Jovan Polanco - Founder of Swerve Presents, An Independent Promoter and Content Creator with a Focus on Creating a Brand with Culture

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This episode was recorded live from Florida International University (FIU) 

When the average concert goer goes to a show, they don’t know the difference between Live Nation, AEG Presents, or whomever else is promoting the show. They are there to see their favorite artists, or go see a great show at one of their favorite venues. Jovan Polanco, is a independent promoter, talent buyer, and content creator that’s looking to change that. As the founder of Swerve Presents, he’s looking to create a concert promotions brand with a culture and personality that fans will remember. In this conversation, we discuss the process of booking a concert, competing in a very competitive environment, strategic partnerships, brand building, and much more. This episode is the first ever live podcast, recorded at Florida International University, in Music Business 101.

To learn more about Jovan Polanco, visit  


Highlights from this Episode
[4:45] About Jovan Polanco
[5:56] Learning how the Music Business works
[7:00] Using content to build a concert promotions brand
[8:36] The Swerve Presents Team
[9:58] Having first priority at venues
[10:14] Dealing with venues and creating partnerships
[11:55] The history and business model of Swerve Presents
[16:25] The booking process
[19:34] Biggest challenges as an independent protomer
[21:33] Dealing with agents
[25:36] Plans for Swerve Presents
[27:22] What gets Jovan’s attention as a Talent Buyer
[30:55] Drawing attention from a market for you events
[33:25] Booking Artist’s that don’t fit the company culture
[38:38] Growing contacts from volunteering at festivals
[41:21] Philosophy on how to learn the ins and outs of the music business
[47:50] Getting to know Jovan Polanco

Quotes from Jovan Polanco
“I was doing other things in school to prepare me for what I‘m doing now.”
“Learning how to market parties, translates into marketing shows.”
“As a independent promoter that doesn’t own venues, your venue deal will make or break your shows.”
“When you’re working with other promoters, definitely have a contract.”
“A lot of times people don’t want to jump on, until they see something is moving and happening.”
“To gain leverage in Talent Buying, I need to book multiple markets.”
“In the beginning it’s all about creating a connection, and get the agent to know who (you) are.”
“Our mission is to change the face of the industry.”
“Most of my first bookings came from meeting the agents at conferences.”
“If it’s good music, and we can get behind it, we should support it.”
“Going to the conferences is super pivotal if you want to do this.”
“When you go to a conference, you should have something you’re working.”
“If I approach a person at a conference, think about how you can add value to them.”
“College creates the environment to learn things on a micro level.”
“If you want to survive in the next 20 years, you need to be putting out content.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
Swerve Presents
Florida International University (FIU)
Live Nation
AEG Presents
WRLD Entertainment
Revolt Music Conference
Billboard Booking & Touring Conference
Dan Larson
Okeechobee Music Festival
Lil Uzi Vert
21 Savage
Meg White (Agent at ICM)
Moneybagg Yo
Trippie Redd
Maggie Rogers
Billie Eilish
Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
William Morris Endeavour (WME)
Promoter 101
Gary Vaynerchuck
Short Story Long (Podcast)
The Come Up Show (Podcast)  
Martin Luther King
J. Cole
All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman

Jovan Polanco’s Definition of Making It:
“Being able to do what I love full time, and being able to support myself of it.”

Get in touch with Jovan Polanco
IG: @swervepresents
Twitter: @swervepresents

Related Articles & Episodes:
1. Ron Richard - Talent Buyer at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans - Episode #071
2. Life of a Talent Buyer - Lessons to Becoming a Concert Promoter - Episode #036
3. Dan Larson - The Spectrum of Talent Buying - Episode #023