Management Shakeup: Roar Co-Founders Form Activist Artists Management, Bringing Dwight Yoakam, Dead & Co., Michael Franti, Others

Bernie Cahill and Greg Suess, founding partners of artist management company Roar, along with fellow partner and head of Roar’s Nashville office Matt Maher, have left the company and launched Activist Artists Management, a full-service talent management, integrated media and advisory firm.

Liz Norris was head of Roar’s media and brand strategy and joins Activist as a partner to head the New York Office.  At Roar she oversaw brand strategies for music and talent with a focus on music, film and TV.

Bernie Cahill
– Bernie Cahill

Cahill will continue to represent Dwight Yoakam, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ben Rector, Bob Weir, “Nashville” co-star Clare Bowen, Dead & Company (co-managed with Irving Azoff and Steve Moir), and David Alan Grier among others.

“Activist was created for authentic artists that are striving to make a difference through their art – simply put we have the team here that can help them move the world,” said Cahill. 

Suess added, “We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together at Roar and are looking forward to continuing to provide our clients with the highest level of forward-thinking representation in this next, exciting endeavor.”

The announcement states, “True to the Activist name, the new company will protect and build all aspects of an artists’ career while leveraging their authentic voice and related platform in an effort to effect positive change.”

Pollstar has learned that there was a business dispute between the Activist founders and Roar.

Activist’s new global headquarters is located at the Activist Building at 8500 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, and has launched its website at  

Greg Suess
– Greg Suess

Cahill at Roar established and ran its music division and over the last decade, personally managing the careers of Dwight Yoakam, and Zac Brown Band among others.  He also oversaw the development and retail launch of a number of highly successful artist-based retail brands including Z. Alexander Brown wines and The Real Coconut.

Maher will head Activist’s Nashville office and continue to serve as day-to-day manager for “a number of Activist’s prominent recording artists.” He headed the Roar Nashville office.

Activist also announced that Jacksonville Jaguars owners the Khan Family have made an investment into Activist and separately established a content and venture fund focused on investments in media, entertainment, hospitality and technologies. Cahill and Suess have a relationship with the Khan family through previous investments and partnerships including The Virgin Hotels – Nashville, Appetize Technologies, Fair, and The Real Coconut.