Danny Wimmer, Founder & President/Chief Creative Officer, Danny Wimmer Presents

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The Disruptors

The executives behind the ideas that disrupt the industry in positive ways.

Danny Wimmer
Founder & President/Chief Creative Officer, Danny Wimmer Presents

Rock isn’t dead – at least not to Danny Wimmer and the legions of fans who turn out to his festivals.

“‘Rock is dead’ seems to be a coastal concept, meaning so-called tastemakers in Los Angeles and New York proclaim that,” says the founder of powerhouse festival promoter Danny Wimmer Presents. “But the reality is that middle America loves rock. That is who we cater to.”

Wimmer has found a sweet spot by bringing marquee hard-rock talent to secondary and tertiary markets, like the inaugural Epicenter festival, which hosted Korn, Foo Fighters and more at its first iteration May 10-12 in Rockingham, N.C.

“That was very deliberate,” Wimmer says of DWP’s decision to focus efforts in cities such as Jacksonville, Fla., and Columbus, Ohio. “We go to where our fans are.”

If Danny Wimmer Presents has a stronghold, it might be Louisville, Ky., where the company will stage three festivals – Hometown Rising, Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life – over three consecutive weekends this September.

“We think Louisville is Austin or Nashville 10 years ago,” Wimmer says. “It is a very pro-business city led by a very strong mayor. We see lots of opportunity there and will continue to invest in the market.”

Taken together, the three festivals present an eclectic range of artists, from Hometown Rising’s country programming (Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan) to Bourbon & Beyond’s mainstream rock (Robert Plant, ZZ Top) to Louder Than Life’s heavier fare (Slipknot, Guns N’ Roses, Disturbed).

Savvily, DWP launched the “Trifesta Pass” so fans can affordably enjoy all three. The discounted ticket gets fans into all three festivals – eight total days of music – for just $229 plus fees.

“We are really looking to capitalize on the benefits of having three festivals weekend to weekend in the same location,” Wimmer explains. “It also allows us to spread marketing dollars over the entire platform, as well as highlight a city that we love.”

And despite several rocky months, from its 2018 split with longtime partner AEG to working as talent buyer for the embattled Woodstock 50, DWP’s future seems bright.

For one, the country-oriented Hometown Rising represents an alluring market for DWP. Says Wimmer: “Country is very strong in the markets that we are in.”