I am writing this article with the intent that artist will be made aware of this sham called "The Extreme Tour" and in the hopes that this will help musicians everywhere avoid getting taken advantage of by this debacle of a tour and shady individual(s) that operate it.
I've managed numerous artist past and present, and have over 25 years in the music industry. With that said, this has got to be the biggest joke that I have ever encountered in the music industry. I will give you the step by step break down in regards to how they operate.
One of my artist was contacted by these people and I quickly shut down all communication
after seeing how shady and non up front they are in regards to business. For starters, The Extreme Tour will initiate contact by sending artist a message on social media outlets such as Facebook, Reverbnation and etc.
The initial message states something to the extent of "Hey, I like your music and think you would be a great fit for our tour, you are receiving a special invite to sign up". [continued below]....
..... They try to use psychology out the gate to create the illusion that the artist is "special" and that they have received a special invitation to possibly participate in their tour.
Once you go to the website the artist is instructed to input information such as stage name, social media links, website, and etc. And then of course, they hit you with the "registration fee of $15.95" that must be paid in order for any artist to be "considered" and for them to proceed.
Now $15.95 is not a lot of money at all, however this is just the start of their way of slowly initiating the process of getting artist to part with their finances. After the artist pays the $15.95 they then receive this lengthy, excessive, and poorly written E mail. As I read it I thought a schizophrenic wrote it due to it being over kill and way too wordy.
Keep in mind I attempted to chop down the email because it was way longer than this. Here is a summary of the first E mail here below
Hi Guys, I trust you had a great Holiday Season, and that your New Year is off to a great start! As we move into the New Year, our office is hard at work preparing for the 2013 Extreme Tour, which will visit about 10 different countries, and be divided into 15 different Tour Teams running concurrently, with dates in Japan, the UK, Brazil, Australia, India, Nepal, Mexico, Germany, the United States and Canada, starting in June and running through December. As we prepare, I wanted to check in with you really quick and give you an update on the Extreme Tour 2013 Application and Selection Process.
We do have your application, of course, and we are currently engaged in the first stage of the application review process. You are receiving this email from me because your application has received a positive first review and you do have the recommendation of at least one of the
members of the Selection Panel. (One of our other team members may have already informed you of this) While this is not a final guarantee that you will indeed be scheduled for dates, this bodes well for your chances of being offered such an opportunity with us.
During phase one of the review of your application, all 15 members of the Selection Panel review your application individually, and at their leisure. They make initial notes for review by the rest of the Panel as they review your app and, should they consider your application appropriate for our Roster, they also mark it with their approval and recommendation. At this point, your application is advanced for consideration during phase two of our Review and Selection Process.
During phase two of our Selection and Review Process, applications that have been advanced beyond phase one, and have received a recommendation from at least one of the members of our Artist Selection Panel, are then reviewed by the Panel as a group. During this review, the recommendations and observations from individual Panel Members during phase one are considered along with the corresponding application. A select number of artists considered during phase two of our Selection and Review Process will be invited to meet personally with our Selection Panel or to also participate in our by-invite-only.
closed door meetings with our friends from the Music Industry that we have entitled The Objective Sessions. The purpose of this invitation is to provide an opportunity for our Panel to meet with and consider these artists during face to face interaction,
as well as to observe these artists as they engage in a professional setting with highly respected industry experts and professionals. Artists that receive an invitation to participate in this valuable series of meetings are not required to accept the invitation in order to still be considered, but a priority is given to artists that we have met face to face
Phase three of the Application Review and Selection Process starts in late March and is ongoing throughout the Extreme Tour 2013 Schedule, based on logistical need. There are three possible tiers of selection status that an artist may be granted. Tier three level artists are generally artists that we have worked with in the past, or that have demonstrated national or international name recognition and draw.
A high priority has been placed on their application and they receive the highest level of tour support, including food, lodging, transportation assistance, a waiver from any applicable merchandise sales commission Tier two level artists are generally artists that we place a high priority on as well, but who may not have a fully developed national or international
name recognition or draw. They are given priority over tier one artists and they receive a comprehensive tour support package that includes food, lodging, possible varying levels of transportation support, and a waiver from any applicable merchandise sales commission fees.
Tier one level artists are generally artists that we have not worked with before, or that have little to no demonstrated national or international name recognition or draw. These artists do receive a partial tour support package that includes some food and lodging, but these artists are responsible for all of their transportation expenses, may be responsible for merchandise sales commission fees, and may be required to provide a performance guarantee deposit (refundable upon completion of all dates that the artist has committed to).
Again, Selected Artists receive a notification of their Tier Level with the initial e-mail they receive notifying them of their selected status.
Now notice, the statement that states "they" will decide which artist may have to pay a percentage of their merchandise sales? First of all, what planet do these people reside on? Any artist that pays their hard earned money for their T shirts to get made, pays for their CD's to get's pressed up, and other cost would be nuts to let The Extreme Tour make them pay them a percentage of their merchandise sales.
Actually they would have to be crazier than them to even entertain this
non sense. However the madness didn't stop there. They sent another E Mail, this one even more poorly written and excessive than the last. And of course, more begging and pan handling request from The Extreme Tour continued. Once again I had to summarize because this E Mail was excessive as well. See the details of the second E Mail here in bold...
