Hip Hop Promoter Tony Snow Talks Coronavirus, Touring & Moving Forward

As the world suffers from the now infamous pandemic, known as the Coronavirus. There is no industry that was hit harder than the music business. Announced in March, live events, including touring and ceremonies, were placed on an immediate halt until further notice to reduce the spread of the deadly virus. The stoppage has cost billions and seen job loss in the millions in layoffs and furloughs.

With no definitive date for live returns, many are left to question where does live entertainment goes from here. Here to help us answer that question is well-known Houston, Texas concert promoter Tony Snow. Known for his work with popular acts like Lil Baby and NBA Youngboy, Snow sits down with Substream’s Boom to discuss his experience with the current climate in music, how we can move on from this dark point in history and more in a tell-all interview.

Read more below. Learn everything about Tony Snow and what is in-store for live entertainment following this pandemic.

First and foremost, the obvious, how do you feel about the immediate halt in live performances as a promoter?

I feel like due to the circumstances around the world it is the right thing to do but it stopped a lot of momentum heading into the summer which is an exciting time for touring live performances and festivals. In retrospect protecting the well being of the nation is my biggest concern.

Who is Tony Snow and how long have you been a concert promoter?

Tony Snow is my alter ego Mr. Snow is charismatic, funny, outgoing, ambitious and goal-driven. He is the life of the party and he always wants people to have a great time and a wonderful experience. I’ve been a promoter 7 years and I enjoy learning and getting better at my craft.

What got you into concert promotions?

My mentor, Zach Truesdale, actually came to me with the vision of creating a Club Liv in Houston and he felt like I had the connections and work ethic to create the environment in Houston. We started with LimeLight then transitioned to Spire and Cle’ Beach club and I have to say it’s one the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m very appreciative that he believed in me as a young and upcoming promoter.

Tell us about your resume, who have you worked with?

I’ve worked with some of the biggest artists in the industry Jay-Z, Drake, Lil Wayne, Cardi B, Rick Ross, Migos, Travis Scott, Lil Boosie, NBA YoungBoy, Roddy Rich, YFN Lucci, Future and an array of other artists. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with these artists.

Your favorite live performer of all-time and your favorite new artist live performer?

My favorite live performer of all time would have to be Lil Wayne because is energy and lyricism are crazy, he gives some much in his performance he leaves it all on stage and I love to see that in an artist. You can feel like your onstage with him it an amazing feeling. My favorite new artist is Travis Scott shows are wild, crazy and his energy is unmatched and his crowd interaction in my opinion maybe one of the greatest of all time. He gives you 1000 percent ever show.

Would you consider yourself at the top of the game as a promoter, a spot well earned through the results, connections and work ethic?

Yes, I definitely consider myself at the top, I’ve worked my butt off to connect and provide great customer service and fan experience through the years. I’ve made some mistakes along the way but I’ve learned from them and always improved every step of the way. I’m respected in the industry and most importantly I pride myself on doing great business and never resting until the job is complete.

Has this reverted you to re-think future executions of shows and promotions moving forward?

This time has helped me strategize and reorganize my yearly calendar. This situation is unfortunate and came out of nowhere but In business, you must adapt and react accordingly and right now this is what I’m doing. I’ve reached out to artists that I had on my calendar and started to make arrangements for the future. I’ve sat down with my team and provided them with contingencies for the rest of the year to provide some calm and stability to the situation.

While a vaccine will evidently be found, however, COVID-19 will live on forever. Has this forced you to re-think finances from future shows and better management to prepare for if something like this were to happen again?

Absolutely this situation has made me rethink the way I spend money and the way I balance my financial portfolio. One good thing is a few years ago I started to diversity my portfolio and started investing in tech and real estate. I understand the entertainment business has its highs and lows and that in order for me to maintain the lifestyle I like to live I had to invest in other avenues and expand my thinking. This pandemic can happen again in another form and if it does I will be prepared for it just because I know how to manage and save for the future.

