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December 21, 2017 10:00 PM

The Life Of A Concert Promoter

Whether it's Garth Brooks, Def Leppard or Shania Twain, a lot of us have been to some of the big name concerts here in Sioux Falls.   

But have you ever stopped to think, who is responsible for bringing those big name acts here?

Late nights, long hours, and lots of travel. 

That's the life of concert promoter Jered Johnson, president and owner of Pepper Entertainment.     

"That's the one thing I love about my job every day is different," Johnson said. 

From his corner office on the second floor of Shrivers Square overlooking Phillips Avenue, Johnson is constantly on the phone trying to book major concerts for the region. 

It's a step up from his humble beginnings. 

"We started in 06 and it really was a basement company, it was myself who started it and we slowly built relationships from small venues to now major arenas and representing clients and that's kind of exciting because that's gotten us into the corporate stuff," Johnson said. 

Johnson now works closely with arenas all over the country; including the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. 

"We are producing shows in over 10 states; everything from California all the way up through the Midwest now," Johnson said.  

When Johnson's not on the phone, he's on the road, sometimes with his wife, kids and dog. 

"It's important that we are there, we have a touch and feel on the show, we are building relationships with the artists, but also the buildings and management companies that manage the buildings so traveling definitely goes into it," Johnson said. 

We got to listen in on one of his phone conversations inside his hotel room; as he was about to break the news to one of his clients that he landed their biggest concert yet. 

"Well your dream came true brother, Maroon 5 is confirmed," Johnson said. 

They will contractually agree to play 70 minutes, but will likely play longer and do encores, but they don't contract 90 minutes," 

You know the art behind those deals is knowing when to call when not to call how to entice them to do some things that maybe perhaps isn't in the framework of what they want in the deal, you're playing chess essentially.

Planning a concert can be very time consuming and is extremely detailed oriented.  Johnson says you want to represent your clients, but you also want to address the needs of each band. 

"To do big shows like that it takes several weeks sometimes the stars align and sometimes they don't but it's all the behind the scenes efforts to really pull something like that together and in the end it takes relationships," Johnson said. 

Relationships that build into friendships; even with band members.  But Johnson insists it stays professional. 

"We are not ones to go track the bands down and hangout on the bus, as a matter of fact, we have a rule nothing good happens on the bus so we typically stay off of that," Johnson said. 

Johnson says booking concerts is demanding because no two productions are a like. 

Back in Sioux Falls, he's constantly negotiating other deals; working late into the night.
He says it's not your typical 9-5 job, but he wouldn't have it any other way. 

"We always joke around the office about what we do here even on our worst days it's still better than a real job," Johnson said.  

Johnson says he'll be releasing the details of his Maroon 5 concert sometime in January.   

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