Throughout the lockdown, within a corner of social media populated by industry types, it was hard to miss the various posts from Entourage Pro which, on a daily basis, sent out quotes from both artists and notable industry figures stating the importance of crew and why they needed to be supported. But, the question remained; what is Entourage Pro?
Spearheaded by Joel Perry and James Stanbridge, the company’s goal is to create a verified network of production professionals that is fully searchable via role, expertise, previous work with artists or festivals and availability – effectively providing a streamlined and efficient way of finding the right people for a job alongside the traditional methods of word of mouth and peer-to-peer recommendations.
“I’ve had the idea for around five years,” began Perry. “I’d often be asked by friends if I knew of any tours and if I would throw their CV into the frame. It got me thinking there could be a way of facilitating these requests.” After a conversation with James Stanbridge – owner of Showcase international music directory – the duo joined forces and began working on Entourage Pro (EP). Following a busy period 2020/21 where the team worked on building the website, specifically the back-end automation and processing, which Perry believes “gives members and partners something new and unique”, the service is now ready to launch.
“Over the years, we’ve amassed a crew database of 8,000 people worldwide and during the soft-launch, we had 2,600 freelancers sign up and the figure is growing daily,” stated Perry. “In total we have access to over 350,000 potential employers from PMs, TMs, rental houses as well as artists, management and record company’s tour departments.” EP has also made connections with a number of manufacturers working in the industry including Robe, Yamaha, d&b audiotechnik and Avolites. “Indeed all of our partners give us extreme gravitas in the sector, ensuring crews know we are serious,” asserted Perry.
“It’s estimated there are around eight million production crew worldwide. We aim to sign up 10% of that figure within three years,” he added.
Users can access the network by setting up an account on the EP website and the soon-to-be-launched app. Perry prophesied how touring professionals may use EP in the future. “It removes the doubt and guesswork,” he stated. “Members are verified by their peers, employers, production and tour managers and rental companies. It saves time, effort and reduces margins for error. We want to provide crews – who, let’s face it, have had the most tumultuous of times – with a support network whose primary focus is to maximise opportunities and promote these incredible people in a way not seen before.”
There are a few other existing developments which the EP team has also been working on, including Production Hub – a discreet proximity-based app, linked into the global rental house network for such times where equipment needs to be sourced quickly. The EP team has also been speaking to global venues for them to provide a comprehensive list of specs, floor plans and weight capacities, creating a treasure trove of information that will aid in the logistics of planning a tour and what to expect night after night.
Joining EP is free of charge and, according to Perry, “always will be”, he said. “With the many services on offer, we ask that members agree to completing some surveys pertaining to their areas of expertise in terms of kit, training, usage and brand awareness, which EP then reports back to the industry. We are giving end-users a voice that goes beyond the building and testing stages of the manufacturing process.”
According to Perry, EP could be an ideal stepping-stone for those wishing to get their foot in the door and have already began discussing with universities, colleges and academies in the UK, Europe and North America. “EP will be sponsoring certain individuals to join tours and shadow experienced crew, in the real world under the Entourage Pro: Learns initiative.”
This article originally appeared in issue #266 of TPi, which you can read here.
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