trade shows, resorts and retail chains since 1975.

His top selling all-inclusive manual, HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS, and the simplified Concerts only version, are the best references revealing precious details of not just ticketing but all components involved with promoting concerts and music festivals. See and

This press release is copyrighted in 2013 by Hal Davidson and may not be used by other promoters on the web without written permission. All rights reserved.

News Release No.13
For Immediate Release


Concert and Festival Industry see changes in outdoor concert stage construction. Modern liability requires promoters to pay more attention to technical specifications and tolerances.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

September 20, 2013

- With collapsing stage catastrophes in Indiana, Tulsa, Ottawa Canada and in Belgium in 2011, venues, promoters and production companies are focusing on structural integrity and liability. The days of building stages out of scaffolding and plywood may be ending. "To bank the stage presentation success on anything built from parts, means having site inspections and structural people involved now, which never happened before" said Maryland based Festival Producer Hal Davidson.

For a recent Tennessee country music festival, Producer Davidson used a self- contained, fold-out mobile 40'x40' stage with suspended sound, lights and roof provided by Allstar Audio from Florida. "The entire setup was $32,000. and it was all set up inside of one day. When the show was over, the stage packed up into the trailer and was gone by the night after."

Davidson's Stage Manager Florida based Don Barnard, said "I've been talking a lot with some structural engineers regarding these stages that are coming down. It is mostly unanimous that at some time, there will be a uniform certification process for "on-site" built stages that will probably cause havoc in the industry.


"It all depends on what these event insurance companies decide to require and who will be responsible for inspection. This may raise the price of staging quite a bit, but stages that are of the "trailer type", like we had at your event, are completely certified from the factory and OSHA approved in all 50 States and Canada. Guess what we're using from now on?" Davidson said.

This discussion took place last year after the judge in Indiana seized the stage structure that came down for a complete inspection to determine liability. Davidson nor Barnard were not involved with any of the fallen structures, but agree that event producers everywhere need to pay far more attention to the cost/ structural factor and realize no savings are worth a life. More scrutiny is now needed before set-up.

"Taking advantage of free, modern tracking technology and keeping an eye on weather radar showing impending weather fronts, and staying in touch with NOAA is the prudent thing to do", Davidson said.

"Lowering the stage roof as soon as winds pick up to a speed pre-determined by the stage people, and getting the audience away from the stage, is about the best and fastest way to alleviate a disaster", Davidson said and added, "freak 60 mph winds are hard to spot and are just that, statistically rare so the promoter ultimately needs to have a better situational awareness. Better than before. Just tethering vertical trusses down with steel cable to cement bases is not necessarily the answer if you have a 50' high roof with 10 tons of sound and lights hanging from it." 

Hal Davidson has promoted for almost 4 decades, is a concert and festival consultant and authors HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS & MUSIC FESTIVALS available online at This release is copyrighted, 2011.

News Release No.12
For Immediate Release

Lessons Learned Promoting Concerts & Festivals in 2011

Attendance is down everywhere! The concert and music festival business is changing from year to year, and since the economy has been stuck on stupid for the last few years, promoters need to pay attention to lessons learned from recent experience.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

PRLog (Press Release) – Jun 14, 2011

– Battle hardened from over 3 decades of promoting everything from resorts to circuses, from casinos to electronica fests in Australia, Hal Davidson has been in the line of fire more than just about anybody still walking. "Promoting in 2011 and looking forward to 2012 is different than in 2009 and 2010." Davidson says, "there are certain specific aspects of promoting that a promoter better pay attention to or unforeseen trouble will translate to loss".

Too many promoters think they're going to finance their events through sponsors. This is a major misconception. The core funding needs to cover the entire cost sheet regardless of sponsorships. Don't start without full funding.

IF sponsor money comes, it comes later, not before the event and these days where companies are cutting back, promoters are not getting the funding level they need from sponsor sources. “These days companies are more apt to throw in product or marketing support than hard cash. Especially on a first time event, "it just isn't going to happen on a sufficient scale to depend on it" Davidson says. You need to use a specialist capable of writing professional sponsor proposals and who have developed connections only they have. Big sponsors want to see a healthy ROI. Just identity with event or gross impressions isn't enough anymore. Big sponsors want to sell product.

Put the event in or near a major city where employment is better, or at least you have more population to buy tickets. Rural areas are especially hard hit in a bad economy, and in low income areas, those discretionary dollars are ending up in the gas tank or to pay bills. "They just don't have it" Davidson says, "and to wish it so is selling yourself on a reality that doesn’t exist." Do all you can to promote your event on Friday or Saturdays with as little competition that weekend as is possible.

The ticket price needs to be low. Even one day festivals are going for just $47.50 this year. Graduated, mutli-tier pricing is becoming more standard. Early bird, advance and gate prices give ticket buyers a chance to save by investing in your event early and remember ticket sales are cumulative. Pay attention to ticketing fees. Higher fees are enough to turn off a $40 ticket buyer.

Additional revenue streams. Anytime you can get the beer and beverage, you are stacking the cards in your favor. The bands get none of this and with huge profit on beer, this one idea can turn your loser into a winner. Many times, the venue will only allow you to sell beer if you contract a caterer.

Then do it. The caterer receives between 10% and 50% of the gross. Most of the time they have to pay their staff, so this needs to be taken into consideration as this is the biggest share of the cost. Some promoters split the costs then split the profit. Each venue and each caterer is a different negotiation opportunity. In past years, few venues would surrender the beer, but with this new economy and venues realizing they need to give to get, more and more venues are allowing the promoter to sell beer. Sometimes, venues will trade the food&bev; for rent. Take the beer.

