Submitted by Peter Åstedt
It’s not hard to make a show in your head and everything is there. I would even be the best performer in the world if you just let me have an unlimited budget and complete control. My show would have singing dinosaurs on a real life scale and more pyrotechnic than Kiss or Rammstein. I would just perform my own songs, but since I’m not that good of a singer we would require at least twenty-five people and guest stars that would help me perform by songs. Also, a good sound technician can handle Autotune in any circumstances. It will be a story during the whole show about my journey in the music industry and all the artists that I have met and worked with over the years.
It would be a spectacle, I promise. The problem here is that, of course, if I would take this to a festival or any gig place for that sake, they probably would say no. You would need a gigantic stage and production around it. Even if I paid for all the production myself many would be skeptical to bring this show in. Of course, it will be good, even if I can’t sing or play all the things around it will be just worth seeing. The music is coming far behind the show.
This is what I get so many times from artists while we are picking artists for the showcase. They are new and think that a show is like doing anything they have seen on TV with Lady Gaga. Their demands are back projections and large stages with a capacity of twenty people. It’s unrealistic. A showcase is when you sell it forward to festivals, smaller and bigger gig places, and such. If we don’t have this equipment, they don’t have it. To be honest, even the biggest festivals in the world won’t really have the capacity for these artist demands, maybe if you are the headliner. So even trying to have these demands in a normal situation is crazy and unrealistic.
Here is the point, yes if you are Lady Gaga or Rammstein you can get these productions and your show will look spectacular with just what is happening on the stage. Though you must work yourself up. Your show has to fit in a small pub in the beginning and when you are getting bigger you can grow with the show until you get to the big stages as a superstar. It’s impossible though to start as a superstar.
I guess all these TV shows like America’s Got Talent, The Voice or American Idol are all guilty of doing that mistake. They take a small unknown artist onto the big stage, feed them with all production and large audiences and then in the end just spit them out back to the local pub where the stage is smaller than their dressing room in the TV production.
First rule. You need a show that can be up and down-scaled depending on the gig place. Your extra things should be so small that you can travel with them and not have to rent them at each place you go. Your show must be so good that you can rely on the music and not on back projections, lightning, and other stuff. You need to be so good that you can entertain on a small stage with no particular light and just amps for the instruments. When you handle that we can start discussing upgrading the show after the more fans you are getting in.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the legendary Record World International.