Get Booked For Rap Shows


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Nicki Minaj’s NICKIHNDRXX Tour – Canceled in North America. Rapper’s Big Day Tour Chance – Canceled Everywhere T-Pain’s 1UP DLC Tour – Cancelled. Cardi B

Get Booked For Rap Shows

Get Booked For Rap Shows

The traditional model of touring needs work. Cancellations have been happening for years, but this current wave is different. Many hip-hop artists boost the demand for ticket sales. We live in an age of endless data, but travel decisions still seem like the industry throwing darts blindly. Meanwhile, artists who can sell out those halls have proudly adopted a new approach. These trends are linked.

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The popularity of music festivals and concert residencies has added new variables to the mix of live performances. Mainstream artists are trying to maximize every option. Some are ahead of others. But as most rappers strike the ideal balance, the tour business might end.

When artists are on tour, they are on the road day in and day out. This has traditionally been seen as a fair trade, as many artists derive most of their revenue from touring. But it is still time consuming, labor intensive and expensive.

A few years ago, Beyoncé, like Drake, once played it safe with a concert tour. In 2013 and 2014, Smt. Carter’s World Tour was an impressive $230 million, but it took Queen Bey 132 shows and twelve months of touring to do it… if Beyoncé were to subject herself to the same arenas for [On the Run Tour, The Formation World Tour and On the Run II Tour]. If kept He would put on an additional 207 shows from 2014, bringing in $565 million in revenue from his concerts. It would have been impossible to do all those shows while pregnant with twins, making lemonade and doing all the things Beyoncé does.

There are only a handful of artists like Beyonce who can justify the jump to the stadium. For the rest, festivals and short-term residencies in Las Vegas are a viable option.

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The singer will do a European festival run (like Cardi B did last summer), then launch her own festival, Lover Fest, in Boston and Los Angeles. It doesn’t get 2020 more than that.

“I don’t know exactly what we’re doing on tour. I don’t want to do the same thing every time because I don’t want to feel like I’m on a treadmill. There’s a lot of stuff involved in touring that nobody knows about — like you have to reserve stadiums a year and a half in advance, and That’s a lot for me. With ‘Reputation,’ I knew that no one could fully understand an album until they saw it live, but this album is different because people understand it the first time they hear it.

All this is true, but we must not forget two things. First, Taylor is part of a select group of performers who can sell out the Rose Bowl, Soldier Field and MetLife Stadium nightly. He won’t let go of that opportunity unless it makes financial sense. Second, she is right about the challenge of booking a place eighteen months in advance. This is especially frustrating for early risers and those who can’t get around easily. It’s a good problem to have, sure. But there is still a problem.

Get Booked For Rap Shows

Last year, Lizzo rose to stardom so quickly that she outpaced her tour earnings. According to Billboard, last spring

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Performed to crowds of less than 2,000 people, grossing over $50,000 a night. Taking advantage of her momentum, she turned to fall

In places twice the capacity. But at the time, “Truth Hurts” was #1 on the charts and was nominated for a Grammy. She couldn’t stand it anymore.

My wife and her friends bought tickets to Lizzo’s October show in San Francisco. They bought the tickets at face value for $50 in May. The week before his show, they sold on StubHub for $350! It was a scalper’s dream, but an artist’s greatest disappointment. All the value was absorbed by the secondary market. Of course, Lizzo has a chance to score her own ticket by pulling a Metallica-Live Nation. But, if that happens… wow dude. The Lizzo hive (and anti-Lizzo hive) had set the internet on fire by now.

The mindsets needed to succeed in hip-hop and touring are in direct conflict. Most mainstream rappers pride themselves on beating the odds. They had to bet on themselves to get this far. Why stop now?

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But visiting requires a lot more practicality. This is economics. When supply and demand match, everyone is happy. However, that economy can be especially challenging for hip-hop, where the popularity of streaming tends to overshadow touring performances.

In a 2018 Wall Street Journal article, Neil Shah explained how while hip-hop may rule the record industry, rock is still king of the street:

There are many reasons why street rock remains so powerful, including, as an older genre, it edged out pop and rap. Massive tours by former rap icons like Jay-Z are not uncommon. Fans of new hip-hop artists are drawing young people, including teenagers on less money, making festival attendance more affordable than long, sprawling tours. “Drake can do four Madison Square Garden shows, but Phish can do 17,” said Peter Shapiro, an independent concert promoter in New York. In the daily run of rock bands, especially clubs and theaters, he adds, “there’s still a big influence.”

Get Booked For Rap Shows

This can make it falsely easy for an artist dominating the RapCaviar or SoundCloud charts to think they’re ready for the biggest stages available. Of the top 10 global tours of 2019, none of them were hip-hop. Only one in 2018 (Beyonce and Jay Z’s On The Run II). Genre plays a role.

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A great clip from The Joe Budden Podcast where they break down Chance’s canceled tour. Artists bet on themselves, which is valuable

Challenges arise when artists who were once the hot kids, start to cool down and have to accept reality. They may not be ready yet, but their best days are behind them.

There’s Nicki Minaj and Chance the Rapper. Neither admitted that low demand led to their cancellation, but we can take T-Pain’s humble advice and read between the lines. Many industry insiders believe that both Nicky and Chance failed to sell enough tickets to fill more than 25 arenas across America.

(I’ve also covered Nicki’s ticketing issues in the Globalization of Hip-Hop, Part 1, and Chance the Rapper in a recent member update.)

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When both rappers first announced these tours, I thought to myself, “Who gave them the gas to think they could still pilot an arena tour? Who signed it?” There’s been a lot of finger pointing, but apparently, neither rapper needed any more persuasion.

Remember that for the past decade, Nicki has been quietly shutting down doubters who never thought a female rapper would reach the heights she did. Chance proved the industry wrong as an indie rapper who won Grammys and did arena tours. Their brand is to remain resilient when expectations tell them otherwise. Want to go back in time and try to convince them that the weak reactions to “Chun-Li” and “Messages” were signs of things to come? Yes, good luck with that.

Their mentality is understandable, but distorts reality. And with more superstars like Taylor and Cardi considering the option of touring, promoters may be stretched to fill those spots with artists who can’t compete in those weight classes. This will inevitably lead to more cancellations.

Get Booked For Rap Shows

The traditional Turing model is extremely linear. There are countless venue options for up-and-coming rappers who want to perform in front of a few hundred or a few thousand people. But the jump in Arenas (~15,000) is no joke. The jump in stadiums (~50,000+) is even bigger. Artists in the intermediate stages are more likely to leave money on the table or cancel because they were unable to sell.

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I did a similar chart last year about how the traditional album model has evolved with “mixtapes,” visual albums, podcasts, and more. The practice is the same here. More options lead to more experiments and keep artists in control.

This trend should be top of mind for both Live Nation and AEG, which own and operate thousands of venues. It should also cover those who manage their location personally.

I don’t expect arenas to shorten the timeline for reservations or cancellation policies. It’s the nature of events at popular venues, whether it’s a wedding or a Migos concert. But they can keep up with the trend by serving as venues for festivals, residencies, private events or mixed reality experiences. Coachella’s machine may be hard to compete with, but Rolling Loud and many other festivals are more open to working with what’s available.

By now, every rapper with a substantial following has at least asked themselves, “What if I started my own Astroworld or OVO Fest? Should I even do a Vegas residency?” As I explained why rappers started running their own music festivals, artists wanted theirs

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