Group artists together like a mini-festival even if it’s just a one night concert. The days of promoting one mediocre national act for $50+ and expect the show to do well is rare. Ticket buyers want more for the money. Even on festivals, you need to have more-bigger acts to loosen up those skeptical entertainment dollars.

Improve Marketing. Social networks rule in the world of club promotions with a promoter's attentiveness to database development carrying the event. More and more promoters are using Facebook to host a web site looking promotion platform rather than a costly web site. Twitter, You Tube, legal email broadcasts through inexpensive systems like icontact and e-releases, are changing the conventional means of promoting. Radio, TV, outdoor and some print are still important, but the audience dictates the need for each. Flyers and street team's importance has grown even more.

The promoter needs to actively promote more, and be more directly involved with the daily marketing effort. A media crescendo the last 7 days before the event helps in a world of short attention spans.

Security. Not on the outside, we’re talking about your staff and your stuff! With more suffering people now, many who take jobs working on events, nothing is safe. Leaving opportunities for potential thieves to steal will make a thief out of someone not normally so inclined. If that poor worker thinks they'll never see you again and that thing sitting in front of them has value, you are un-necessarily letting your guard down. Lessen theft opportunities. Assign managers to watch your stuff and your staff the day((s) of the event. These days you need to watch the security! Have log out sheets for radios, carts and anything else not nailed down.

Hal Davidson lives in Rockville, Maryland, USA, planning and consulting on concerts and festivals for over 3 decades, promoting everything from concerts for the homeless to multi-day music festivals, a former Ringling Bros. Circus/ Ice Follies Promoter, Promotions Director for Vegas Casinos, Trade Show Promoter with heavy executive retail and resort marketing victories, he sees more profound changes up ahead.

His website, is a portal for promoter info.. There Davidson provides professional incite for free .HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS, and the simplified version, are the best references revealing precious details.

Hal Davidson's web sites are:, and

This press release is copyrighted in 2011 by Hal Davidson and may not be used by other promoters on the web, without written permission. Hal said "lastly, you need to learn when to sue the bad guys."

News Release No.11
For Immediate Release

Davidson on The Concert Promoter’s Secret Formula

The concert and festival promotions business has changed dramatically over the last 35 years. Now there’s a untold promoter’s concert and festival formula for increased chance of success.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

25 Feb 2013

- Hal Davidson lives in Rockville, Maryland, USA, planning and consulting on concerts and festivals for over 3 decades, promoting everything from classic rock concerts to multi-day music festivals in S. Australia. A former Ringling Bros. Circus/ Ice Follies Promoter, Promotions Director for Vegas Casinos, Trade Show Promoter, heavy executive retail and resort marketing victories, he sees profound changes.

“There was no Ticketmaster, no instructional books when I started promoting in 1975.” Davidson said. Now his books on concert promotions have helped information-hungry promoters and event producers from Denver to S. Africa since 1999. His website, is a portal for promoter activity. There, Davidson provides professional incite for free inside. HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS and the simplified version are the only books revealing the kinds of details others don’t. “Concerts have come down to magical formulas that are only learned after studying the plausibility for that particular event, designed for the right place, at the right time.” Davidson said.

New, untested, uninformed promoters think that just finding a venue, picking some bands and promoting is all there is to it. “That may have been the case in the 70’s but now concert (and festival) planning and execution has really developed over the years…. But there’s still plenty of opportunity for new independent promoters”. Davidson also said. “Some ask me how much can I make promoting? “ Without doing the figures on that particular show, it’s just BS. There’s no way to know what an event can net until you first know how much the show will cost, ticket price and venue capacity (the number of tickets you can sell). It takes due diligence and careful consideration of the primary components. Davidson said firmly.

”Every promoter has their own signature, their own skills, interests, drive level, connections, level of experience… but no matter what their attributes, promoters are figuring out that right formula. Each concert and festival are made up of ---- major components. Each part must fit into a puzzle for the event to earn a profit and make the audience happy. There’s a success formula.” Hal Davidson stated.

These formula components are:

  1. The right type of music genre for that market. What’s hot? Is there a hole in the Latin, country or jazz market? What’s the box office history of your intended acts? National acts draw, locals don’t.
  2. The right venue (with favorable rental terms (never more than 10% of gross).
  3. The right price for combined talent to match: a) the venue size b) the ticket price c) the demand.
  4. The right funding. (Based on a Cost and Revenue sheet.) This one doc determines event viability.
  5. The right ticket price for the market.
  6. The right performance date, preferably a Friday or Saturday night.

Things like type of promotions and stage production have nothing to do with this formula. Each size venue has a general cost budget, the promotion and stage production are a cost that is simply plugged in. The enthusiasm one uses to promote CAN have a positive impact on the end result, but the promotion budget itself is relative to the number of seats, the size of the venue.

“With all of these variables figured accurately, funded and managed properly, the promoter’ s concert or festival has a far better chance of success than they did in the old days. Use the Cost Sheet to make your final decision, be professional and not emotional before pulling the tirgger” Davidson said.

Hal Davidson’s web sites are:, , or call 731-438-1597.

News Release No.10
For Immediate Release

Promoter’s ethics isn’t just about obvious right and wrong.

