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Tour Assistant • Management Assistant • Production Coordinator


Staff in these positions assist and provide office support to the artist, tour manager, band, and crew. Duties include travel arrangements, such as booking airfare, hotels, and ground transportation, or scheduling tour buses and drivers; confirming catering specifications; handling meet and greets, and other issues related to the tour.


To succeed, you need organizational skills, attention to detail, patience, problem solving skills, a friendly personality, and self-motivation. “Honesty. Not telling people what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Being a people person.”


“What I like least are the constant changes. Once you get things all set, something is thrown in and you have to change everything you've done. You spend more time undoing and redoing than originally setting things up, but that's just part of the job when you're dealing with artists.”


“Taking care of 22 people and knowing they're happy; knowing that I can take care of that much responsibility from the start of the tour until it's over, and that everything goes well between.”


On one particular day, Debbie Cross arrived at the office to find a voice mail from a band member who needed to have his travel arrangements changed from flying to driving, so her first call was to the travel agent. Next, she made arrangements for the support act to be picked up at the airport and taken to the venue. “I don't have a routine. I can come in and think I'm going to read contracts all day, but come five o'clock, I haven't even looked at them because something has come up I have to take care of right away. For instance, I'm working on May travel and had it almost complete, but they just added a few dates and that means I have to rearrange flights and other travel arrangements. Often you don't just do, you redo.” Throughout the day, Cross may set up an interview for Kenny Rogers, field calls from the road from the tour manager, talk with building managers and promoters about catering for upcoming shows, and then try to return to reviewing those contracts. “Kenny [Rogers] works mostly weekends, so if the crew needs to discuss something I've done, they call me at home. That's just part of the job. It's not a Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 gig. If you want that kind of job, don't get in the music business.”


A receptionist position is one of the best ways to get a foot in the door, learn about the company, and then offer to take on more responsibilities. An internship, or an assistant's job, is another way in.


Debbie Cross was introduced to the music business when she answered a blind want ad in her local newspaper. Bored after several years of being a stay-at-home mom, she just wanted something to do that she liked. The job turned out to be as a receptionist for the firm that booked and promoted Kenny Rogers’ touring interests. After two days on the job, she was already bored, and asked for additional duties. Soon she was checking on tour routing, availabilities for potential support artists, issuing contracts, talking with promoters about dates, advancing production, and handling just about everything to do with Rogers’ tours, except for accounting and payroll. She worked with Rogers’ organization for 13 years and advanced to event/production coordinator.

In 1994, Cross was hired away by Real World Tours to work for Alan Jackson. As tour assistant, her job was to provide backup assistance to the production manager, tour manager, lead bus driver, and everyone who worked under them, as well as review tour contracts and handle personal errands for Jackson. As Jackson gradually cut his touring schedule back from 110 to 40 dates a year, Cross’ position became redundant and she was let go in 1999. Several job offers were immediately forthcoming, but she didn't feel that any of them were a good fit. After about two and a half months, she was called back to work at Kenny Rogers Productions, this time as tour assistant in charge of scheduling and co-ordinating air and ground transportation, accommodations, and any associated special events. www.kennyrogers.com

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCareers in the Music BusinessMANAGEMENT - Personal Managers: Artist Manager • Manager • Personal Manager, Manager Of Producers, Engineers, And Mixers