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Posted Aug 24, 2006 by Paul
Filed under: Exclusive Interview

DreamScapers INTL is the company that books Peter Adams and I recently got to interview both the founder, Brian Waymire, and one of his employees who handles Peter’s career, Alex Berry.

The interesting thing about DreamScapers INTL is the way it handles business with the venues it’s trying to book. It’s personalized, and these interviews offer good insight into not only what a booking agent is looking for, but also the talent buyer.

These are interesting interviews even if you’re not an artist or band simply because, thanks to Brian and Alex, we get a back-scene look into what they do.

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Brian Waymire is the founder, President, and CEO of DreamScapers INTL.

PKYou started DreamScapers because you saw a viod, problems associated with booking acts, in the marketplace – tell us about that void and what you did to correct some of the problems.

BrianMost of the problems associated with booking acts today revolve around mass communications. Too many emails, IM’s, MySpace messages to a talent booker and before long they start deleting or stop answering. We decided to take a more personal approach and get back to the old “hand shake and cup of coffee” way of doing business. It seems to be working great. Ironically, I am doing this interview through EMAIL!

PKSo you would actually go out and meet with the talent buyers. What was the initial reception like?

BrianThe reception was GREAT! In fact, most of the talent buyers were so surprised that we showed up, that they would have probably booked the bands without hearing them… We don’t send our agents out as much as we should anymore, mostly because of gas prices, but we try to visit venues at least once a year.

PKConsolidation has been a huge topic in the touring business as of late. How has for instance, the sheer size of LiveNation, effected how you run your business?

BrianIt hasn’t effected us in a negative way at all. We deal mostly in colleges and clubs where LiveNation doesn’t have a lot of presence. LiveNation has helped us out on several occasions with promotion or booking and they usually pay bands fairly well. I don’t know how the House of Blues merger will effect us, but I’m sure it will in some way.

PKHow are relations with the talent buyers? Are they putting more pressure on the bands for merchandise concessions or possibly a live recording to be distributed by their own label?

Brian – A lot of venues are taking 20% of merch these days, but most of the time the bands just mark up their merch 25% to compensate…. It’s probably hurting the consumer more than the bands. I don’t see a lot of live recording in venues. Our booking agreements clearly prohibit recording for commercial gain and normally allow recording by fans for personal enjoyment. One of our bands, Here Come the Mummies, encourages recording at their shows.

PKHow do you find bands or artist to work with?

Brian – LOL! I am already overwhelmed with submissions. We find our artists by going to shows, taking submissions from radio promoters, attorneys, labels, publicists, managers, etc. OR they are recommended by one of the bands we already work with. Normally, we don’t get a press kit or CD and sign the band, although it has happened once… We have to be really passionate about the bands we work with or it wouldn’t work out very well.

PKHow many bands and assocaites do you have working for DreamScapers?

Brian – We have 16 bands on the roster, but only a handful of them tour full time. Our staff consists of a few interns and five agents: 2 in Nashville, 1 in Austin, 1 in L.A., and 1 in Minneapolis. We also have some great agents that we work hand-in-hand with around the country at other agencies.

PKHow important is having a street team? Do you have street teams you hire yourself, or do you leave all the promotion to the clubs and bands themselves and just concentrate on the booking?

BrianStreet teams are EXTREMELY important. We leave the promotion to the bands and clubs for the most part, but I am not sure I would ever sign a band without a good network of fans. They don’t always have to be structured street teams. It could be a great MySpace network.

PKWhat does the future look like for DreamScapers?

BrianWe are becoming more focused on worldwide artist development for 2007 and beefing up our college booking program. The future looks GREAT, thanks to all the amazing bands we are working with.

Alex Berry is a Manager and Agent working for DreamScapers INTL.

PKHow did you get involved with DreamScapers?

AlexI started out in the Nashville music scene working as an intern at Omni Sound Studios. Before long I was doing marketing work for the studio trying to bring bands and a different array of projects into Omni. After doing marketing work for the studio, I knew that I wanted to get more into the business side of the industry versus recording. My work caught the attention of a music/t.v./film promoter who introduced me to Brian Waymire, President/CEO of DreamScapers INTL. I worked as Brian’s assistant for about 4 months until he hired me on as an agent.

PKWhat bands do you personally work with?

AlexPeter Adams, I am his Manager/Agent (Cincinnati, OH) and The Muckrakers – Agent (Louisville, KY)

PKHow many shows a year do you currently produce?

AlexI book 200 plus shows a year.

PKDo you have more or fewer problems meeting with venues than you did when you first began?

AlexDefinately fewer problems. Once you are able to establish one band in a certain venue, they are more apt to meet with you and talk about another band. The whole booking side of the industry is a catch-22. No venue wants to book an unknown act because they won’t have a draw. Well, how are they suppose to get that draw if no venue will book them? Thats when meeting and talking to the Talent Buyer is very important. They get personal one-on-one communication versus a computer screen and e-mail, and can see the true passion you have for your artist.

PKWhat is your current territory?

AlexWherever a show is needed. I’ve booked shows from Miami to LA.

PKWhere do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?

AlexI love management. Taking an artist from ground level, and developing them is tough, but after a while you see the successes of why you worked so hard. Whether it be an article in MAGNET magazine (Peter Adams will be featured in the Sept/Oct Edition!) or getting them to open for a large named act in their hometown, it’s building that artist to their definition of success, while working on yours as well.

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