It’s about character and taking action regardless of what everybody else is doing. It’s spiritual.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

12 Feb 2010

- Surviving leaders see situations for what they really are, ignore their own selfish desires and take action. Ben Sherwood’s The Survivor’s Club, talks about Situational Awareness. Sherwood says “Know the threat and prepare yourself.” Identify exactly what the problem is and ask yourself, who can I rally confide in about this. Will my comments to anyone adversely affect my plan to keep this project on track. “Have a Plan A and a Plan B” Sherwood says.

“Listening only to those in authority in the concert and festival business, without using your own personal logic could get you killed.” Hal Davidson, long time event producer retorted.

On 911, one WTC survivor said, "As soon as we reached the concourse level, the security guard stopped us and said, 'Where are you going?' (Stanley) explained about seeing the fire in Tower One. According to Stanley, the guard said, "Oh, that was just an accident. Two World Trade is secured. Go back to your office." “That one comment and advice from someone in authority got many killed.” Davidson said.

Do you know when to leave a promotions relationship? or are you going to be just another cow following the dumb cow in front of you to the slaughter? Do you know where all of the emergency exits are, or just the one you came in through? Have a backup plan from the beginning.

“When things start to go sour, think ahead and understand what might happen if you proceed on your present course. Learn to be a better leader by taking strong, uncompromising positions on things that matter most. However, also realize the ramifications by people close to you if you lie to them and deceive them. Take action, but make sure it’s honest and not a direction you will later regret.” Davidson said.

Dr. Tim Irwin, PhD an organizational psychologist and author of Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership says that failings by corporate or political leaders are due to:

  • A failure in their character
  • Failures of self
  • Hubris focused on self. (Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance)
  • Dismissiveness: (A form of denial, characterized by either passively showing indifference or disregard, or actively dismissing or rejecting ideas.)

Dr. Tim Irwin believes that “these leaders suffer from failures of character that are common to each of us--even the most capable individuals. Deficits in authenticity, humility, self-management, and courage become more dangerous as we take on more leadership, and can cause us to ignore glaring signals that might otherwise save us from catastrophic demise…. finding that derailment actually happens long before the crash and can be avoided. Tim Irwin explains the character qualities that are essential for successful leadership.”

The right idea is to get the most out of people and cooperate. Do all you can to infuse people around you with positivity and reasons why they should support the plan. What’s in it for them and negotiate so that both sides get a good deal. If not, they might steal, undermine you or derail your entire effort.

Offer to take people to lunch. Contractors, workers, associates, they all like to eat. Buy a pizza for the crew and tell them in advance it’s coming so they don’t make other plans. Show you care about them. Give to a food bank or shelter. It doesn’t take much to make yourself feel good about doing something good for others. Keep giving and watch your dreams come true.

No matter what kind of promoter you are, you’re no better than anyone else. We are all God’s children and each life is worth exactly the same. Remember that big money corrupts. When you get to a place of worth, be very careful about the decisions you make that affect other people. Stand up for right, no matter what. Have courage to do the right thing and to tell the absolute truth.

“When I consult, the biggest problem is an owner with poor management skills being allowed to continue his corrupt behavior. Signals and spotting them early on is the key to not even entering into bad situations, I know. I believed for 30 years that people were as sincere and caring as I was. Finally, I am filtering and recognizing that more than 80% of all potential promoters who contact me are either dishonest, incompetent or terminally stupid. It starts with their poor communication. So to survive in the concert and festival business, I’ve programmed myself to remain positive in spite of the bad treatment, move through them or around them and be an island of sanity and confidence. Good projects will find you. Sometimes it takes a life to make a life. Incre3asing your spirituality greatly helps your power to promote well” Davidson said.

Hal Davidson lives in Rockville, MD, USA and is an independent event producer and marketing consultant. His web sites are:, ,

News Release No.9
For Immediate Release

Hal Davidson's War Stories Coming in 2010 A Report On The Underbelly Of The Music Business

An entertaining and informative read - detailed promoter reports about the dirty details of music festival promotions

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

PR Log (Press Release) – Feb 12, 2010

- For the first time anywhere, a major promoter exposes the underbelly of the music business and how in spite of brilliant planning, great festivals are damaged or killed by inexperienced or dishonest promoters.

"Most people who enter this free-flowing industry are dreamers with no inkling of how to bring their dream to fruition," says Hal Davidson, publisher of books aimed at educating those who may decide to mount an event.

Hal's comprehensive books on how to promote concerts and music festivals helps promoters worldwide. "There are few resources out there teaching industry standards. "Figuring the game out as you go can be fatal to your pocket and sometimes even your life," Davidson continued.

Although he turns down more projects than he accepts, Hal, unlike other major promoters, is willing to pick up the phone and offer advice to beginning promoters. After the initial free consulting session, he offers more extensive assistance to those few who request his services and are sophisticated and capable of generating the funding necessary for a successful event.

"Dreamers with high energy and a will to learn become the backbone of events and festivals worldwide. But, others who join the fray with little thought, preparation or ability to take instruction usually become frightened obstacles in the path to success," Davidson remarked.

A modern festival can range from $250,000 for a "microfest" (a term coined by Hal indicating an attendance of 5,000 or less) to $4 million for a major multi-stage, weekend camp-out event. "Sums like these make the fledgling shudder and the con man salivate but I love this business! It's a fast-paced, multi-faceted adventure and like any adventure, it has pitfalls," says Davidson.

War Stories shares Hal's and other promoters' experiences and is sure to make for an exciting read. Look for it online at: is an independent concert and festival promotions publishing company exclusively publishing books and manuals pertaining to the concert and music festival industry. Founded by Hal Davidson, event producer with 35 years event promotion and production experience.

