Career chat with top industry bod. Listen up!
Rob Hallett

Breaking down the barriers to expose the shadowy ways of the entertainment industry.

Name: Rob Hallett
Where are you from? Brighton, England
Job title? President International Touring, AEG Live
 
What are your qualifications?
Uckfield School
Lewes Tertiary College
 
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A social worker.
 
What was your first big career break?
I was sitting in my office late one Friday night listening to a cassette that was sent in from a band in Birmingham when the phone rang. It was the Marquee Club in Wardour Street advising me that The Associates had pulled out of the Sunday and asking did I have a replacement?  I told them that I was listening to a demo from an unsigned band that I liked, maybe they should book them? We agreed, and Duran Duran played their first London gig forty-eight hours later. I had a good Saturday and forgot to go, however two weeks later I had them open for John Cooper Clarke/Pauline Murray and The Invisible Girls at the Lyceum, they blew me away, and I still work with them to this day.
 
What has been your career path up until now?
1980 - 1984: Director, DBA Artist Agency 
1984 - 1990: Managing Director, Performance & Trident Studios 
1990 - 2000: Director, Marshall Arts Ltd
2000 - 2004: Director, Mean Fiddler  PLC
 
What does your job involve?
Negotiating with agents/managers to acquire touring rights, deciding level of offer, market, building, ticketing pricing, marketing etc.
 
What is your average day?
9am-2am: phone calls, emails, conference calls, meetings, planes, airports, hotels, cars, restaurants, bars.
 
What is the best thing about your job?
Being fortunate enough to work with some of the greatest and most talented artists of our time.
 
What is the worst thing about your job?
Blame culture in the music industry.
 
You’re responsible for bringing the world’s biggest names to the UK. How do you deal with the conditions, needs and egos of such Artists?
In my experience most artists are normal people. It is the professional ones that last. Not many survive who aren’t totally dedicated to their act. When the odd fool who believes their own hype comes along they don’t tend to last very long. I cant remember the last time that I did not thoroughly enjoy a tour.
 
Who has been your favourite artist(s) to work with, and whom would you
most like to work with next?

Has to be Duran Duran. They were exciting times, to be in your twenties representing one of the biggest groups in the world is a truly amazing experience I would recommend to anyone. Currently I am excited about the upcoming Lady Gaga tour, a real artist for the 21st Century.
 
What to date is your proudest achievement in work?
There have been so many proud moments. The first time Duran Duran headlined an arena, Justin Timberlake’s first solo tour, Bon Jovi’s stadium tours every time, promoting the Rolling Stones at the 02, opening the 02 (London) with Bon Jovi, Jay-Z at Royal Albert Hall with an orchestra, but most of all bringing Leonard Cohen back to the stage in order that a whole new generation can truly understand the meaning of sublime.  
 
What in your view is the future of your industry?
I think musical tastes will become more fragmented leading to the end of the
super gig. Outdoor shows will become less and less frequent as artists’ production demands will dictate indoor shows. 3D concerts in your living room are just around the corner.   

How do you think your job will adapt in the future?
I look forward to expanding into new markets; we’re currently working on taking Black Eyed Peas and Akon across Africa. We’re looking to play more South American markets and, of course, helping to maintain London’s position as the number one concert market in the world.
 
What are your career ambitions?
To keep on learning and striving to achieve the ambition of both artists and audiences to produce and witness great entertainment. 
 
Top 5 tips for anyone aspiring to have your job?
 
1. Work hard. 
2. Love music.
3. Think laterally. 
4. Have balls.            
5. Don’t accept closed doors and others telling you that you cant, you can! Refuse to be held like a drunk under the cold tap of fact! 
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