I know I recently contacted you outlining the way the Selection Process would progress over the next few months. As you know, we are currently in the process of reviewing your application and comparing it with the other applicants.
We should have an answer for you, as to your selection status for the Extreme Tour, as the Application Process comes to a close over the next few months or so. As I indicated I would, I am contacting you again with details regarding the next step in this process. At this point, someone has indicated to our staff that they believe that things have progressed enough that we should include you.
This series of closed door sessions were more than just a seminar, but rather an intimate and interactive mentoring experience with artists and industry experts who have a wealth of experience and wisdom to share with our artists. Again, these are our friends, who are willing to help our artists because they emphatically support the mission and vision of the Extreme
Finally, we also added the opportunity for an even more select group of artists to actually showcase for our friends from the industry during these closed door sessions. Not being satisfied with the typical showcase that equates to just a brief one or two song performance in
front of influential people, we arranged for artists to have extended set times and for Industry Reps to do a written critique for each artist that performed that would give them valuable feedback as to what the attendees thought of their performance as well as helping them learn how they might improve.
Tom Jackson and his team also did an evaluation of each artist that performed and gave them recommendations, on the spot, of how they could improve their live performance. This is something that most of our Industry Friends charge thousands of dollars an hour for!
This Years Program: Over the past few years, changes in the music industry have resulted in changes in virtually every part of the Christian Music Industry, including in the Dove Awards. The Gospel Music Association has moved the Dove Awards to Atlanta, and activities around the awards have become even more exclusive and inaccessible to most indie artists. At the same time, the scope and influence of the Extreme Tour, within that industry, has dramatically increased as we have expanded and grown as a premier venue for emerging artists.
At this point, our relationships within the Industry and our representation during this season has less to do with the awards themselves, and more to do with our relationships within the industry and the respect these folks have for what we do, and therefore for the artists we are recommending to them.
Finally, we will select artists from the Promo Program for the exclusive opportunity to showcase live at The Objective in one of the top live performance venues in Nashville. All the artists that showcase will get invaluable feedback through a written critique from our panel of Industry Experts and the potential opportunity to receive custom live performance consultation from Tom Jackson and his team.
Again, Tom is perhaps the world' foremost authority on live performance and is the preferred live performance consultant for the biggest names in music today. There is a very limited number of showcase slots available, and those slots will only be given to artists selected from the registrants for the Industry Promo and Networking Program.
If you would like to register for the Promo and Networking Program, please email us right away at XTSelectionPanel@GMail.Com.
This will tell my assistant to get your email right to me so we can make sure you get a slot before they are gone. There is a shared cost of $180.00 per artist that represent the costs we explained earlier. (Again, less expensive than even just the postage of sending your
materials out to each of these people if you had had the addresses and relationships yourself !) You will need to send that to us via snail mail or PayPal no later than March 10th. We will give you follow up directions when you contact us and register.
Opportunity #2, The Objective "By Invitation Only" Developmental Sessions, These sessions will be held in downtown Nashville, May 19th through May 22nd. You can attend as little or as much of the schedule as you wish, but we would urge you to attend the entire event in order to get the maximum benefit from this opportunity. As I described earlier, these sessions are designed specifically for the purpose of meeting you face to face, and equipping you to pursue your artistic Calling as effectively as possible. We have assembled a team of Industry Experts
and Artists Mentors, many of them award winning music pioneers.
You will have 4 days with us, and our team of mentors and industry experts, during which you will get invaluable advice and guidance to personally help you as you chart your course as an artist. Topics to be addressed include: Live Performance, Songwriting, Recording, Distribution, Digital Media, Radio Airplay, Touring, Booking, Branding and Merch, Artistic Motive, Networking and Connection, Sustainable Financial Planning for Artists, Artist Management, Contract Negotiation, and more.
Now, if that isn't a clear indication that this is certified crazy...I don't know what is. First of all, that massive E Mail is ridiculous, too long, and just plain dumb. And if you had to read the actual E Mail at length you would have dozed off like I did. This E Mail boast that artist should pay them $180.00 so artist can perform for their "Industry friends". Who are these A List industry friends in detail?
They fail to provide a list of these people, which is also shady. If things are so legit why not provide names up front, why so elusive? And I forgot to mention the most entertaining thing through all of this is this person Martay Williams. I honestly find all of this pretty pathetic for the simple fact Martay Williams refers to herself at first as an "A&R" for The Extreme Tour, but this is complete non sense at it's finest.
All Martay Williams does it bombard artist with E Mails about nothing and essentially pan handles for The Extreme Tour. This "company" is a joke, and I highly encourage all artist to keep their money in their pockets, and if you ever get a message from Martay Williams send it to your spam folder.
Furthermore they should be more up front about all of these "hidden fees" in the beginning before asking artist to sign up and pay that registration fee. Every E Mail reveals more fees/cost and etc.
It's bad business on their part and I'm not sure how deep this rabbit hole goes, but I have pulled my artist far away from this con before they could do any further damage, and every artist should do the same.