News Release No.8
For Immediate Release

Using Ethics Testing is the most important Concert and Festival Promotion Tip.

In the last in a series of 5 Press Releases, Event Producer Hal Davidson offers observations on the need for best practices in professional concert and festival promoting.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

11 Feb 2010

- Know whom to stay away from when promoting. It’s getting a little bumpy out there… more like an earthquake!

The most difficult word to say for a new promoter is “no”. “I have learned to turn down or leave projects, before they get started, because of red flags waving in my new filtration process, early on.” Hal Davidson, Festival Consultant says. “Ethics and the lack of it, in potential associates, partners, new promoters and industry contacts, has become the number one criteria for me in deciding whether to get involved or not, after a number of terrible experiences in the concert and festival business over just the last 5 years.”It’s become fairly standard to not practice best practices in this business.”, and Hal went on to say, “most promoters don’t even know what best practices are and they really don’t care. People are signing contracts with no concern of adhering to the terms. They just don’t think you’ll ever take them to court.”

The ethical deterioration of America is reflected in the concert and festival business, which has always drawn dreamers with a common thread of dishonesty, incompetence and acute stupidity.

The Test: Watch for signals in communication. New contractors and potential associates should be filtered. Do they:

  1. Respond immediately, within a few hours, by the end of the day, within 24 hours, within a week, not at all? Everybody reads all of their emails. If they are business people, they read them frequently. If people claim they do not respond to emails at all, but they read yours, it’s a dishonest relationship and uneven playing field from the start. They have everything you say in writing and you have nothing.
  2. respond to your emails selectively only answering certain ones, or only answering select questions or answering your questions incompletely? When the respondent frequently only gives part of an answer, it’s telling. Do you see it?
  3. provide a signature on the bottom of their email with their name, title, company, location, phone and web address if they have one? Think this is old school. It’s called “professional netiquette”. What are they hiding?
  4. answer your phone calls, call you back in a timely manner, leave messages with their phone number and time?

not return documents, are reluctant to sign agreements or deliver information agreed quickly? And if they don’t do these things, do they attempt to contact you to explain when they are going to do what they said they would? Do you leave phone messages or just hang up? Do you leave your phone number, the day and time you called, say it slowly twice? Professionals or those trying to be are more willing to work with people they perceive as professional.

Pay attention to failures in early communication because how your communication starts is how it’s going to end. Wishing the other party will change and become more concerned with providing you with the answers you need, when you need them, is not going to change. Give them a few chances and if you are becoming uncomfortable, it’s an internal alarm going off trying to tell you to stop and depart. If there is no signed agreement yet, you have nothing to lose. Just disconnect and don’t argue with them about it. Psychotic people, corrupt from their own power, will never get it.

Dishonest concert and festival operators notoriously: 1) Communicate poorly whenever they feel like it, or ignore you completely 2) Live in fear which leads to pathological lies 3) Conveniently remember only facts and manufacture scenarios that fit their need, editing out factual chronological circumstances. Experiencing this behavior, you need to wake up and realize these people do not respect you and your business. Spotting this behavior is an early test failure. Move on but make note of who they are.

Researching someone on the web: Just because nothing is said about someone on the web, doesn’t mean they can be trusted. Most victims will never post anything on the internet, which is dishonest behavior in itself. Keeping wrong doing secret is contributing to it, and assures it will happen to the next poor sap.” Davidson said. “Conversely, the internet allows anyone to post any unsubstantiated claim they want. We live in a dishonest world and bad people are posting spurious comments without fear of reprisal. It’s expensive to sue for defamation of character.” Davidson continued.

As far as taking legal action to seek damages from a Breach of Contract, “Attorneys have told me that there is only justice for those that can pay for it.” Davidson said. “It’s probably the biggest downfall fall of the American justice system, small operators getting crushed by larger ones with little ethical concern knowing the small operator cannot sustain a protracted legal fight.” he said. So having a lawyer before you start on your first concert or festival is as important as securing the funding. Most promoters not even suing spend at least $10,000. a year just for standard legal work required inspecting contracts, legal advice, composing and sending letters and notices, and it’s not a bad idea if you can afford it, to have them backstage to deal with surprises that pop up the day of the show, (if your event’s budget can afford it). Much more on protecting yourself as an honest promoter at

Hal Davidson is a veteran event producer and executive entertainment, resort, internet and retail marketer. Hal’s concert and festival consulting site is Watch for the new War Stories on The Music Festival Business in early 2010 and put your helmet on.

News Release No.7
For Immediate Release

Festival Producer Hal Davidson’s Tip on Legal Aspects of Promoting

The 4th release in a series of 5, life-long promoter Hal Davidson offers tips on setting up your concert promotions company.

Promoting and producing an event is one thing, setting up your company so that you are protected and operating according to industry standards is another. Anybody can book a hall and a band. Take steps to appear professional and start up your new promotions company for longevity.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

10 Feb 2010

- AGREEMENTS AND LEGAL: Every individual and every contractor you work with requires an agreement. This means, workers, employees, partners, and anyone else you are paying money to expecting services to be performed. Every detail of what you expect from them, delivery day and time, what you are expected to pay, and the payment terms, must be listed on these documents. For these docs to be legal, binding agreements, both parties need a signed copy or you may have trouble enforcing them. Just keeping them in your computer is not good enough. You need a hard copy of each document kept in a file and secured so that no other person can get to them or knows where they are. You can only trust yourself in this business.

