Daytona Beach, FL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Hal Abramson promoting since 1975, at age 20 founded Cactus Productions in Las Vegas with borrowed money. He first moved back to his Maryland origins, promoting Thin Lizzy, Golden Earring, Leslie West and Mountain, Natalie Cole, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Spirit and Nils Lofgren… tickets were just $6.50. Just one year later, after brainstorming with his roommates in his Baltimore apartment, he dreamt up Stompin 76, a 3-day celebration in the bicentennial summer, featuring the greatest bluegrass lineup in history drawing over 100,000 from hyper-aggressive promotions in 12 states.
Abramson, knowing that the real action wasn't in Baltimore, moved back to Las Vegas and joined the stagehands union, working on the Vegas Strip beating out hundreds of applicants for a Promotions Director gig at 4 Fremont Street casinos at age 26. This creative position gave him the opportunity to promote everything from Computerized Gambling Horoscopes to extensive bus programs shuttling in busloads of L.A. fun seekers to Sassy Sally's, Glitter Gulch, Coin Castle and the Golden Goose. In one of these slot joints, he built a butcher shop called Frankies Foot Long Franks and a Beer for 5¢. He lined the corridor with $5.00 slot machines and averaged $20.00 per hot dog. He invented dozens of compelling promotions drawing tourists off the street.
Later he landed a position with Ringling Bros. Circus and Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice, first in their box offices, then traveling on one of Ringling's 2 identical mile long trains going from car to car writing notes to compose the first modern operations manual for building managers. He rose as Regional Marketing Director for the Greatest Shows On Earth and Ice promoting Feld's shows throughout the eastern US. After years on the road, he started his sojourn as an independent promoter: The Orlando Record Collector's Convention, JamSouth, Christian Concerts, Shakedownfest, UniteFest, among many other events over 3 decades.
At 55, Abramson just completed promoting 12 country concerts at Fir, Colorado. "It's an adventure just getting there and back. Every concert of festival ticket includes a train ticket because it's the only way to get there. There are no roads there at 9,242'. The log-clad railroad car stage is totally green, with the sound and lights totally powered by a wind/ solar power system generating 5,000 amps." Hal said.
Now as a music festival consultant, Abramson says "even in a down economy there are opportunities all over the world, "the secret is finding the right venue that has funding"…"A modern music festival can range from $250,000. for a "microfest" (a term coined by Hal indicating a capacity of less than 5,000 people), to $4 million for a major multi-stage, weekend campout event."
Hal's comprehensive books on how to promote concerts and music festivals helps promoters worldwide. Hal said "There just aren't any other good resources out there teaching the industry standards." "Figuring this game out as you go can be fatal to your pocket and your life."
Not just a festival producer, Abramson brings with him a toolbox of marketing skills from a successful executive background in resort, travel and retail marketing. What many do not know is that Abramson started and managed what became the largest resort marketing operation in the east. He established many of the accepted standards used since the mid-90's for many other successful resort and travel marketing companies until the internet emerged. Abramson took Vacation Break USA to the pinnacle of the industry until it was sold for almost $400 million to Fairfield Resorts in 1996.
Abramson consults many beginning promoters for free at first. If the operator wants his services, is sophisticated and well funded, he'll consider the project. After the Australia experience, he turns down more projects than he takes, but unlike other promoters, is willing to always pick up the phone to offer advice. Hal is a lifelong promoter.–by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers