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Damon Atkinson


MUSIC BUSINESS GURU

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Damon Atkinson


MUSIC BUSINESS GURU


Companies in Damon's career


Damon was always a pleasure to work with on the Vans Warped Tour - always on point, and willing to help newcomers understand the tour and the industry. His progression from an artist to the business side of the music industry gives him a unique perspective for artists looking to take more ownership of the business of their career.
— Jen Kellogg

I loved way Damon hosted the workshop. He got to know us quickly, and began offering all there is to know and what to expect coming into this business. He gave great examples of the ins and outs of “behind the scenes” of the music industry. He provided references on tour paperwork and reports. He even offered to stay in touch to help anyone coming into this career.
— Maranda Reedy, Tour Management 102:

As a student just out of high school I have not had as much experience in the industry and went into the class knowing so little, especially compared to the other attendees who have had some prior experience. He did a great job outlining and defining things so that even someone who is so newer to the industry could understand and learn. I felt completely comfortable and inspired to pursue my dream of tour managing. Overall it was very informative and encouraging. I would definitely recommend this to even those who are unsure, since it gives you an inside look from the perspective of a professional.
— Alexann Sharp, Damon Atkinson's Management 101

TOUR MANAGEr & drummer

I learned everything I know from watching and listening to other tour managers over the years and asking them questions and for advice, therefore I have always wanted to give back and teach those individuals that use to be me. Young and eager to learn more about this business.
— Damon Atkinson

workshops

WHEN TO HIRE A TOUR MANAGER

What to look for, what you can do yourself, and when you really need to bring on a seasoned professional.

TOUR MANAGEMENT 101

An inside look at what the job really entails: how to advance shows, what items matter and don’t matter during settlement, where to book hotels on off days, how to deal with bus drivers, and more.

TOUR MANAGEMENT 102

So you’ve finally become an official tour manager or you’re just about to take on that role, but you really want to know all about dealing with bus companies and bus drivers, keeping accurate road reports, keeping the band and crew happy and all the other fun and exciting challenges of being tour manager/adult baby sitter. Damon will run through specific scenarios that you will have to deal with on the road and the best way to deal with each circumstance because he’s seen it all. 


about damon

I started in music at the age of 3 years old when I was first introduced to and absolutely fell in love with the drums. From there it didn't take me long to figure out that all I wanted to do in life was eat, breathe & sleep music in one way or another. It was always a dream of mine at a young age to become a “rock star” and I would stop at nothing to succeed in this dream of mine. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends & family in the music business throughout my entire life that were able to teach me creatively & professionally and they also taught me that I need to know more about the "business" than just playing on stage and being a ‘rock star”. To get to know the inner workings of a band. The "behind-the- scenes" if you will. That was some of the best advice I ever received.

I played in a number of bands between 1987 - 2004, two of which include the bands Braid & Hey Mercedes in which I spent the most amount of time in. I was always the one involved in the management aspect of my bands. I booked shows and tours, hand made stickers & t-shirts, was the first to have a cell phone, handled the money, found us booking agents, lawyers, labels, etc... After Hey Mercedes split up in 2004, I took a break as the musician and became more involved in the "behind-the-scenes" aspect when I went out on tour as a drum tech. Being a tech didn’t last long as I felt the desire to become a full time tour manager as I wanted more responsibilities like I had in my bands. I enjoy the responsibility, I enjoy the stress and I enjoy needing to be organized. I like having people come to me with problems, and I'm a total nerd when it comes to day sheets, road reports, settlements or anything excel related.

After a few tours for a handful of bands out on Taste Of Chaos and Warped Tour I was fortunate enough to be offered a job from Kevin Lyman as Production Office manager on the Vans Warped Tour. I gladly accepted and did that for 5 summers in a row. In 2010 that ended up leading to a full time job offer as Operations Managers for 4 Fini, Inc.

In 2012 I moved into artist management with Triple 8 Management where I was asked to be day-to-day manager for a country artist. Day-to-day management was something familiar yet so incredibly foreign to me all at the same time. I knew and understood the basic responsibilities of a day- to-day manager and quickly realized how similar it was to being a tour manager except for the fact that I was able to do that job from home and not from a tour bus. 


Check out this video for an inside look at the life of a tour manager


PLAYLISTS

Selected artists Damon has worked with

Damon's Drum work

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Curated Collection


 

Damon's go-to resources and interesting stuff he loves

Curated Collection


 

Damon's go-to resources and interesting stuff he loves

BOOKS

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS by DONALD PASSMAN

"This is a tremendous resource of knowledge that we should all have if we're working in the music industry. Whether you're a TM, a musician, or anyone in-between it's always good to know as much as possible about the industry you call home." DA

TOUR SMART by MARTIN ATKINS

"Martin has so much experience and he's hilarious but to-the-point. This is another terrific resource for anyone currently touring or anyone wanting to tour. I wish I had this book 20 years ago." -DA

MOVIE: ALMOST FAMOUS

"I have to many favorite movies to list, and there are other music movies or documentaries that I probably should list, but this one movie had a profound impact on me. It sent me on a quest for more. To reach higher goals, to be better at what I loved to do. If you have not seen this movie, do so immediately and then watch it about 100 times because that’s what I did.” -DA

App: TOUR MASTER

"Great tool for anyone on or off the road. It allows you to input and access a ton of key information which can be shared and accessed between all important players of any tour. You need an account or at least access to an account, but I think it’s worth it at some point. Excel sheets are also great and free, but take a lot more of your time.” -DA