If you do not have a budget for a lawyer, you will quickly learn that it is far more expensive not having one. It can end up costing you more than money. There is no mercy in the concert or festival business and it is filled with sloppy, stupid operators that will tell you they do use agreements and that they are not necessary. That they have references and have been doing business without agreements for many years. At that point, you need to point out that you do not do business without contracts and if they continue to have a problem with your way of doing business, don’t do business with them. You must learn to say “no”. There are many other reputable companies looking for your business willing to do things the legitimate way.

Without a caring attorney in your corner, it’s just a ticking time bomb of when and how bad you will get screwed. Simply having one tells everybody else that you are serious and that betraying your trust could be a big mistake for them. Lawyers are expensive, budget for them. They should look over and approve your major agreements. Make sure your workers have either an independent contractor’s agreement or are legal employees. Paperwork is required but it’s not hard to figure out. The details are in Hal Davidson’s promoting manual.

BANKING/ ETHICAL PRACTICES: Start a checking bank account with your operating company’s name and address on the checks. Do not mix your private funds with your company’s funds or this could be interpreted as fraud. Selling tickets to a show you do not have proper funding for can be construed as fraud. Selling tickets to an event you do not have the venue or acts you are advertising is fraud. You cannot even mention names of acts to anyone at all, unless you have them contracted. Be very careful here. Make your payments on time and stick to your end of the agreement. If the other side breaches your contract, first send them an email, if no response, send a certified letter, if no response or satisfactory resolution, turn it over to your attorney and stop doing business with them. Follow up with your lawyer to make sure you have done everything necessary to inform the other side of exactly what happened, and that you are disconnecting with them, if that is your decision.

The idea that you are going to finance your event with sponsor funds is not realistic. You need core funding regardless of your intention to use funds from other sources. You must have your event 100% financed in advance or the lack of, will show in the lack of confidence you’ll have in delaying payments and down-sizing critical elements of the promotion or production. Making professional looking, not computer generated business cards, says who you are and that you are a professional. Read more in either of Hal’s two promoting manuals. Find the other 4 parts of this series of promoting tips at

Hal Davidson is an independent event producer living in Rockville, MD. His email is

News Release No.6
For Immediate Release

Concert and Festival Promotion Tips on Talent Buying from Hal Davidson

Release #3 in a series of 5, Event Producer Hal Davidson reveals talent buying tips On the road to becoming a professional concert and festival promoter

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

8 Feb 2010

- Promoting only what you like and not concentrating on which act will make you money is an expensive lesson to learn. You should figure your attendance, venue, costs and ticket price based on a level talent, not on a particular act. Another words, most $50,000.acts are going to draw about the same attendance. That’s why they are all $50,000.. That is the market value of that act. Unless you subscribe to and look up that performer’s historic ticket sales and assess the value, you have no idea what that act is worth. You are just throwing darts. There’s more to it than that.

Your show’s attendance is mostly determined by the level of talent. National acts draw, local acts don’t.

LOCAL ACTS: 50 local acts may not draw what one- third tier level $10,000. national act does. In general, local acts do not draw sufficiently to gamble on, unless you are promoting in a nightclub or bar, or there is another source of attraction, such as a Chili or BBQ Cook-off. Promoting a concert or festival with exclusively local talent is a crap shoot. Actually a craps game is probably a better gamble. Mixing local and national acts is allowed, but you’ll have to check the headliner’s contract to make sure that performer will allow it. Some don’t. You may need a second stage, and make sure they are far away enough so there is no sound bleed. Funding, marketing and your energy are the other prime factors determining attendance besides the name of the headliner.

TALENT: Don’t get yourself emotionally attached to one act. If you are going to do this well, you can’t let your feelings for one act get in the way. What if that is no longer available on the dates you have venue availabilities (avails)?

What if that local act you love can’t draw more than 100 people and you lose thousands of dollars thinking everyone else likes them as much as you do? What if you can’t afford the act once you find out the sticker shock in this industry. The talent agents and the acts want all of the money, not just some of it. The talent agent’s primary interest is to maximize income for the act and themselves, earning 10%-20% of the act’s take. The odds are not in your favor, they are in the talent agent’s and act’s favor. They don’t care about your reasons to pay less. They have a market value and they are going to get it, or you won’t get the act. Just getting them to answer your calls, or call you back is a problem most of the time. The bigger the act, the tougher it is. You have to be a professional promoter with years of experience, with big bucks to book tier one performers. Sometimes it can take many weeks to get a decision from just one act’s agent. Dealing with talent agents today can ruin your whole day. It’s generally not a pleasant experience. Most agents act like they are doing you a favor. If you have a weakness in dealing with the big agencies, consider a third party agency. Don Barnard Agency is fast, honest and knows the true value of the act. His interest is in your interest. Let him negotiate for you and save the stress. Talent buying is an entire career unto itself.

TALENT BUYER: Don will take that entire aggravation off you, unless you really want to buy talent. Don’s phone number is: 407-862-5989 in Florida. He can also be reached by email: Don is also expert in sound, lights and stage management, though he prefers to do this part of the show in Florida. He can buy talent for you anywhere. If you decide to book the talent yourself, the Offer Form and instructions are in Hal’s book. Read more about talent contracts, rider contracts, talent negotiations, stage production, production costs and a list of most of the major talent agencies in either of Hal’s two comprehensive promoting manuals. Find the other 4 parts of this series of promoting tips at

Hal Davidson has been promoting events since 1975 and lives in Rockville, MD. His email is

News Release No.5
For Immediate Release

More Concert and Festival Promotion Tips for 2010 from Hal Davidson

In the next in a series of 5 Press Releases, Event Producer Hal Davidson offers free advice to promoters, sharing the more important components of professional concert and festival promoting

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

8 Feb 2010

- Starting promoters are skipping basics on planning and producing their concerts or music festivals. Then they either find themselves in trouble, or drop the project with no good alternative, their investment lost. The best way to make money at anything is to study, learn, train at it and execute a plan with thorough due diligence. Even then, you are at the mercy of the ethics of other individuals, contractors, venues (facilities) and supposed support systems and organizations.

