Hip-hop promoter Bobby Bookings making major moves in the Midwest

Hip-hop promoter Bobby Bookings making major moves in the Midwest
Robert Coates (second from lower left, clockwise) with the Bobby Bookings team. (Photo courtesy of Robert Coates)

Bobby Bookings has made a name for itself in Rochester, Minnesota, by being the city’s leading concert and event promoter. It 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 know more about Bobby Bookings.

Rolling out sat down with Robert Coates, the creative behind the brand, to discuss the art of business promotion.

Who is Bobby Bookings?

My name is Rob [Coates], but many know me as Bobby in the community. Bobby is my alias, and if you have done business with me, you may know my assistant Kyle. We’re both dedicated to Rochester’s entertainment community and look 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 probably can guess what comes next. I followed where my kids resided. I pride myself on keeping a close relationship with my family.

Were you always interested in being a promoter?

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

How have you expanded your business?

I’ve brought shows to other areas in the U.S. Some of the shows I put together have been in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Myrtle Beach; [South Carolina]. Sure, they weren’t to the extent of what the Ying Yang Twins‘ show [was].

How do you become a successful concert promoter?

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

What’s next for Bobby Bookings?

There are so many things in the works that are extremely exciting, and I can barely hold myself back from saying too much. So the best answer I have for 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 are showcasing to Rochester in other cities.

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