Catering to the assistants is the best way to get a call back from the bosses.
Before we started Sixthman, which took bands and their most passionate fans on cruises, we were artist managers. As an artist manager, you are responsible for guiding and driving all aspects of the artists career. This involves managing the relationships between your artists and their booking agent, record label, publicists, publishing company, merchandise team, business manager, attorneys, etc.
The toughest entity to wrangle was the record company. Labels all had many departments that were going in different directions with many multiple bands to contend with. It was a constant challenge to keep them focused and keep our artist a priority. Since they were in New York and we were in Atlanta, it was a big game of call them and then wait by the phone in hopes to receive a call back.
We realized that most of our reps had assistants who managed their day and had significant influence in prioritizing who received a call back and when. It occurred to us that we were spending too much time waiting, and we decided to try a crazy strategy. At the time we were managing the band Sister Hazel. Not only were they talented onstage but a ton of fun to hang out with offstage.
The other managers and I got with the band and organized a "I Can't Fire Anyone Party."
Our team designed an invitation and e-mailed the entire Record Label saying "If you can't fire anyone then you are invited to a party with Sister Hazel."
We rented out a bar in NYC and had every assistant in the company attend for an evening of free food, drinks and an impromptu performance from the band. The rest of the company was so jealous that they were not allowed to attend. Needless to say our calls began to get returned a lot quicker than they had in the past.
I always heard growing up that the janitor is the only one who has a key to every door and this was a perfect example of how true that is.
ANDY LEVINE: In 2001, Andy founded Sixthman and launched The Rock Boat with artist Sister Hazel to celebrate their loyal fan base, which set the groundwork for developing innovative, community-focused music events. These one-of-a-kind vacation experiences bring like-minded people together in exclusive, interactive, and intimate environments. @Sixthmanllc