Landstreicher Booking: Doing It For The Right Reasons

Next up in Pollstar’s series of German promoter portraits is Landstreicher Booking. Managing director Philipp Jacob-Pahl talked about the company’s philosophy.  
Landstreicher Booking

Landstreicher Booking was founded in 2010 in Berlin, when Felix Hansen and Beat Gottwald decided they wanted to do things differently and stay independent from the big corporations.

Jacob-Pahl joined in 2014 alongside Carlo Schenk, both of whom joined the management board and added many international artists as well as some domestic acts to the company’s portfolio. Prior to Landstreicher, which translates as “tramp,” Jacob-Pahl spent 10 years with a.s.s. concerts.

Asked what distinguishes Landstreicher Booking from other promoters, he says: “We are a young team with a lot of energy, creativity and dedication. Our philosophy is to do exciting things, grow steadily without being greedy, enjoy what we do and provide the best possible service to the artists we work with.

One of Landstreicher’s strongest arguments is its solid roster of domestic festival headliners. It enables the company “to continue to have enough leverage when booking our artists onto festivals and at the same time we don’t need to pitch in panic for every new international artist who pops up (and might disappear after only one album),” Jacob-Pahl said.

He points out that “very often nowadays winning a pitch to promote an international artist in Germany comes down to how many and what festivals you promote, rather than what approach towards a long-term development you bring to the table. We try to keep good balance between our domestic roster and our international portfolio. “The close and trustful relationship we usually build with the artists on our roster enables us to take one step after another when working on their live careers, rather than rushing and focusing on maximizing our profit in fear of losing the artist after just one tour.”

According to Jacob-Pahl, artists expect promoters to understand their vision. He thinks playing live has turned into something even more important than an artist’s primary income stream. “Playing shows is ‘live marketing,’ so the promoter’s job nowadays goes beyond selling tickets and making sure that there are enough stagehands. We try to consult our artists about the right time to play certain venues and festivals and we apply our expertise from other fields of the business to this strategy.”

Germany’s history of federalism means that most of the 16 states in the country have their own infrastructures, media outlets and other peculiarities a promoter needs to be aware of when trying to reach an audience. Local promoters still play an important role. Jacob-Pahl calls them “the backbone of our system. A good local promoter has specific knowledge about the local markets and knows exactly where and when it’s best to advertise.

“We felt that we could provide this service, and maybe even a better service, in a couple of cities ourselves, so we founded Landstreicher Konzerte, who serve as a local promoter/producer for Landstreicher Booking’s show as well as for other tour promoters’ shows in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig and other east German cities.”

Jacob-Pahl isn’t worried about the big players and their constant strategy of expansion. “We feel that we’re constantly expanding, too. The only difference is, we don’t stress ourselves out to become bigger than everyone else. Of course, we constantly try to build our profitability, but not for the sake of being rich, but for the sake of being able to afford to do things we feel passionate about.”

That explains why his plea to everybody involved in this business is: “Don’t get greedy and do things for the right reason.”