Doug Logan’s 30 years in the entertainment industry have taken him a lot of places and he’s worn a lot of different hats – Rockford MetroCenter GM, OCESA director general, Ogden Corp. senior VP and Major League Soccer commissioner. But his latest job has brought him to a familiar place: booking shows for the 1,736-capacity Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s 2007-’08 season.
Logan said the job at the Sarasota, Fla., venue was unexpected.
"I was actually talking to [city officials] about baseball originally. All of a sudden, they parted ways with the executive director and they appointed an interim director," he told Pollstar. "I was asked if this was something I’d had some experience in and I indicated I’d spent many, many days talking to agents on the phone.
"It’s been a while since I’ve actually done talent buying but I still have a lot of old buddies at the agencies."
Logan and his wife, Anne, own a home in Sarasota so he won’t be adding any extra frequent flyer miles. The couple also maintains a home in New York, where his consulting business, Empresario LLC, is based.
The industry vet is planning to add different acts to the venue’s lineup of classical music, Broadway shows, modern dance and other entertainment. The hall usually hosts 170 to 180 dates from September to May but Logan said if all goes well, there could be up to 190 dates on the books.
"Take a look at the venues where the award shows are being produced. That is a familiar setting for virtually every idiom in the music business, so you’re able to think broadly," Logan said. "If you’ve got a good room, it’s definitely adaptable to a lot of music forms."
His days of promoting a variety of musical genres through the MetroCentre, Ogden Presents and OCESA Presents will no doubt come in handy.
"I come at it from being a [music] fan but I also have had the extraordinary opportunity in past lives to promote a wide variety of musical genres – from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to Sepultura and everything in between," he said.
Logan comes from a prominent Cuban family. Born in New Jersey, Logan moved to Cuba when he was a year old and lived there off and on until Castro seized power in 1959. He’s also a Vietnam veteran and was awarded two Bronze Stars.
Although Logan’s consulting business has him working with entertainment companies in Central and South America, venue owners and operators, sports teams and concessionaires, his foray back into talent buying is one he’s happy to take on.
"It’s really fun to get back in the business of trying to put together a balanced calendar for a community and reestablishing some old relationships that I had in the business," he said. "I always had a bit of a thrill every time the house lights went down and the show was about to start in any place that I landed on the lily pond of life."