Cael Johnston started his career in 2007 as the manager of Rosies, a live music venue in Brisbane’s CBD. He then moved to Melbourne at the start of 2010 and took a job as the National Events Manger for Destroy All Lines, a touring & events company who are responsible for producing Good Things Festival each year. During his time in Melbourne he was on the Music Victoria Board, spoke on Face The Music conference and was a paid mentor for the FReeZA mentoring program.
In this time the group opened up The Brightside and they began purchasing other Brisbane venues: Black Bear Lodge, The Valley Drive In, Barbara, Blutes & Stay Gold in Melbourne. After moving back to Queensland he began working for the venue booking arm of the business, Social State, as well as a booking agent for Max Watts and helped curate the foundations for The Mountain Goat Valley Crawl.
In June of this year, Cael left Social State and began working as the Bookings & Events Manger for The Fortitude Music Hall; Brisbane’s newest live music venue and largest of it’s kind in Australia. As well as the Fortitude, Cael also books for The Triffid.
Want to know more about what it’s like to a be booking agent? Dive into our Booking Agent coursework to learn heaps more here!
What is your job description in your own words:
My Job description is to support the head booker, whilst liaising with the agents, promoters, ticketing, marketing department, venue & production teams to deliver fantastic events. The thing that I love about this job is that no day ever runs like the one before it.
I settle events and work with the accounts department to ensure funds are directed to the right people.
Tuesday & Wednesday:
Tuesdays & Wednesdays are filled with venue meetings and as we try to pull apart every aspect of the upcoming events to see if any glaring issues need to be addressed.
Thursdays I generally spend with my clients, making sure they are up to speed with the latest developments. Talking to all the different departments and making sure everyone is on track to meet their requirements.
Fridays are generally that day where everyone in the office discusses plans for the future.
Challenges and Accomplishments in your week:
Managing client expectations is the most challenging aspect of this job, but it’s also what keeps me on my feet and continually drives me to get better.
Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field:
My advice for people considering pursuing a career in this field is not to wait for a position to open up, as companies will not hire someone if you haven’t already shown that you can get the job done to some degree. Putting on your own events, creating tour runs & booking small spaces is how the vast majority of my peers have cut their teeth.
Don’t know how to get started? Have a listen to Dom Miller here about how to get started approaching venues and organising gigs.