June 20, 2013 - submitted by Margaret, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle, I was wondering how you would acquire a job like yours. I mean, you said before you went to concerts before you knew them, obviously stating that you didn't know them in college. I am not asking you to tell me all about this either, but you must do something else rather that only answer 2 Oracle questions a day, right? How could someone like me, get into a relationship, with any band, and start working with them, being with them a lot, like you do at the bakery. Thank you for considering your time.


The Oracle replies:

I didn’t actually say many of those things: I didn’t go to their concerts before I met them. I did know them when they were at college. I don’t work at the Bakery and am not therefore with the band a lot.
Now I’ve set that straight I think it’s irrelevant to say what else I spend my time doing. Suffice it to say, I do other things, yes. The second part of your message is the most interesting...
I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but it’s important to differentiate between working with a band because it’s your job and hanging out with them because you’re a fan.
I don’t know enough about you to guide you fully but there are plenty of ways to get into the music industry and the many specific areas within it. These days there are many specialized courses but there were none when I started so I had to work my way up from working for free and a pittance just to get experience.
If you choose that route, local venues or rehearsal studios are a great place to start. Helping bands load in and out for shows too but they will probably already have their mates doing that before they progress to roadies.
What you do will depend on what you would like as a career. If you see a new band with potential you could help out with promotion, marketing, getting them gigs and helping with their online presence.
Many record labels have internships so visit their websites for more details.
There are books and articles published on the web so once you have chosen the area you are interested in, go forth and research – that’s what I did.
There was a book written a few years ago, How To Make it in the Music Business, Sian Pattenden and the great thing about it was it gave an overview of what money you’d expect to earn, how many hours you’d be working, pressure rating, travel rating and glamour rating (amongst others). If there’s a revised edition, I’d suggest having a quick peruse of that before deciding if it’s for you.