Draft by vrusnak, 2 April 2003



Project Title:

Frank Black Forum Private Performance


Concise Summary:

Organize and conduct a performance of Frank Black and the Catholics for an audience composed of Frank Black forum members



A large group of people who are frequent contributors to the Frank Black Forum have expressed an interest in inviting Frank Black and the Catholics to give a private performance for a negotiated, reasonable fee. These members are more than casual fans, and have formed a virtual internet community. Not only are they interested in seeing the artist perform under ideal circumstances, they are interested in meeting each other and transforming their community from virtual to real.


Precedent exists: other fan-based organizations have created significant internet communities and have also sponsored performances by their mutual favorite artists. While there are many successes, there are also instances of these events being marred by undefined scope, high ( and therefore disappointingly unmet) expectations, and poor planning. This, plus the seemingly enormous scope has caused skepticism among the Frank Black Forum membership regarding its likelihood. This project seeks to increase chances of success by employing proven project management methodologies to clearly define scope, expectations, careful planning, and then secure “buy-in” from all project stakeholders, and reducing that skepticism. The resulting project and ensuing event should therefore be an enjoyable event for all: fans, artists, and artist’s management and record label.


Project Objectives:

-- Decide upon a style of event (single evening at a club vs. “weekender” style) at a facility that can accommodate us.

--Secure a venue and commitment of artist’s management

--Secure all necessary peripheral needs for artist and audience

--Raise enough funding to pay artist and expenses

--Create an optimum performance environment for artist and thus a memorable experience for both artist and fans.

--Hold event


Project Stakeholders:

-- Fans of Frank Black who are Members of the Frank Black Forum that would be willing to contribute money to finance and attend such an event. These people will ostensibly be a “core circle” of fans. Initial estimates are that we will need at least 100 paying members.

-- Frank Black and the Catholics

-- Frank Black and the Catholics’ record label and management

Project Team: To Be Determined

Team should include persons with the following skills:

-- Project management (a PMP would be ideal, but somebody who’s heard of PMI or the PMBOK or even got sent to a “Successful Project Management” seminar at the local university extension service will do the trick)

-- Event planning (a marketing assistant or specialist would be great, a wedding or event planner would have the kind of expertise we need, but somebody who’s thrown together their parent’s 50th anniversary party can do this too)

-- Bookkeeping (an accountant would be ideal, but somebody who knows their way around an excel spreadsheet and can manage a budget would get the job done,)

-- Legal and contractual issues (an attorney or paralegal would be ideal, but a person who has negotiated contracts – from either an artists’ or venue’s perspective will do)

-- Technical stage issues (a sound engineer and a lighting technician would be ideal – two less people we’d have to hire! --, but at least somebody who knows the issues behind them)

-- Musicians (preferably rock musicians who have been on tour, they will know what musicians need and want)

-- Communication specialists (people who can keep the project stakeholders in the loop and serve as liaison to artist’s management)


Several more team members will be needed, but this is a start to get people thinking about the kinds of expertise we need and whether we have this among the membership (volunteer!)or will need to sub it out (pay somebody to do this for us).



Project Scope:


--This project will not aim to turn a profit. Funding will be necessary only for expenses of paying the band, renting the venue, and other expenses associated with the event. Participants understand that this is not a money-maker, this is solely for the enjoyment of the fan base. Inclusions:

--Upon determining single evening performance at a single club or “festival” style,  scope list will change dramatically. This sample project charter will assume “weekender” but not necessarily “festival”, since this author believes it will be easier to secure interest in a longer stay for people who will have to make significant travel plans. (i.e. who’s gonna fly to Chicago for just one stinkin’ night, and pay a huge hotel/motel bill in a large city?)



--There are enough members of the Frank Black Forum who would be willing to pay between $50-$100 each for a ticket to cover cost of artist and periphery expenses

-- Frank Black and the Catholics, and their management are supportive and interested in the idea.

-- Frank Black and the Catholics would be available to play at such an event, and willing to give up what will likely be a weekend (prime playing time) gig.

-- The event will likely occur in Summer (3Q) 2004 to give the project team sufficient time to secure artist’s commitment, venue, and fundraise.



Not enough members of the Frank Black forum may trust the project team to commit $50-$100 to people they only know by their online handles

Enough money may not be raised

Liability issues associated with travel

If “weekender” is outdoors, weather. Mitigate with feasible rain plan.


Project Timing/ Guesstimates:

2Q 2003: Project team formation and feasibility study

3-4Q 2004: Vendor research (venue, artist, and peripheral)

1Q 2004: Fundraising, promotion, and Contract negotiation

2Q 2004: Confirming all arrangements

3Q 2004: Event and project evaluation and close out


Possible Work Breakdown Structure:


PHASE I: Feasibility Study
-- Determine if artist is interested
-- Contact artist's management to obtain theoretical terms (cost, scheduling, advance notice)
-- Determine initial interest (informal group poll)
-- Determine possible venues (this author is obviously slanted toward a “weekender” style event)

--"Weekender" camp venue  (advantages, would make it worth a road trip and thus get a larger pool of potential participants: disadvantages, not all fans enjoy a "camp" situation and would need the extra $$$ to book a hotel room)
--Large club (advantages: PA and other amenities already there, likely in a large city already on a tour. Disadvantages: fewer people willing to do a road trip for just one day, large city hospitality costs for fans –lodging and meals -- tend to be expensive).

