Hip-hop promoter Bobby Bookings makes big moves in the Midwest

Robert Coates (second from bottom left, clockwise) with the Bobby Bookings team. (Photo courtesy of Robert Coates)

Bobby Bookings has made a name for itself in Rochester, Minnesota as the city’s leading promoter of concerts and events. He played a pivotal role in bringing top hip-hop artists to the city. So when the hip-hop time machine landed locally, people wanted to find out more about Bobby Bookings.

Deployment sat down with Robert Coates, the creative behind the brand, to discuss the art of trade promotion.

Who is Bobby Bookings?

My name is Rob [Coates], but many know me as Bobby in the community. Bobby is my pseudonym, and if you’ve done business with me, you might know my assistant Kyle. We are both dedicated to the Rochester entertainment community and seek to make an economic and influential impact.

How did you end up in Rochester, Minnesota?

First and foremost, one thing that is super important to me is family. My youngest moved to Rochester first, and you can probably guess what’s next. I tracked where my children resided. I am proud to keep a close relationship with my family.

Have you always been interested in being a promoter?

Yes but no. I’ve been around the entertainment industry since I was young. My dad owned a security company that secured many [celebrities] in the industry, exposing myself to the lifestyle at a young age. I had the honor of meeting so many different celebrities that I knew my heart belonged somewhere in the entertainment industry. in fact, I started to build my reputation as a DJ.

How did you grow your business?

I’ve brought shows to other parts of the United States. Some of the shows I’ve put together have been in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Myrtle Beach; [South Carolina]. Of course they were no match for what the Ying Yang Twins show [was].

How do you become a successful concert organizer?

Networking, networking, networking! Did I mention networking? There are so many moving parts in this business that thinking outside of “another” box is the best way to sum this up.

What’s next for Bobby Bookings?

There’s so much in the works that is extremely exciting, and I can barely stop myself from saying too much. So the best answer I have to this question is multicultural events; Juneteenth and Bobby Bookings are looking to expand outside of Rochester. Individuals would like us to bring the same great entertainment we present in Rochester to other cities.

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