Long time event producer Hal Davidson says that, “even during a well run event, it’s a very difficult business requiring superior skills in organization, communication, accounting, marketing, administration requiring some degree of experience in a related field.” Due diligence is the advance research required on every one of the items listed on the lengthy Cost Sheet. Every cost requires investigation, conversations, continued communication, negotiations, shopping around, and execution. Funding Cost/ Revenue Sheet, Venue and the first installment on talent was discussed in the first in this series.

  1. TICKETS: If you use a Ticketmaster or other third party ticketing company, you won’t see any of this money until a week after the show. So if you have no sponsors, you will need 100% of the cost of your show to even start. The book talks about doing your own ticketing. This is an option. If you are promoting in a building, you must first check to see if the building is already contracted with a ticketing company. If they are, you must use them and may not be able to sell tickets in any other way, No matter what arrangement seek the ability to sell tickets online, by phone and at authorized outlets. The book is very detailed on this subject.
  2. ORDER OF ACTION: The book also details the Sequence of Events: Do you have a concept? What type of show, venue, city, how much funding. Who’s going to do what? Do you have a legal company with a tax I.D. number? Do you know how to promote or produce a show? Are you aware that this event will consume all of your time and that you cannot hold a full time job while promoting? Your event is your new full time job. Day and night, all the time! Do not contact talent until you have these first 4 procedures done!
    • Decide where you are going to work and what market you are going to promote in. Perform due diligence on marketplace meaning the history of ticket sales and prices, history of various venues and ticket buying behavior. What kind of music has sold well? What kind has not? Why promote rock music in a market which historically does well in the Latin genre? Are you trying to promote music you like, or what will sell tickets and make you money?
    • Establish company, get legal, business cards, start contacting contractors to find out what the itemized costs are. Which direction is your promotions company going in? Don’t just try ideas, know what you are doing stands the best chance of winning. Set up your office and subscribe to industry online and print materials.
    • Compose a cost/ revenue sheet inside of a business plan of exactly what you are going to do.
    • Contact venues to become expert on the costs and details of every venue you are interested in using in your market. No sense checking out the stadium when you are starting in night clubs. Organize your research in a binder.

Gain a tactical advantage over other promoters in your market by reading the most complete manual on planning, organizing, promoting and producing concerts and festivals. All of the above components are discussed in great detail in both of Hal’s remarkable books. Based on over 35 years of direct experience by a legendary and controversial promoter, find more in The Original 345 page HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS BOOK, on the concert and music festival business than in all other books and courses combined! The new 145 page HOW TO PROMOTE CONCERTS, simplified was written exclusively for concert promotions. Both can be found at Watch for War Stories on The Music Festival Business in early 2010 at

News Release No.4
For Immediate Release

Festival Producer Hal Davidson Spells-Out Essential Concert and Festival Promotion Tips for 2010

In a series of 5 Press Releases, Event Producer Hal Davidson offers free advice to promoters, revealing the most important aspects of professional promoting practices

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

5 Feb 2010

- Before you dive into the finer points of promoting anything, it’s wise to have a reality check first. In speaking to hundreds of promoters or wannabe promoters, common misunderstandings have emerged. Some are old preconceptions, some have come out of this “I want it now” world. Not so fast.

What are you in such a rush for? Promoting a festival in 3 months or a concert next month is a great way to lose all of your money. Take your time. The longer you take, the better your chances of success. Time to align the myriad of details, approach sponsors, figure out the market and most of all, secure proper funding, will all contribute to a more sane experience. Rush and pay more, have less done well and increase your stress level unnecessarily. It’s stressful enough already, making crucial mistakes on the front end will reverberate through the entire promotion.

  1. FUNDING: Attempting to pay for a festival with ticket sales or sponsors is fraud. You need a certain amount of core funding no matter what event you do. Have you established a company, obtained a Federal Tax ID number, a checking account and retained a lawyer yet? Promoting without a lawyer’s legal advice in these times is nuts.
  2. COST/ REVENUE SHEET: Do you know the amount of funding you need? The ticket price, the breakeven point, the net and gross potential can only be determined once you complete a cost and revenue sheet FIRST.
  3. VENUE: You can’t do a cost sheet until you’ve interviewed the venue manager and determined exactly what the venue provides. An entire list of questions must be first answered before you call the talent agent. What avails. (available dates) does the venue have? Do this out of order and you will reveal to the talent agent the amateur that you are. Are you aware that the venue requires references from other similar size venues?
  4. TALENT: How can you talk to the talent agent until you have the first 3 items addressed? Without doing your homework through industry resources like PollstarPro, how do you know what the act is even worth. Determining how many seats the act you are bidding on can fill, largely determines which venue you need. Don’t get emotionally attached to one act. Book a cost level of of performer instead. All $50,000. Acts will generally have a history of filling the same number of seats.

These 4 items need to be decided and acted upon first before you can go to the next step. See a complete Promoter Order of Action at Hal’s informative promoting web site:

Speaking to new promoters with dreams of promoting concerts or music festivals almost every day, Hal Davidson offers initial consultations for free. “What’s so amazing is after reading my book and hearing my advice, more than 90% of all clients still make critical mistakes. They will learn the hard way. Seems like they order the book, only read the parts they like and ignore some of the less interesting legal and professional considerations.” Davidson says.

