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The Biz

Published: 2005/12/09
by Allen Ostroy

Rockin Into 2006

I want to thank those who sent me answers and questions. Please keep all your music biz questions coming. Last month we determined that: Vacation time + desire to go out + desire to spend money and not save = great weekend to entertain. So I asked, “Which five consecutive days of the year are the best five straight (arguably as good as Thanksgiving Weekend but I don’t think so), and why?” I’m going to use one of our readers answers.

Patrick answered, “I would guess that December 27-31 are the best five days in a row I would say this because people are 1. in the holiday spirit 2. people get money for x-mas so they are ready to spend it 3. kids are home from college and ready to go out with their friends that they haven’t seen in a while. 4. people are on vacation from work 5. I don’t think that I need to even explain what a big night New Years is 6. lots of people are on vacation and on vacation people like to go out and spend money. You could prob. even stretch this to six days and include Dec. 26th.

Patrick nailed it! Nice job! I call this the “holiday run” and everyday is like a Saturday.

Allen is the President & CEO of Great Bay Entertainment Group, Inc. and has been managing, booking, talent buying, and promoting bands since 1992. He has guided dozens of successful careers. His roster has included Strangefolk, Percy Hill, Reid Genauer and AOD, Moon Boot Lover, and RAQ to name a few.

Allen has been an active member of the University of New Hampshire Internship Program since 1994 and has provided hands-on opportunities for students that have helped launch careers in the music industry. In 2001, he created the Music Biz 101 Workshop and has presented it at many colleges and universities across the United States (he is available for hire through In 2005, Allen became a feature writer on, the leading resource for information about the jamband music community, where he continues to write a monthly Q&A column based on questions submitted in advance by musicians and industry professionals.


I hate to piggy back on a previous question but can you be a little more specific about what type of opportunities in the music industry a law degree can open up for me [referring to the 5/28/05 Q&A]. I want to go to law school, but my dream job is in the music industry. What I don't want to do is go 100,000 dollars in debt and have it be a waste.

Thanks so much


I want people piggy backing off of the questions. That's the point of the Q&A column so, "bravo!" With a law degree you can do entertainment law, be a manager, a booking agent, or work for labels..pretty much anything that requires a contract. Not everyone in "the Biz" has a law degree but many do. I know management partnerships where one of them is a lawyer and I wish I had a law degree. It’s similar to politics where you meet a lot of lawyers in all areas of the political realm. I don't have a law degree or an MBA so I'm not talking from first hand experience on either except that I have been doing business and hiring lawyers for thirteen years.

Nothing is a guarantee and my advice would be that if you don't want to do law…then don't get the law degree. If you want to work in the music business then pursue that. I hope that helped but probably not.

Keep in touch and let me know what you decide.


I have been reading your articles on the different aspects of the music
industry and many of the things you have had to say have been a great deal of
help. I have recently started acting as a promoter and manager for several
promising/up-and-coming bands out of Massachusetts. I have worked with all
of the bands to put together solid demos and press kits, and am currently at
the point where I want to start contacting venues/promoters to get them shows.
Could you possibly do an article on the best ways to go about getting your
demos/press kits to the people who matter? I am mostly interested in whether
or not to email, phone, or show up in person with press kit in hand. Also, if
you could share any other information you might have on how to get your bands
name out there aside from constant touring.

Thanks, and keep on writing!



Welcome to the club. I'm thinking about having jackets made. Unfortunately there is no easy way or formula for getting your press kit seen or your demo heard. As you can tell from my last column [referring to the 7/13/05 column] each promoter is different and looking for different things. So my advice to you is to tailor your approach to each promoter. My guess is that you are going to use a combination of ways at first. You may have to call, email, and show up in person. Personally I think the phone call is the best first move. It’s more personable. Most of the guys you're trying to get to have assistants. Even if you get an assistant on the phone the question you are trying to get answered is, "What do I need to do to get my kit in so and so's hands?" So, ask them. If they say drop it off then you know what to do. Also, make sure to ask them for specifics about what they want in the kit. You can also ask the assistant to go to bat for you by asking something like, "Should I come hand you the kit and if you like it will you go to bat for me?" If the answer is "no" then address your kit it to the promoter but put in the cover letter that you spoke to the assistant. If the answer is "yes" then you may have an "in" (which is what you're going for). If you happen to get the promoter on the phone, introduce yourself and ask them what they want sent and how long they need before you follow up. Then send them exactly what they ask for, not more and not less, with a cover letter reminding them of the conversation (keep the cover letter short it’s only to remind them that they spoke to you and asked for what you sent them). Finally, follow up with them the exact way they told you to. You may have to follow up a few times If you need to leave a message then say "if you need a little more time just shoot me an email or call me back and let me know, otherwise I'll be in contact." This way you may get them to deal with you even if they haven't checked out the kit yet. The point is to create a relationship and do it the way you would want someone to approach you – courteous and business like.

The only other way besides touring I know to get the word out is through radio and internet play. The best marketing tool you have for your band is your band's music. It’s that simple. Obviously if you have a ton of money you can advertise everywhere but I don't know a better way to get the music out there than to get the music out there.

I'm glad my articles have helped and I hope this does too.

Keep in touch.


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