Billy’s got his hands full. He’s promoting two Green Day shows this week, negotiating to bring Tiesto to the sports arena this fall, and before noon he’ll sign deals for both Bright Eyes and Slipknot to play shows in October. Yeah, Billy is one busy promoter.
What’s more, Billy is only eight years old.
But Billy is not the youngest promoter in the business. That honor goes to Audrey in Des Moines, the plucky seven-year-old whose negotiating prowess helped bring U2 to America, locked down the Paul McCartney tour and put together the support band line-up for the My Chemical Romance tour.
“The concert industry is the most competitive industry in the world,” says Dr. Richard “Dickie” Roberts, president and headmaster of Munchkin Martinets, the number one concert industry pre-school in the country. That’s why we start ’em off young, as soon as they’re toilet-trained. Our slogan says it all. If they can lift the lid, they’re ready to bid.”
However, some child-rearing experts have expressed concern over the growing number of concert pre-schools dotting the country. They accuse parents of living out their own concert dreams through their children, and that the age of four is way too young to be promoting a Rob Thomas show or driving a tour bus for My Morning Jacket. However, Dr. Roberts begs to differ.
“The concert industry is a young person’s game,” says Dr. Roberts. “We’ve placed graduates at all the leading promotion companies, booking agencies and record labels. The executive washroom at Sony BMG is filled with our alumni, and you won’t find a single junior executive at Clear Channel who is over eight-years-old. The future of the concert industry depends on the young, and the young depend on pre-schools like Munchkin Martinets.”
But is the world ready for a future where tiny tots rule the concert landscape? Where three-year-olds routinely book shows by Ministry and Liz Phair before lunch, or where four-year-olds put together deals for Luis Miguel, Joseph Arthur and Hayseed Dixie from their sandboxes? Are today’s children growing up too fast?
“Nonsense,” says Dr. Roberts. “Deal for deal, show for show, our graduates can out-promote, out-book, and out-negotiate their adult counterparts hour for hour every day of the week. Well, almost every hour. They still have a problem with doing business between the hours of eleven and noon every morning.”
Between eleven and noon? And what’s so special about that particular time period?
“Nap time,” says Dr. Roberts. “Some of our students get awfully cranky if they miss their daily naps. However, no one in the industry seems to notice.”
Coming up later this week – Should the concert industry switch to the metric system? Stay tuned.