Adam Ross – Operations Manager for Winter Circle Productions and AEG Presents Gulf Coast on Tour Managing, Show Settlements, and Producing Shows

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Adam Ross is the Operations Manager and Production Manager for AEG Presents Gulf Coast and Winter Circle Productions. His career in the music business started working at the legendary Tipitina’s in New Orleans, LA. Eventually Adam became the Tour Manager for Louisiana blues guitarist, Tab Benoit, with whom he was on the road for seven years touring at a pace of 200+ shows per year. After his run with Tab, his journey lead him to his current role at Winter Circle Productions, which started as an independent promoter and production company in New Orleans making it’s mark with Buku Music + Arts Project, before Winter Circle and their team being acquired by AEG Presents. Adam produces shows at legendary New Orleans venues such as The Joy Theater, Civic Theatre, Republic NOLA, The Orpheum, Gasa Gasa, Hi-Ho Lounge, and many more, as well as producing Buku Music + Arts Project and Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL.

In this episode, you’ll learn about Adam’s journey as a tour manager and producing shows for Winter Circle Productions in New Orleans, how to prep for life on the road, show settlements, how to become a tour manager, and qualities that make a good tour manager, and much more. This was a really fun conversation, and really nice to talk with someone on the show that does something very similar to what I currently do today for AEG Presents in Florida. Adam and I first crossed paths at The Plaza Live, when he was tour managing Tab Benoit. Tab was quite the regular at the Plaza performing at the venue once to twice a year. Lots of great memories with these shows, and it’s been fun to re-connect with Adam and to share his journey on the road and many lessons for aspiring tour managers and concert producers.

Quotes from Adam Ross
“Every tour manager position is different. It’s basically what does this band need?”
“Experience and business is key.”
“Accounting is math for everyday. Algebra and calculus is brain exercise.”
“We’re not making Rock N’ Roll, we’re making a business work with the people that you work with.”  
“First of all work. Just going to school is not enough.”
“In order to separate yourself from the pack, you need to add value to yourself. Experience is value.”
“Ask questions, don’t be afraid to do that, and listen to their answers.”
“You want them to be able to be a musician, and you be the business person.”
“You need to look at every settlement, and not just take the envelope.”
“These people [promoters] are paying your band, and you want them to bring you back. Don’t be an asshole. Just ask smart questions, sound like you know what you’re talking about.”
“I like to know my settlements inside and out and be able to answer any questions.”
“A good experience and a big fat check, you can’t beat that.”
“Everything is negotiable. So be prepared for a good reasonable conversation about the numbers.”
“When an artist’s goes into a bonus, just plan on every one of your expenses being questions now.”
“A well-advanced show really sets you up for success.”
“You can’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. You just have to know that it needs to be done, and you have to do it.”
“I heard Golf is good.”

Highlights from this Episode
[4:20] Adam Ross’ role as Operations Manager at AEG Presents Gulf Coast and Winter Circle Productions
[9:54] Backstory and how Adam Ross landed in New Orleans
[12:35] Tour Managing for Tab Benoit
[15:08] School background and recommended courses in college
[19:15] Path to becoming a Tour Manager
[24:45] Time Management for starting Tour Managers
[26:55] Show settlements
[31:45] Packing for life on the road
[33:35] Typical day touring with Tab Benoit
[37:50] Differences from touring with Tab to producing shows for AEG
[42:35] Challenging Settlements
[45:05] Advancing shows
[49:45] Union and Non-union stagehands
[54:50] About Winter Circle Productions
[59:30] Getting to know Adam Ross

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
Winter Circle Productions
AEG Presents
Buku Music + Art Project
The Joy Theater
Republic NOLA
Mardi Gras World
Gasa Gasa
Hi-Ho Lounge
Civic Theatre
Dante DiPasquale (Talent Buyer at AEG/Co-Founder of Winter Circle)
Tab Benoit
Voice of the Wetlands
George Porter Jr.
Ruben Williams (Artist Manager)
House of Blues New Orleans
Robert Plant
Jimmy Paige
Reeves Price (VP Operations at AEG/Co-Founder of Winter Circle)
Donald Link [New Orleans Chef and Restaurant Owner]

Adam Ross’ Definition of Making It:
“Being happy in your own skin and putting food on the table.”

Keep in touch:

Host: Chris Goyzueta (Chris G.)
Producer: Jason Trosclair
Executive Producer: ONElive Creative Agency  
Music: Emily Kopp

Adam Taylor - Delta Rae Tour and Production Manager on Life on the Road

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Adam Taylor graduated from Full Sail University with degrees in Show Production and Music Business. After graduating, he went on to work with me at The Plaza Live in Orlando, FL where he became the production manager. Then he went on to become the Tour and Production Manager for Delta Rae with whom he ran sound for the band at the Democratic National Convention where he met Michelle Obama, David Letterman, he has been part of festivals such as Bonnaroo, Hangout Fest, Voodoo Fest, Austin City Limits and many more.

Adam has travelled the world with Delta Rae and is only in the early stages for what is going to be a very beautiful career. We’re going to learn what life on the road is like from a Tour Manager and Production manager perspective and what it takes to land in one of those careers. He’s creative as a production manager and is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. I hope you enjoy this ride down the road, with Tour Manager Adam Taylor.  

Quotes Mentioned
“Be prepared to do extra work on top of what you think you deserve.”
“Your attitude is what’s gonna take you further than anything.”
“You can’t confirm enough times; you can’t plan far enough out in advance.”
“Breathe, take a break, it’s all serious, but don’t take it so serious.”
“Reach out to that stack of business cards.”

Links to Things Mentioned
Delta Rae
Master Tour (Tour Management & Logistics) 
AudioTools (Pro Audio Analysis)
Dave Rat Videos
The Wire (TV Show)

Get in Touch with Adam
Buy a Delta Rae concert ticket and visit the audio console!
Twitter/Instagram: @wadamt

Their definition of Making It
“Waking up and still loving what you’re doing.”