The role of a promoter

HARARE - Many people wonder why many artists are not generally-well off despite the fact that their works or concerts generate a lot of money.

This article looks at how artists sell their creations. In less structured communities, it is possible that artistes can create, produce, market and sell their own works by themselves.

In fact, it is not uncommon to hear of a writer who writes, edits, proofreads, publishes and sell his own works without the involvement of a third party.

This method will obviously apply if the artist is targeting a small market.

When the production is more sophisticated and the targeted market large, then the artist requires other people to play other roles to ensure growth and improved quality.

While my article will mainly focus on music, it has relevance to all the other art forms like films, literature, dance, theatre and visual arts.

Generally, the musician is the creator of the music and all the other people will value-add his creation.

Many musicians prefer to sing in a group, and so a musician may form a group or band and then the one who forms a group is usually the leader of the band.

In order to ensure that the welfare and business of singing becomes profitable, the band through leader may employ such people as may be necessary to ensure the band and its members benefit.

These employees differ from one band to the other. However, one position that is very critical and necessary for the growth of the band is the band manager.

The manager deals with the public and all the people who require the service of the band.

The band management team may be small or big depending on the size and resources of the band.

What is generally accepted in Zimbabwe is that the band manager is the one who looks for jobs for the band and makes all bookings and public statements on behalf of the band.

Other wealthier bands may have an accountant, a publicist/communication person and other such roles that may be required by the band on a permanent basis.

The band manager usually works with promoters. These are business people who invest in the arts for a profit. The promoter is the one who carries the risk in a show.

The promoter is the one who pays the band as well as its upkeep during the engagement period.

He also pays for the publicity of the events and because of that he is entitled to the income from the show.

The band usually signs a contract that allows it to be paid in part or in full before the show.

*Elvas Mari is the Director of National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and feedback and comments can be sent to

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