Concert & Festival Producer (with Dawson Ludwig)

It felt like listening to a private house party while a war is going on outside

Music makes the world go round.  It can make you happy when you’re sad, it can make you feel sadness when you’re happy, and, well, just about any emotional shift in between.  In no form is music more awesome and appreciated than when being played live.  Live music brings masses of people together to feel the energy of a band that just can’t be realized in any other way.  But who makes that go around?  Who is the man or woman behind the curtain pulling all the strings to make sure that we can see a live act?  Who are the people pushing and pulling all of the levers to make sure the crazy festival we went to this past summer actually worked?  It’s time to meet Dawson Ludwig, a modern day Oz for the Northern California music scene.  We’ll learn all about what happens before we ever hear the first note of the first song.

My wife actually refuses to go to shows with me anymore because I just turn into a politician.
The whole audience, who was dancing a second ago, just stops and gos ‘oooooooooo’ our talent buyer has a bounty on his head to this day


2:30 - How many shows does Dawson go to?

3:00 - Going to shows for work or pleasure.

3:35 - Breadth and scope of Dawson’s job as a concert/festival producer.

5:15 - San Francisco Street Food Festival.

6:40 - Talent Buying.

8:35 – Getting bigger artists.

9:20 – Artist demands.

11:50 – Paying artists.

13:30 - Equipment and negotiations.

14:55 - Negotiation tactics.

15:32 - The different ‘key players’ that put on a concert.

18:45 - Promoter/agent politics.

20:05 - Finding new talent/artists.

20:45 - Who initiates the relationship?

21:55 - Festivals (and putting them on).

23:45 - Costs of a festival.

25:30 – Planning.

26:20 - The lineup.

28:35 - Ticket projections.

29:30 - Ensuring you get the biggest names.

30:25 - What happens when someone cancels?

32:20 - Operations: Food, transportation, and bathrooms.

34:35 - Hanging out with the artists.

35:45 - Coolest concert moment.

38:05 - The opposite of a coolest moment.

40:10 - Questions that people never ask Dawson about his job.

42:35 - Advice for anyone wanting to get into this industry.


Noise Pop

Treasure Island Music Festival

San Francisco Street Food Festival


Swedish American Music Hall

Blake Fletcher

Livin it up!