Ethan Levinson of AEG Presents

Our staff at The Beachside Resident have been given the distinct honor to work with the good people at AEG Presents, one of the worlds largest sports and entertainment companies, and we’ve begun the task of leaning in to promote some of the music industry’s leading bands coming in to our area. We asked for a sit-down interview with one of AEG’s top executives and asked him a few questions about what it’s like in his line of work. We asked, and BOY did he answer!

What is your official title and duties at AEG Presents?

I’m the Senior Talent Buyer for AEG. As a Talent Buyer, we communicate with the agents who represent all the bands and help them raptor artists as they tour through our region. We also work with entities like fairs and festivals in cities, municipalities, colleges, and theme parks; we can assist them in securing ballots for any of their events as well. That would be my specific duty as a promoter. Our company handles all facets of the concerts that we work with. My job, specifically, is to work with the artist and find out when they’re looking to come to our territory and help them decide which venues that we believe would be best for them: what the availabilities are in those venues during that timeframe they want to be there, and then we start negotiating the deal onward; how much the artists are going to get paid. This is a factor, the size of the venue determines the ticket price perceived. Draw. It’s all very comprehensive.

How long did it take you, roughly, to start excelling with your career?

That’s an interesting question. I would say that I started excelling right away as I got started, to age myself a little bit, about 20 years now. But you know, I started off looking at some small clubs and and local fairs and festivals in South Florida. I developed a couple relationships with a few clubs around Florida that enabled me to really reach out and build relationships with agents and with artists.

We’re always looking for big and great shows, but with a given background level. I can start working with artists as they are first coming to our area, or just starting to tour at a national level and be a part of the process as it starts from the bottom and work their way up. Bands like Slightly Stoopid, the first time I brought them through us was at a little 600-cap club and you can see now they’re selling thousands of tickets at each market around Florida. It’s really exciting to watch growing that.

What are some of the biggest mental tools you can obtain to be successful in this field?

I think it really helps to try and be calm and levelheaded throughout the entire process. I plan on perfect, but I have my moments… It can be a very stressful environment because most of the things we deal with are on some kind of a deadline. Whether the tour is looking to announce, so we have to have the deal and our marketing and our ticketing set up in time. You know, the show is going to happen on a certain date, therefore older telemetry actions we need to take have to be done by that. That’s why when we’re working with a large volume of shows or dealing with issues as they come up that are typically very time sensitive, you do your very best to try to keep yourself from getting frustrated is a very big help.

Other than that it’s really about being reliable. Do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t ever try to overextend yourself; although that happens from time to time. There are classes and schools you can go to, but it’s really just the experience of doing it where you learn as you go and if you can prove that you’re reliable, if you prove that you’re motivated and hard working, those are really the most important tools. I would say that’s for anything, really, but especially in this industry. I do try to exercise daily. You know I like to ride my bike. I like to go out with my kids and play any chance that we get. I’d like to say that I could have a better regimen than I do. But just try to make an effort as often as I can.