Hal’s helpful web site offers his successful How Not To Promote Concerts & Music Festivals, 345 pages, and his recently published more concise How To Promote Concerts Simplified, 140 pages. Hal uses his 35 years of promoting experience to help new and established promoters, everyday.

News Release No.3
For Immediate Release

Lifetime Promoter Hal Davidson Proposes National Festival Program

Davidson's letter to Michelle Obama stresses positives of a national festival program: expanded job opportunities, increased tourism, closer community ties.

Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA

PR Log (Press Release) – Feb 02, 2010 – Rockville, Md

- Hal Davidson's recent letter to America's First Lady proposed that she consider assisting in organizing support for a national festival program much like those in Canada and throughout Europe where government support of such events has resulted in significant increase in employment for locals and revenue from tourists who might not otherwise have visited the many "sleepy towns" in participating regions.

"Festivals attract individuals within a wide range of ages and with diverse interests. The unity provided when organizing and attending these events is sorely needed during this time of change and polarization", says Davidson.

More than 35 years of production and events marketing experience that includes festivals, concerts, trade shows, resorts and tourism has provided Davidson with a toolkit that allows his close consultation with professional promoters and fledgling first timers.

For many years, Davidson's books on Concert and Festival promotion have enjoyed brisk sales worldwide and can be obtained online at: . Each of these books breaks down the components required for success and are published with a CD that includes budgeting forms, contracts, letters and other items necessary for the promoter to operate successfully.


"Hal is the only published author or experienced promoter that I have found who publishes his phone number and picks up the phone when he's in or promptly returns your call when he receives your message!" says Riva Valentine, an events planner in Colorado.

Publicity and promotion - varied clientele - Entertainment - Publishing - Travel - Tourism -

News Release No.2
For Immediate Release



Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA


- Promoting concerts is not so simple, and with every component growing more complicated yearly, since 2000, Hal Davidson’s web site has attracted promoters as diverse as Iragi War soldiers to prison inmates looking for clarity, detailed answers and guidance on promoting concerts and music festivals. HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS & MUSIC FESTIVALS, a success as the best selling concert promotions book available exclusively online, isn’t the only reason to stop by his web site.

Over the last 10 years, the larger book has developed into an all encompassing mother-of-all promotions manuals, detailing everything from how to set up your promotions office to intellectual property for all types of events from club concerts to mammoth multi-day music festivals. “Promoting is not just promoting, it’s doing everything else necessary to make the event happen.” Davidson said. It’s complicated and in these “right-now” times, beginning promoters wanted something simpler.

After 25 years of compiling notes, methods, plans, proposals, contacts and facts, Davidson authored the How-Not-To book in 1999, starting as a 160 page compilation. Now, the present 345 page behemoth of what-to-do and what not-to-do is considered a “Bible of the Biz” by many, and it’s gone over big. Selling thousands of copies worldwide, now with a CD containing 20 usable forms, Davidson has repeatedly received requests for a simpler version for new promoters wanting to know enough to start and promote.

So, Davidson made thousands of edits over years to reduce a complicated business into a 140 page read-and-promote manual. In a business with no schools or declared standards, Davidson 55, has abridged and reconstituted his big book into a succinct, step-by-step insider's guide on the art of promoting concerts only, called HOW TO PROMOTE CONCERTS, SIMPLIFIED.

Both books examine budgets and individual costs, calculating breakeven point, determining potential gross, event net, how to negotiate talent buys, make media buys, ticketing options, sponsorship instructions, letters, contracts, investment proposals, contacts, stage production, security, box office, web design, and both books are heavy in both online and conventional marketing. Hal said. “All Promoters have their own signature and style. No two promoters do everything the same way. But there are standardized ways of methodically executing the various stages of the promoting and producing process.”

The new book breaks down each concert promoting component. New promoters are shocked to see the cost of entering the business. Shrewd talent agents calculate the artist's share, and you are shown how to figure what you should pay the act, how to negotiate with agents, write a marketing plan, estimate the attendance, and how to price tickets. It's all covered in this simplified book as it confirms answers to questions, and those you hadn't thought of. The bigger book offers a large festival supplement and more details.

Davidson’s web site is a Promoter’s Portal offering free tips, informed advice, instructions, festival history, valuable contact links including one for promoters worldwide to email him directly. With 34 years of promoting experience, Hal Davidson has one of the most diverse and effective promoting tool boxes anywhere, and uncharacteristic of the stereotypical promoter, is willing to share his wealth of experience.

See more about both books at Here’s what other say.

“The book is a jewel, priceless, I never leave home without it, right now it is my crutch. I can't say thank you enough.” Darlene, California Promoter.

“I read the whole thing and found it absolutely amazing! A very detailed book with a ton of pertinent information. Anyone that wants to do promoting for themselves or other bands - should read the book! I think the book was great and honest.” Jeff, Who's Ya Daddy Productions

“The book's great, tons of information There is more than enough info there to put on a successful concert. Very informative and you shouldn't take a bath on the event if you follow it.” Bill, Canadian Promoter. "This is a solid reference manual" Pema , Literary Agent

“It is quite clear that a great deal of work has gone into this how-to regarding the proper running of concerts and festivals. We very much enjoyed studying it from the standpoint of what not to do and, if you did do it, how to get yourself out of it.” Terry, The ABACUS Group Literary Agency.

