First of all, that paragraph sounds like a commercial or blurb about a showcase. Showcases and label talent searches are nothing but crap, and I speak from experience. The showcase itself is never the label's main interest; the people sent from the label are usually lower-level A&R (sometimes still in training), and they are sent there because the showcase company pays the label a large sum of money (which is why the "small entry fee" is usually huge, or at least for a small-time band). The showcase company is really just a promoter that has found an easier way to make money off of booking shows. The entire thing is a scam to get musicians to pay so that "big time record executives" can hear their music, they skim a bit off the top and then pay the label reps for being there, sometimes going on a national showcase tour to "find talent all over the country" (read: get money from bands and fans from all over the country). So the end result is not only do the bands play a show where they make nothing, they have to pay to play a usually badly-planned show, and their fans have to pay to get in (sometimes the fate of the band is determined by how many people pay the insane door prices to get in to see just them). It is a total scam, and while there may be ones out there that could possibly get you signed, the labels know that you are desperate (you're playing a showcase) and will give you an awful contract, but you won't care because you "made it" and the money you spent to be in the showcase "paid off". You have better odds in Vegas.

This happened to my band several times, including being caught in a lousy record deal. There is only one other band I've ever known that has been signed from a showcase, and they're currently fighting to get out of their contract. Labels want to make money, and they don't care how; they make more money from the showcases themselves than from signing any band they see playing.

Thats a comment written on the Tom Hess article about becoming aprofessional guitarist

Is it true?
Tom Hess....

If you have record executives, by hook or by crook, and they hear you and you sound like the next great thing. If you were Guns and Roses Circa 1987 in the middle of a New Wave nose dive, or Nirvana 1991 in the death of hair bands and the Birth of Grunge, you're gonna get signed.

Tom Hess and his music from a commercial standard, wasn't good enough, and that's why he got passed over. He just cant accept that he didnt write good songs that the AR guys believed could make their label money. If they had, they'd have signed them. Many times successful bands have bidding wars between labels. Bad management gets you bad contracts, such as not hiring your own Attorney well versed in Entertainment law and able to represent the bands best interest. Ignorance will get you slaughtered in this business. Tom Hess has parlayed being a minor figure in a minorly successful band, into a shrewd business venture.


Last edited by Sean0913 at Sep 22, 2011,
Im sorry but the comment ive quoted wasnt written by Tom Hess. He actually encourages people to attend to showcases, and the comment which that guy posted contradicts what was said above. Due to my lack of knowlage about how showcases work or thier resaults ive opened the thread.

Is this true the recording lables send guys in training to these showcases?
Quote by Standarduser

Is this true the recording lables send guys in training to these showcases?

Uh, it's not necessarily like there's a big formal "training" program.

But here's the reality:

The less pull you have, the less experienced and lower-clout the execs who come to hear you play will have.

If you're opening for the Next Big Thing at a hot club in Hollywood, then somebody pretty big will probably be in the audience. If you're playing a showcase (which means you're not capable of pulling in a big enough audience to not need the showcase) then it's going to be a lower-level, less-experienced guy.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, by the way. That lower level guy moves up the ranks by finding and championing stuff that his bosses like, so he's more likely to be invested in your success than the experienced guy with a dozen solid acts on his resume.

I mean, imagine you worked for a record company. If you were the boss, would you go to stuff where you thought the likelihood of seeing somebody great was low? Or would you send your underling?

You can't buy direct access to the true power brokers because they don't need the money. But if their assistants like you, you can bet the power brokers will hear you.

Now, I have no comment as to whether "showcases" are a scam or not. I suspect it varies showcase to showcase. The more the showcase promoter has a reputation for finding good acts, the more attention record companies are going to pay - and everybody has to start small, so the fact that a guy's small doesn't mean that he's a scammer.

But I would not be remotely surprised if there were a few less-than-100%-ethical promoters who saw showcases as a way to skim a little bit of money, who didn't care.

I would suggest that the more selective the promoter is, the more likely it is that what he's doing is legit. But really, so, it's an assistant? Who the heck cares? Knock his socks off. Lots of people are discovered because assistants find them, first!