Spotlight on the Music Industry of Philadelphia
Philadelphia houses a wide variety of music, ranging from orchestral, to dubstep, to what’s currently hot on the charts. But have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes? What does it truly take to book an artist? Campus Philly recently had a chance to interview Liz Schiller of Live Nation for the inside scoop into Philadelphia’s music industry.
Campus Philly: So what is the role of Live Nation in all of this?
Liz Schiller: Well we are basically a concert promotion company so we promote the shows and do all of the marketing for the event. Once the artist decides to go on tour, the agent contacts venues in different cities expressing interest to play at those venues. Live Nation owns the TLA and the Tower but we also book concerts at the Wells Fargo Center. In most cases, headlining artists will perform at the Wells Fargo Center and smaller artists will perform at the TLA and the Tower.
Campus Philly: What is your role at Live Nation and your day to day tasks?
Liz Schiller: I am the Marketing Manager for clubs and theaters. I do marketing for all of the shows from the day the tickets become on sale to the day of the show. We buy media, create ads, promote the venue itself, do street-team marketing, and make sure we get our calendar out there for upcoming shows. Live Nation is also very big on using social media to reach our audience. I’ve noticed that certain genres such as EDM and Dubstep respond to Twitter audiences better so we make sure we target our social media tactics to our specific audiences.
Campus Philly: So personally my favorite question, what does it take to actually book an artist?
Liz Schiller: The agent will call us when the artist is on tour or even around the area recording. They’ll ask us what dates we have available and if the dates match up, we book the artist at either one of our venues depending on the artist and the audience. Live Nation features all sorts of artists ranging from local to headliners. We usually have the local artists open for touring acts.
Campus Philly: How have you seen the music industry change in Philadelphia throughout the years?
Liz Schiller: Well because of social media, there are so many more little places to go see a show. Gone are the days where you have to go to a bigger venue to see a concert or hear live music. Nowadays, you can hear live music at a cafe, a small music venue, etc. Johnny Brendas, MilkBoy, and Union Transfer are just some of the venues that have been popping up that feature live music. The underground music scene is really hot right now and Philly has an awesome underground music scene. Not everyone listens to mainstream bands, so more and more radio stations and venues are trying to feature underground artists. For example, 104.5 likes to play indie bands and one of the bands they like to feature is Of Monsters and Men. Basically, when Of Monsters and Men came to Philly, their show was sold out at the TLA and the Trocadero. This just goes to show how much impact the indie and underground music scene has had on developing our city’s music tastes.
Campus Philly: What would you personally like to see happen to the music industry of Philadelphia in the next few years?
Liz Schiller: More of an advent of a citywide music festival. Live Nation hosts the Roots Picnic but I would like to see all of these production companies such as R5 Productions, AEG, and Carry Magnid Entertainment come together and feature a citywide music festival. I personally thought Made in America was an amazing festival. But I want to see some sort of local festival to happen in Philly with the underground scene, highlighting our local artists. Some of these Hip Hop artists especially work with EDM artists, it’s an awesome collaboration of sounds.
Campus Philly: If our student readers are interested in music and interning with Live Nation, what can they expect?
Liz Schiller: Live Nation has interns for a variety of departments and we typically like to hire interns that are Sophomores or above. Interns will help with our marketing and promotion strategies. Some of our interns have been with us for years and they love it.
Campus Philly: Any last message you want our readers to know about the music scene of Philadelphia?
Liz Schiller: Well people think they need to go to NYC or LA to see the next big thing but that’s not true. You can see it all in Philly. Meek Mill is the Hip Hop artist of the moment and he’s from Philly. Philly is a city to reckon with when music is concerned.
Thank you, Liz, for giving us insights on this ever- so-popular industry of Philadelphia. Rock on Philadelphia!
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