The Promo Page: Producing a Fantasy Concert

Welcome to The Promo Page, a new section of RAP we hope you'll participate in. Much of the information in RAP deals with commercials and promos on a general level. In this new section, we get more specific about particular promos and promotions. Each month, or as often as material is available, we'll present a promo and/or promotion and get specific about the details in the mechanics of the promotion and/or the production of the promo(s). In addition, when available, you will also get a "generic" promo script you can "steal" for your station.

This month, Craig Cornett, Production Director at FM100 in Memphis, gives us the scoop on putting together a Fantasy Concert. Listen to this month's Cassette for a sample of the Fantasy Concert from FM100.

by Craig Cornett

The first question you may ask is, "Why produce a fantasy concert?" Well, management often asks for special programming to fill a holiday weekend so the air talent can have Monday off (and so the sales department can have something else to sell). A fantasy concert produced in house is flexible to any format. Just select the artists and music around your target demos.

The next question may be, "Isn't a fantasy concert a real bitch to produce in house?" You're damn right it is, but with the proper planning and execution, it can be a very worthwhile project. If you can fool enough people into thinking the concert is actually taking place in your city, you may capture some very valuable media attention. But it is more than just a promotional stunt. It's a custom made program to run on a day when your audience is much larger than normal.

PLANNING PHASE

1. Pick The Artists: Just make a list of your station's hottest artists and select the ones that have plenty of live material available.

2. Pick The Cuts You Want To Use: Be careful on this one. Bands love to yell out the name of the city they are in to grab some cheap applause. If the city they call out isn't yours, don't use it. If it can't be avoided, a little "technical difficulty" at the proper time can "bleep" out the offensive interjection.

3. Draw A Map Of The Bogus Concert Site: With a visual aid, your jocks are less likely to make conflicting statements about where they are and what they can see.

4. Cart Up All Of The Sound Effects You Will Need: You will need to loop a large concert crowd. Be creative with the rest. You may want some construction noises for call-ins before the show, or even have your traffic guy record some fake reports from high above the concert site.

PRODUCTION PHASE

1. Schedule Production Time For All Talent: This is the most critical step of the project. We all know how big jocks' egos can be, and putting them all together in one room can produce a frenzy of "oneupmanship" (A contest to see which star can shine the brightest). To avoid this, cater a continental breakfast in the waiting area (an easy trade), and bring them in one or two at a time. If possible, have an assistant in the "On Deck Circle" prepping the next jock. For a little added fun, have your jocks give some very vague directions to the concert every three or four breaks. You would be surprised how many people will spend the day looking for it.

2. Find Parameters For All Desired Effects: As your jocks record the bogus breaks, use your effects unit to make them sound like they are where they claim to be (on stage, backstage, in the viewing tower, in the crowd, etc.). SAVE THESE PARAMETERS! This project will take several days to complete, and you want the work you did on Monday to sound just like the work you do on Friday.

3. Build A Composite: As you put this masterpiece together, save the best breaks on a separate reel. The sales department will want a composite to sell this thing, and it sure beats going back later looking for the good stuff.

4. Build A Promo: Make it short and sweet. Don't give out too much information, and don't run it until a few days prior to the show.

I have included some samples of our Labor Day show which you can hear on this month's Cassette. I hope your station can have as much fun with it as we did.

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