--Determine cost and availability of venues
--Determine cost vs. number of participants matrix (eg. If total cost artist+venue+other costs = $7000, then 100 people would have to attend @ $70 per ticket, or 200 people @35 per ticket, plus travel costs)

– Determine and define project team members’ roles and responsibilities.

-- Complete feasibility recommendations and present to group

Formal group poll of forum membership: Proceed or Scrap Project?

PHASE II: Initial Planning
-- Assemble project team and choose leaders: Project Management, Fiscal Management, Correspondence Management, Venue Negotiation

-- Contact artists' management and report results of feasibility study: determine possible dates/weekends for Summer, 2004
-- Reconfirm artist's fee and terms

--Contact other fan-based groups that have put on similar events and ask for their advice/"Lessons Learned" (eg: "Strange Days", others)



--Compile list of venue recommendations:

--Poll forum for suggestions
-- Follow up on suggestions
--Contact suggested venues and obtain pricing and terms

-- Determine if available dates for venue match dates provided by artists' management.
-- Determine if available dates match desired dates for forum members
-- Publish matrix of venues, pricing/terms, pro/con matrix to the forum
-- Poll forum members on venues, rank preferences.
-- Determine down payments (if necessary) for venue and artist
-- Solicit forum members for advance payments for down payment. (Perhaps determine/offer special privileges for "early birds")


-- Appoint a fiscal manager/bookkeeper (separate from the project manager)
-- Open separate bank account to handle all funds associated with the project.
-- Determine method of forum members' payment (PayPal? Easier than setting up a Mastercard account!)
-- Set a fiscal report schedule (monthly)


-- Obtain down payments from forum membership
-- Contact artists' management and confirm availability of selected date
-- Contact venue and confirm availability of selected date
-- Notify artist and venue of date selection, begin contract negotiation process


-- Appoint project representative and grant authorization to sign contracts on behalf of the group.
-- Contact venue management and negotiate contract

 -- confirm: liability insurance, property and casualty insurance
 -- Finalize down payment
 -- Provide down payment and sign contract

-- Contact artist's management and negotiate contract


--confirm: liability insurance, property and casualty insureance for artist, all artist's staff/band, all artist's property and gear (rented and owned).

-- Finalize down payment
--Provide down payment and sign contract


-- List peripheral needs:


-- PA system
--Lighting system
-- Stage (if not a standard performance venue)
-- Electricity (if not a standard indoor venue)
-- PA personnel
-- Lighting personnel
-- Electrician
-- Meals for artists (if not near restaurants)
 -- Meals for attendees (if a "weekender", may pay to investigate if venue has a "snack bar" or such)
 -- alternative arrangement for rain

-- For each need, determine pros/cons of local vs. "imported" resource would serve needs better. Check against venue's and artist's contract (eg. Do we hire a local sound man, or does somebody know somebody who will drive in for cheap?)

-- Confirm availability of each item for date
-- Book vendors of each item, downpayment if necessary
-- Determine local laws regarding alcohol, noise ordinances, curfew (some participants may be under 18/21, will responsible adult be necessary?)

-- Determine if licensed bartender is needed and whether that's included in venue cost.
-- Determine (if campsite-type venue) necessary fire/barbecue permits
-- Determine (if campsite near body of water) if lifeguard is needed or if signed liability waiver is necessary
-- Confirm who cleans up afterwards (Venue) and what specifically group is responsible for.

PHASE V: Advance promotion and ticket sales

ASSUMPTION: Tickets will be made available only to forum members and their guests.
-- Develop policy to confirm assumption.
-- Announce confirmed dates and venue
-- Fiscal Manager opens Pay Pal Account (if not already to collect advance down payment money)
-- Determine method of printing tickets (that cannot be duplicated)
-- Print tickets (may be name only, and ticket holder must provide photo ID in order to be admitted, eg. "Will Call")
-- Distribute tickets
-- Agree on event name
-- Fiscal report to group

This list (as task list for ALL phases will, but this part especially) will become more detailed when project becomes accepted and project team is assembled    

-- Final confirm of venue, artist, peripherals, permits,
-- Obtain wrist bands/laminates for artists and attendees
-- Complete and distribute information packets for attendees:

-- Where to camp/park/motel-hotel stay, what you can and can't bring in
-- Driving directions from closest interstate highways
-- how early or late check-in begins


-- Information packet for artist and technical crew:

-- Everything in attendees' info packet
-- electrical information
-- lighting and sound information
-- expected start and stop times
-- confirmation of arrangements for meals, hospitality
 --confirmation of understanding of artist's/technical crew's privacy/security and arrangements for such
-- Venue, project organizer's and fiscal manager's contact information, both in advance and day of. (home phone and local call phones, location of "Project office")


-- Establish "project office" and central information area for both attendees and artist
-- Obtain and distribute participant wrist bands  (or other identification for admittance)      
-- Obtain weather reports (if applicable) and put rain plan into action if necessary
-- Meet and greet artist and provide updated information, general tour of facility and general QA, contact information
-- Coordinate needs of technical crew (electricity, communications, etc.)
-- Check and confirm sound, lighting, etc

PHASE VII: Closing
-- Pay bills
-- Thank yous to all organizers, artist, anybody who participated.
-- Post event meeting: What went well, what could have been done better, what have we learned to apply next time? Prepare “Lessons Learned” document to use again or share with similar fan-based groups.

-- Should there be a “next time”???