Jam Backs Outback

Chicago-based Jam Productions has invested in Nashville’s Outback Concerts, with Jam’s Jerry Mickelson and Arny Granat as shareholders in the company. With the investment, Jam hopes to increase its presence coast to coast.

Outback has seen significant growth since its inception in 1997, and handles the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” and the coast-to-coast visitations of Larry the Cable Guy. It has also promoted Dierks Bentley, Alison Krauss + Union Station, Tim McGraw & Faith Hilll’s Soul II Soul Tour, Keith Urban, and Carrie Underwood.

“We’ve been close to Arny and Jerry for a long time, thought it was a great opportunity and the timing was just right,” Outback CEO Michael Smardak told Pollstar. “We’ve grown from a two-person office to 21 people and we continue to grow, so we thought bringing two people on with a wealth of resources and experiences works out well for our ability to compete in the marketplace.”

Granat told Pollstar that with the investment, Jam hopes to have more opportunities in the markets where Outback operates. In return, Jam can help increase the visibility of Outback’s country and comedy tours.

“Now we can go cross-country,” Granat said. “And with the investement in Outback, we can help other independents gain more access to talent.”

Jam could be willing to invest in other indie promotion companies.

“Nothing’s out of the question but if we do it, it will be with Outback,” Granat said. “We’re trying to stay in the game. At our age, after all these years, there’s still something to our competitive nature to want to expand and move forward, filling in any gaps and voids we see in the marketplace.”

– Joe Reinartz