Do you think venues will force promoters to pay more on the insurance to include infection clause or ask promoters to better prepare for anti-infection entry and exiting?

Yes, I think promoters will begin to work with venues and figure the best course of action moving forward to combat infections. This is new to all parties involved and I’m sure there number priority as well as ours is to ensure the safety of our customers and give them a great experience. I know the venues are preparing safety and new operational manuals to help employees understand how to prepare for the upcoming events at there venues.

When the news came down of immediate halt of shows, you were currently on potentially the biggest tour run with NBA Youngboy. Describe how the day went for you and how you personally felt about the hiatus?

When I heard the news I was disappointed because I was coming off a successful show and we were gaining momentum heading into our future show dates and we were in the process of adding more shows and after-parties. It really took the wind out of my sails but I understand this is a scary time and I know once we get back on track this will pick up I just have to work harder.

Have artists reached out to you for help in the immediate future once live shows pick back up in the Summer?

I’ve had contact with a few artists and there management teams but no immediate plans. Everyone is focused on the health and well being of there families and making sure they are spending as much time with them as possible. This business takes a lot of time away from family so in a time like this it is important to take care and spend as much time as possible with them.

When is an artist legitimately ready to begin touring? Because a lot of them rely on social media popularity and get out on the road and can’t draw the same live attendance?

I think it’s a case by case basis, I feel like the artist has to get as much buzz as possible on social media and from there home base then they can gauge there following and fan base off there product. I this business you have to capitalize on your opportunities and when you get a buzz you have to go full steam ahead. There are so many options to put music out artists have ample opportunities to be heard and create a following.

As a promoter, I’m sure artists come to you with questions about touring and shows. What is the most frequently asked question and what is the best advice you can give an artist about touring and live shows?

I think it’s a case by case basis, I feel like the artist has to get as much buzz as possible on social media and from there home base then they can gauge there following and fan base off there product. I this business you have to capitalize on your opportunities and when you get a buzz you have to go full steam ahead. There are so many options to put music out artists have ample opportunities to be heard and create a following.

Tell us about your best memory of meeting a new artist for the first time and building a healthy business relationship with?

When new artists ask me for advice I always tell them to get with a good team of people who have the same drive abs determination as them. It makes the artist’s job easier when the team is working just as hard as them. When you’re on tour you have to remain focused because your routine is the same day after day and you have to find a sense of normalcy to keep you going. They often ask me how to prepare for a show and how to maintain the same level of energy night end night out. I suggest a lot of rest and relaxation in between shows and staying healthy and eating right.

What keeps you going in the promotion business?

Honestly what keeps me in the promotion game is me competing with myself wanting to do bigger and bigger events as the years go. I always set my goals to be bigger than my last accomplishment so in order for me to keep going I have to do bigger and better things. Also, I have a passion for music and I love how music brings people from all walks of life together it’s a beautiful thing.

As a promoter, tell us about the crowd energy. Is there anything like it? Is it like a drug?

I don’t do drugs lol so I can’t say it feels like that but it definitely is a euphoric feeling when the artist and the crowd are in sync and the energy is at its peak. Often I look in the crowd and say to myself this is a wonderful feeling that I wished last forever.

Through experience, what have you learned about promotion and advertising leading up to a live show?

Promotion and advertising can make or break a show, when you sign a contract to do a show from that day forth it has to be constant advertising and promotion, you need radio, social media and good old fashion street teams to hit the ground running and get the information to the masses. I’ve seen it worth both ways in this industry you get what you put out and if you under promote a show it definitely will show in the end.

Your biggest win and your biggest loss as a promoter?

My biggest win in the promotion industry would have to be the time I did a show with Future and had less than 48 hrs to promote it and It end up being one of the most profitable shows in my history of promoting, it really was a surreal experience. My biggest loss would have to be in the beginning taking things for granted thinking just because the artist is big I didn’t have to work as hard to promote a show and that is definitely the wrong approach and I learned the hard way.

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