Do You Really Need an Artist Manager?


The fine folks at Indie Week have been hosting monthly Student Sessions at the Paddock Tavern, and I decided to go check one out on August 15th.  They integrate an Industry Panel, 1-on-1 Industry Speed Dating and a live show.  Pretty cool, huh?  This panel featured artist managers Jake Gold and Dan Hand.  I took a few notes, and here’s my top takeaways.

  1. When do you need a manager? When the day to day stuff takes too much time away from your creative time.
  1. How do you know a manager is the right fit you? Trust you spidey senses (I know, I use that term a lot, but I really like using it, OK?).  Is the manager full of big promises and loves to drop names?  Stay away.  You need to have trust and chemistry from the beginning, and you need a clear vision and sense of self that the manager is in sync with.  There needs to be a good fit.  Average cost is 15-20% and be wary of those who do chargebacks.
  1. Got a new band and getting traction? You need to develop your brand and get on social media.  Its all about the fan now, play lots of live gigs.  Do you see the same loyal dudes at your shows? I’m not talking about your cousin Mike here.  Introduce yourself and get their contact info including email and phone number.  Make them feel special.  Give them advance notice to your next shows and maybe even put them on a guest list.  Text them when you drop a new single. This is a “Direct Fan First Strategy.” 
  1. The Alechemist Gold Lager is a pretty good beer and only 4.8% alc./vol.

Indie Week runs November 13-17.  For more information visit