When we spoke to Rahul Kukreja of Livescape Asia and Executive Producer of Rockaway, we managed to get him to share some tips on hosting your own international artists. So to those folks / critics out there constantly complaining about ticket prices, and why it’s difficult for your fav band to play in KL, read this up if you decide to organize your own show.
1) Profits & Losses (It is a business at the end of the day)
If it’s an international artist, I guess the main thing you want to do is to make sure your P&L (Profits & Losses) works. Make sure your contracts are right. Make sure all your clauses in the contract are applicable to Malaysian law rather than American or European law. For example, if the artist costs USD 20,000 which is about RM 60,000, it always has to work financially first. So if you’re going to do that you’re going to see which venue you’re going to hold the show and how much lights and sound are going to cost. With a band you can kind of expect what it’s already going to be. You know, at least one set of backline, and basic sound and light depending on the venue. For 20,000 you’ll probably need to sell at least at the very minimum 800 tickets at about RM110.
2) Is The Band Really Marketable? (It is a business at the end of the day)
Is there a market for the band? Is there a community that would buy the tickets for the band to come? A lot of promoters would get stuck with this thing where they only want to bring a band that they love. I was stuck in there for a while. I would only want to do bands that I like and I realized that maybe only five other people in the country like the bands that I like. But other than that, you have to look at it as a business, really. Yes, it’s fun. But it’s a business. It has got to be realistic and feasible. What works right now is EDM. If you want to promote shows you’ve got to build a niche for your parties and how you distinguish your parties from other somebody else’s parties.
3) Licensing & Permits
Licensing is a pretty straightforward process. You have the passport details, you submit it to PUSPAL. Depending on where the show is, whether it’s KL or Selangor or Penang or whatever, you have to talk to whether it’s DBKL or MPPJ to apply for an event license if the venue doesn’t have an event license. Generally that process takes about four to six weeks. If you want to do a show you need about three months to promote it and to kick it off you would want to get your marketing right.
So that leads us to show day. What do you think about on show day, what goes on your mind, and what do you do?
On show day all I think about is when the show is going to end (laughs). Talking about Future Music, where we don’t sleep for like a week especially before the show because we’re talking 50 artists flying in from all over the world. For a normal show, what I mainly think about is really about security at the venue and what time the tickets go on sale at the venue. Has the artist arrived? Are they okay? Are they comfortable? Now I don’t really go to the airport to pick them up but I meet them at the hotel sometimes depending if they’re going to do any press during the day. Normally I take them out for food and stuff. Otherwise I just meet the band at the show and then we normally do drinks after.
Photo by Dedy Adrianto