Jamie Coletta has been around live music for most of her life. As a child her mother took her to local radio concerts, and as a teen she frequented the Warped Tour, where she’d thrill to the sounds of Taking Back Sunday and Motion City Soundtrack.
It wasn’t, therefore, a big surprise when she moved into the music industry, working at EMI and Sony before taking the publicity reins at punk label SideOne Dummy, where she eventually became Director of Marketing.
Having founded PR company No Earbuds in 2018 – in which she combines her marketing, management, A&R and publicity skills to grow the careers of independent artists – she’s also part of the Better Artists management stable, where she guides the careers of Origami Angel, Caracara and Bartees Strange, to name a few.
Strange in particular has had a breakout 2022, releasing his second album, Farm To Table, to widespread critical acclaim. After a relentless run of touring that included headline shows and a plum support with The National, in December he played his biggest LA headlining gig to date at The Regent Theater.
Here, Coletta outlines three key ways she’s helped her artists successfully navigate the congested touring circuit and sell tickets in 2022.
“A lot of [this] stuff is really what's working for me right now,” she offers from her LA office. “And it all has to work in tandem with one another.”
1. Make A Lot of Noise
“An overwhelming word of mouth is always going to be the biggest thing for me. It used to be you could get a few write-ups or whatever on the tour, and that was usually enough to get that burst of ticket sales.
“But you have to amplify that. It can't just be a few outlets covering the announcement, it also has to be people posting: ‘I just got my ticket to this, I can't freaking wait!’ You have to be seeing it constantly in your feed. And it has to be natural, it can't be fake.
“So, it's got to be a mix of paid and authentic, it's got to be a mix of different ways you make sure that that tour is coming up in conversation often. I think that is the easiest way to sell tickets. Number one is just make a ton of noise.”
“An overwhelming word of mouth is always going to be the biggest thing for me."
2. Be Smart With Your Lineup
“If you are headlining and putting the lineup together, make it a show worth going to. If you're going to be in a situation for the next year or so where on any given night, in any given city, you're probably up against four other comparable shows as yours, you’ve gotta make yours feel really special.
“The better lineups that I've seen, the better curated kind of situations, tend to go off really well. And the ones that are kind of relying on pre-2020 booking style – let's grab whoever's got the hype and just see what happens; it's not really thought through – those are [only] doing okay.”
3. Content Is King
“[You have to make] sure that before the show people are aware that it's coming. And then while the tour is happening, you should still be funneling content out so people see how much fun it is.
“Your first leg of your tour should be promoting your second leg. You have to show them why they're buying the ticket, right? If they're on that latter part of the tour, you're showing them what it is they're gonna come see.
“Your first leg of your tour should be promoting your second leg."
“So, it could be a really great moment during a show with a crowd interaction of some kind, it could just be great footage of the show [with] the audio of your song up against it – it doesn't have to be live, it can be a highlight reel or something, which is what we've done a lot with Bartees.
“We’re creating little clips that come out every couple of days. That way, if you're online you're gonna see that this tour’s going pretty good. And you're gonna think, ‘Man, is it coming my way?’ And then you're gonna check and maybe you'll buy the ticket.”