You got an hour?” is Irving Azoff’s first response when asked what he’s currently working on and has in the pipeline for The Azoff Company, the music mogul’s thriving entertainment company he started five years ago anchored by Full Stop Management, Global Music Rights, Oak View Group and LaneOne.
“Full Stop, our management division, is going to have its biggest and best year ever,” Azoff says. “Virtually every single artist we’ve got is going to be on the road,” with tours including Eagles, Anderson .Paak, Jon Bon Jovi, John Mayer, Lizzo, Maroon 5, Journey and Steely Dan.
Azoff also cites the success of GMR, which last month won a victory in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania when a lawsuit filed by the Radio Music License Committee was moved to California, where it will be heard alongside the antitrust suit GMR filed against the RMLC.
“At Oak View we’re really excited because the first of our many buildings is fully under construction in Seattle,” Azoff says referring to Oak View Group, the sports and entertainment venue company co-founded with Tim Leiweke (and Pollstar’s parent company) which is rapidly expanding.
He goes on to mention the Forum, where he is a consultant to the Madison Square Garden Company (his former partner), which he says is “going very positively;” and another success, his premium experience company, LaneOne, which is selling VIP tickets for John Mayer, Jennifer Lopez, Khalid and Jonas Brothers among others.
Asked what he considers his career’s greatest impact, he doesn’t hesitate. “I’ve been blessed to be in a lot businesses and have a lot of success in a lot of different areas,” he says, “but if I had to narrow it down to two, I would say the fact that the Eagles are the biggest-selling band of all time and have persevered for nearly 45 years, and the fact that the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger has delivered exactly what we predicted it would when we merged the companies.”
If the 71-year-old Azoff sounds like he’s enjoying himself more than ever, it’s because he is. “The live business is the healthiest piece of the entire entertainment business, not just the music business,” he says, “It’s exciting times. We spent five years building all three divisions. I’ve never had more fun and we don’t intend to slow down any time soon.” And, he adds, “I’m back to being my fun, unfiltered self.”
My Forum pass.
The show that changed your life?
Beatles, Comiskey Park, Chicago 1965.
Best/worst career-related advice you were ever given?
Best and worse… Return every call I receive.
What would you like to tell our friends at the record labels and/or radio?
Remember, without artists we are nothing.
Where can you be found during a show?
Soundboard, walking around, catering.
Technology that has most impacted your daily work or personal life?