The many hours in the rehearsal room have paid off, and your ensemble or band is planning its first concert. Or maybe you’re planning not just a single performance, but an event that features several.
How do I organise an event?
In Austria, it’s possible to be the official organiser of your own events once you turn 18. But do note: if you put on your own event, you’re not only responsible for how the event itself runs—you also bear certain liabilities and financial risks!
When deciding where to hold your event, the easiest thing to do is to choose a pre-existing concert location (club or cultural venue). That will usually eliminate the need to pay royalty fees to the AKM, since such venues already pay a flat monthly fee. A further advantage is that there’s usually some way of serving food and drink, and the required technical equipment and personnel will also be on hand.
What costs will there be?
It’s essential to know beforehand just what using the location will cost. One variant is to rent the location and pay a fixed fee that covers space rental, technical equipment, personnel, etc. You’ll then get to keep all proceeds from ticket sales. Another option is to agree ahead of time on dividing up the proceeds in a certain way (e.g. with 70% of ticket proceeds going to the event organiser and 30% going to the venue).
What public authorities do I need to contact?
In Vienna, events have to be registered with the municipal administrative department MA36, and in Austria’s other federal provinces, it’s the municipalities or the provincial government offices that need to be contacted. Existing clubs and cultural venues will have security personnel on location. Whether local fire brigade or emergency medical personnel need to be present is decided by the MA36 or the public authority that’s responsible in your case. Your event will also need to be registered ahead of time with the AKM.
Who sells our tickets?
There are various companies and organisations that do ticket pre-sales (wienXtra, oeticket.com, NTRY Ticketing, etc.), and/or you can usually also do it via the concert venue itself. If you use multiple channels to sell tickets, you’ll need to keep a careful eye on each seller’s contingent size in order to avoid overbooking the event.
For answers to questions like how to put on a successful concert in a location that hasn’t yet been approved for holding events, what locations there are, what obligations event organisers have, and what further challenges you might run into when organising your own events, take a look at:
This series of articles, an initiative of the U30 Network of the Austrian Music Council (ÖMR) in cooperation with mica and the mdw, aims to provide help to young artists as they launch their careers. You can find the entire series at: www.mdw.ac.at/mdwclub/diplom-in-der-tasche
Related links (in German):