Craig Stahl

  Roadie of the Month - Ken Alderfer

When you go see your favorite act in concert, go to the circus, or attend any major event, it is produced by a promoter. A promoter contacts the artists booking agent or management, negotiates a price, books a venue, creates a marketing plan to advertise the show, coordinates selling tickets with the venue, secures labor, stagehands, catering, ushers, ticket takers, security and any other thing required by the artists Rider aka "List Of Demands". The Promoter business model has changed a lot in the last 20 years as the small regional companies have been gobbled up into the big corporate companies or gone out of business. One company that has weathered the storm of the corporate giants is BRE Presents out of Haddonfield, NJ just outside of Philadelphia, PA. Bill Rogers runs a company that still has the feel of the old regional promoters but understands the changed world of concert promotion. They still think the music matters and they still ENJOY the music! Ken Alderfer is VP of Production at BRE Presents and it is his job to insure that all the details of putting on a great show are taken care of so that the fans have a great show, that the artists road staff have everything they need to do a great show, and that the show stays on budget so that everybody makes money. Not an easy job! In my many years of touring I worked with a lot of Promoter Reps and Kenny is one of the best in the business. His attention to detail and no BS approach always gave me confidence that everything we discussed in advance would be taken care of.
                             Kenny at a Load In

Kenny has years of experience working with many different acts in all kinds of venues, from U2 in a stadium to singer/songwriters in an intimate setting. We enjoyed working with him so much we even let him ride our bus between cities........although I'm not really sure he thought it was quite the "Honor" we made it out to be! The crew thought he rode with us because he was our friend......not because there were no flights between State College, PA and Augusta, Maine!

 I used to ride the bus with the Alan Jackson crew,I still have nightmares!

Name/Home Town/ Family

Ken Alderfer / Springfield, PA

Wife Mary and 2 sons Kenny & JD




            Promoter rep / production manager



            Current Gig / How Long?

             VP BRE Presents, LLC. I have been working with Bill Rogers
              for the last 17 years.



              Who else have you worked for?

               First job out of College was with Jennifer Productions a local promoter and booking agent. Pace Concerts and was a partner in my own company for 6 years.



              Instruments played

               I play AT the guitar.


             Do you write songs?

              Only in the shower.



              Place of Birth

              Chester PA


             Where did you grow up?

          Went through Elementary and High School in Swarthmore PA


            Who were your musical influences growing up?

There are a lot of them, Clapton, Dave Brubeck, Richard Thompson, James Taylor, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Doc Watson, BB King, Buddy Guy, The Temptations, the list is endless. I was and still am interested in many kinds of music. I can listen to AC/DC one day and the Philadelphia Orchestra the next.


    Who / What was the first live musical performance you experienced?

Went to Liberace at the Latin Casino with my Grand Mother’s church group when I was 13 years old, but the first REAL concert I attended was Fleetwood Mac at the Spectrum. I still have the occasional fantasy about Stevie Nicks. I think it was the top hat!


    What do you remember most about those performances?

Everything…the lights, the sound, staging, the atmosphere in then venue, it was electric. There was also Stevie! I still love walking through a venue when the Artist is performing and feeling the energy from the stage and how the audience embraces it.


    Best live performance / concert you have attended? What made it special?

I have been to many great shows Rolling Stones, U2, ABB but I was working all of them. The best show I ever attended as an audience member was George Thorogood and the Destroyers at the Brandywine Club. George just tore it up and the band was smokin’ there was even a fight during the show. George never skipped a beat as both punches and bottles flew. I think he enjoyed it.

What music is in your CD player or I-Pod right now?

Clapton, Ella Fitzgerald, Flip Phillips, Mumford and Sons, Adele, The Civil Wars, James Taylor, Doc Watson, Richard Thompson, Anita O’Day, The Eagles, Beatles, ABB, Led Zeppelin, The list is long.


    Tell us how you got into show business

I ran a club on campus when I was in college, worked on the concert committee and did some one off’s for the promoter who booked the entertainment at my school. When I got out of college I was offered a job by the promoter; not wanting to go to graduate school immediately I took the position thinking I would work for a year then go back to school. That was over 30 years ago. I still think this is a phase I’m going through!


     What advice can you give to someone who is trying to break into show business?

Gather as much experience as you can and work in as many facets of the business as you are able. Our business in not one you can learn listening to someone drone on for 45 minutes at a time 3 days a week, take a few tests, get a passing grade, then start working and know everything there is to know. It just doesn’t work like that. It is all about working hard. The breaks will come and you will eventually find the job you want or it will find you.

                              Kenny on a Segway?!

 What factors and strengths have made you so successful at your craft/job?

I have a sign on the wall opposite my desk that reads” There is no job so simple that it cannot be done wrong” I look at that every morning and when I start to take a short cut it is always there to remind me. I truly believe that if you pay attention to the details and always do the best you can. That you create your own success; it’s nothing more than the product of hard work.


    What has been your favorite job in show business?

Promoter Rep. & Production Manager. I really enjoy putting the event together and watching all the parts meld. Not always an easy process, but when the audience leaves the building and all they can talk about is the show they just saw, it’s a rewarding one.


    What is your favorite music venue?

That is truly a difficult question, but if I had to choose it would be the Keswick Theatre.



What is your favorite city to visit?

Charleston SC


    What are your future plans?

To keep doing what I’m doing as long as it remains fun …and it still is!

    When you are not working, you can find me……

Working on my house, (I always have a project), The golf course or in my wood shop.


    If you weren’t in this business, what would you see yourself doing?

Making antique reproductions. Over the years I have made quite a bit of furniture for our home. Working with wood gives me the opportunity to be creative and not restricted by someone else’s parameters.


    Where have you travelled to lately?

The Outer Banks for a family vacation and  Wilmington NC for a golf tournament. I am planning a trip to Hawaii this spring as a gift for our youngest who graduates from College this May.


    Do you collect anything?  Music memorabilia, instruments, sports cards, beer cans, etc

Funny you should mention beer cans. I did have quite the collection when I was younger. Mary and I do collect antiques. I have been accused of collecting wood working tools, but I view them as necessities. The past 10 years or so I have been collecting wine. I plan to build a tasting room. Although even without the room I seem to be enjoying the tasting.


                                     Kenny and his Better Half

Do you have any quirky habits or superstitions when you are on the road?

I have lots of quirky habits…none that I can share in this forum though!


Bonus Question: Do you own any real estate?

Mary and I have owned a home for the past 25 years. We always felt that it was better to build equity in something rather than helping someone else do the same. But the real reason is that I always wanted to be able to “put a nail in the wall any damn place I wanted”


                             Nice Spread Kenny!

Ken Alderfer is a true professional in his field. His no nonsense approach to his job is a breath of fresh air in the music world full of pretenders, posers, and wanna be's. I enjoyed all the shows we did together.........except maybe Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City! Just joking Kenny. Next time you are touring on the East Coast and run into him, enjoy the smooth day and maybe catch him telling stories about riding with his buddies from Nashville.

email Ken

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