Behind the Bookings
Finally—mercifully, really—after more than 18 months of enduring a dark stage at The Showroom inside Turning Stone Resort Casino, we’re gearing up to welcome headlining acts back to a renovated venue that’s better than ever before.
In the last few weeks alone, we’ve announced HARDY on September 3, Queensryche on September 4, and Straight No Chaser on September 11. More shows will be announced later this month.
Our team has been looking forward to this moment for the better part of the last year, if not longer. Most of the booking falls to Brad Streeter, Turning Stone’s manager of entertainment programming. As Brad tells it, he’s been working practically nonstop throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure the shows go on.
“Booking shows is a process,” Brad said recently. “We’re always working at least six to 12 months out.”
To get bands booked, Brad works with agencies that keep the schedules for big rosters of bands. He said there are roughly 40 agencies currently working nationally, and that each has a different lineup of bands. Most represent a variety of genres, including country, rock, jazz, and hip-hop.
Brad asks several questions to determine which bands are available for bookings at Turning Stone. Does the band have a new album? Are they on tour? Do they have a connection to Upstate New York?
“It’s usually like piecing together a giant puzzle,” he joked. “We want to make sure we go from country one night to contemporary rock the next, always keeping things different, always trying to piece together a schedule and calendar that’s going to appeal to the greatest number of guests so that nobody ever feels left out.”
Brad has been booking talent for more than 20 years said the year 2020 was by far the most challenging of his career. Scheduling shows led to rescheduling shows—sometimes two or three times apiece. The process required constant communication.
For Brad, however, it all is worthwhile once a set begins.
“The ability for guests to take 90 minutes and forget about their worries or their bad day—that’s why I got into this business,” he said. “I’m just glad we all get to enjoy live music again.”