Hal Davidson is a professional marketing, concert and music festival consultant willing to speak to you about your festival dreams.

News Release No.1
For Immediate Release

Legendary Promoter, Hal Davidson Reaches 35th Year Promoting Concerts and Festivals A Lifetime Of Bringing People Together. Galax to Australia


Contact: Hal Davidson Rockville, MD, USA


- Many young people dream of promoting concerts and festivals. Starting young with boundless energy, Hal Davidson actually did it. Promoting since 1975, at age 20, Hal Davidson founded Cactus Productions in Las Vegas with borrowed money. He first moved back to his Maryland origins, promoting Thin Lizzy, Golden Earring, Leslie West and Mountain, Natalie Cole, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Spirit and Nils Lofgren… tickets were just $6.50. Just one year later, after brainstorming with his roommates in his Baltimore apartment, he dreamt up Stompin 76, a 3-day celebration in the bicentennial summer, featuring the greatest bluegrass lineup in history drawing over 100,000 from hyper-aggressive promotions in 12 states, see The “Woodstock of Bluegrass” is now legendary.

With no promoting schools at the time, he yearned for a real promoter’s education. Knowing that the real action wasn’t in Baltimore, he moved back to Las Vegas and joined the stagehands union, working on the Vegas Strip beating out hundreds of applicants for a Promotions Director gig at 4 Fremont Street casinos at age 26. This creative position gave him the opportunity to promote everything from Computerized Gambling Horoscopes to extensive bus programs shuttling in busloads of L.A. fun seekers to Sassy Sally’s, Glitter Gulch, Coin Castle and the Golden Goose. In one of these slot joints, he built a butcher shop called Frankies Foot Long Franks and a Beer for 5¢. He lined the corridor with $5.00 slot machines and averaged $20.00 per hot dog. He invented dozens of compelling promotions drawing tourists off the street.


Knowing that all great promoters at one time or another join the circus, he landed an interesting position with Ringling Bros. Circus and Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice, first in their box offices, then traveling on one of Ringling’s 2 identical mile long trains going from car to car writing notes to compose the first modern operations manual for building managers. Then he rose as Regional Marketing Director for the Greatest Shows On Earth and Ice promoting Feld’s shows throughout the eastern US. After years on the road, he started his sojourn as an independent promoter: The Orlando Record Collector’s Convention, JamSouth, Christian Concerts, Shakedownfest among many other events over 3 decades.

Fast forward to 2009. Just returned from South Australia where his abilities were tested to the max, Davidson stuck with a challenging first and last time event dealing with an incompetent, dishonest Peter Rowe who never promoted anything and a hostile media. Live At The Zoo was South Australia’s first 3 day music festival featuring 4 stages and more than 130 bands. He stayed with the doomed event to ensure that at least a festival would happen. He even put out his own money to pay bills when the owner just wasn’t around and refused to make payments. “It was torture, but if I quit, the show would have been cancelled”. “The Director of Avalon Events burned many suppliers and workers, now everybody is looking for him.” “I am better for it all, and I got to experience a different culture, hostile media, and some really great people… South Australia has got to be the most regulated festival state in the world, the police were telling us where to put the stages”. “I got out with my life. Peter Rowe is as good as dead. He had no idea what he was doing and wouldn’t listen, broke my contract almost every day” Hal said. “Bad operators aren’t exclusive to Australia, the U.S. has plenty of them and my tenacity to hang in there has been tested more than once. I wish I had enough money to sue all of the bad operators. They need to learn about truth.”

At 55, Davidson just completed promoting 12 country concerts at Fir, Colorado. “It’s an adventure just getting there and back. Every concert of festival ticket includes a train ticket because it’s the only way to get there. There are no roads there at 9,242’. The log-clad railroad car stage is totally green, with the sound and lights totally powered by a wind/ solar power system generating 5,000 amps.” Hal said.

Now as a music festival consultant, Davidson says “even in a down economy there are opportunities all over the world, “the secret is finding the right venue that has funding”…“A modern music festival can range from $250,000. for a “microfest” (a term coined by Hal indicating a capacity of less than 5,000 people), to $4 million for a major multi-stage, weekend campout event.”

Hal’s comprehensive books on how to promote concerts and music festivals helps promoters worldwide. Hal said “There just aren’t any other good resources out there teaching the industry standards.” “Figuring this game out as you go can be fatal to your pocket and your life.”


Not just a festival producer, Davidson brings with him a toolbox of marketing skills from a successful executive background in resort, travel and retail marketing. What many do not know is that Davidson started and managed what became the largest resort marketing operation in the east. He established many of the accepted standards used since the mid-90’s for many other successful resort and travel marketing companies until the internet emerged. Davidson took Vacation Break USA to the pinnacle of the industry until it was sold for almost $400 million to Fairfield Resorts in 1996.

Davidson consults many beginning promoters for free at first. If the operator wants his services, is sophisticated and well funded, he’ll consider the project. After the Australia experience, he turns down more projects than he takes, but unlike other promoters, is willing to always pick up the phone to offer advice. Hal is a lifelong promoter with a heart to help.




HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS© and HOW TO PROMOTE CONCERT SIMPLIFIED© by Hal Davidson, 2023 all rights reserved. Published by Concert Promotions Publishing Co., Rockville, MD, USA 20855. Stompin 76™, and is the property of Hal Davidson, 2000-2023 all rights reserved. The content and layout of this website is the property of Hal Davidson. Commercial use is strictly prohibited. Written permission is required for use to sell or promote other promotional materials.