Programmers in the music industry are responsible for arranging the artistic activities of artists or venues. They can work for individual artists, groups, bands, companies, or a venue (e.g. club, concert hall or opera house).
Programmers for a group, such as an orchestra will be responsible for planning a whole year's performances. They may also plan further into the future for the orchestra. They will work with design and technical staff to plan technical support for the orchestra. They also liaise with venues and local authorities and arts council regional offices. This is to gain financial support, sponsorship and make bookings. They also promote and publicise performances and shows.
Programmers for individual artists will plan tours. They may then be involved in booking international venues. They also deal with some technical details of live performance. They liaise with venues to make all the necessary arrangements for performances.
Programmers for a venue will be responsible for planning a whole year's activities or shows for the venue. They will ensure that programming takes account of both local and national needs. They may liaise with schools and community groups to link up for educational purposes. An example of this collaboration would be hosting music which is part of a curriculum.
All programmers will be aware of trends and audience expectations. This is necessary when they work with artistic directors to plan a future programme. They may be influenced by public demand to stage popular music, such as popular opera. However they may need to balance populism with the demands of minority audiences.