Concert planning with Adam Tobey

Bethany Dionne

Have you ever wondered how college campuses get “big-name” singers and bands to play at their school? Adam Tobey, of Concert Ideas can tell you how.
Tobey has been working with Quinnipiac University as a middle agent for about five years. Middle agents deal with colleges and universities around the country. They represent the school and help produce big shows and events. An artist has a record label, which is owned by an agent, who has a manager. The middle agent talks to the manager to plan the show.
College campuses are extremely small shows for artists, but many do it because they enjoy the college atmosphere, they are fun to perform for and it is an extra paycheck.
Colleges try to please the artist as much as possible, because that helps their reputations. If a campus does a nice job with hospitality and makes the artist feel welcome, the artist will recognize and talk well about that particular school.
Quinnipiac has always done a great job with making bands feel good and musical powerhouses such as Everclear and Sugar Ray still remember their experiences here.
Colleges need to prepare and schedule the event months in advanced so that they can arrange everything they need.
“We started a long time ago with 112,” Tobey said. “An artist doesn’t seek a school, they will always find a job. The school needs to set everything up.”
Artists all charge different prices for a show and the middle agent always tries to haggle the price and get it lower.
Once an offer is made to an artist, there is no turning back. Even if the school is still unhappy with the price, they have to get the contract ready. If an artist turns down a school, they need to give a reason, so the school can try to change whatever is wrong.
After the contract is signed, details are ready to be made and the show can go on.
Tobey loves working as a middle agent and working with college students. It is a really fun job, stressful at times, but rewarding when a show turns out really well, he said.
Tobey gets to deal with many famous bands, along with up and coming artists.
Some predictions for popular groups this spring are Puddle of Mud, Papa Roach, Guster and OAR. It’s easy to guess who will be the next hot show, depending on when their last album came out or if they have a new one coming soon, Tobey said.
Tobey can be reached at