Marshall’s Mid-Year: Q’s With Barrie Marshall, Founder Of Marshall Arts

Pink’s high-flying Beautiful Trauma tour
Mike Lewis Photography / Redferns
– Pink’s high-flying Beautiful Trauma tour
continues at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, June 20. Pink is is No. 2 on Pollstar’s Mid-Year Top 100 Worldwide Tours, with $81.8 million grossed.

Barrie Marshall, founder of Marshall Arts, is promoter and agent of some of the world’s biggest acts, including Pink, Cher and Paul McCartney, who all rank among the Top 20 of Pollstar’s Mid-Year Worldwide Top Tours chart.

Pink came in second with an impressive $81,776,955 gross and 573,040 tickets sold across 39 shows reported to Pollstar’s boxoffice database. Cher is No. 11, grossing $48,662,274 across 38 shows, selling 403,027 tickets in total. McCartney is in the home stretch of his Freshen Up tour, which has grossed $40,707,193 and sold 369,690 tickets across 13 shows reported to Pollstar at press time.

All of these artists are currently touring, which is why it’s a minor miracle that Marshall found the time to answer our questions.

Barrie Marshall
Gideon Gottfried
– Barrie Marshall

Pollstar: Can you sum up your year so far?
Barrie Marshall: 2019 is a particularly busy year for us. Following his incredible stadium shows in South America in March, where he holds the record for the most ticket sales in Brazil by any international artiste, Paul McCartney headed to New Orleans in May to commence his U.S. tour, which includes arena shows, but also some special stadium appearances. He finishes in Dodger Stadium in LA on July 13. We have the continuing honour of working with [Pollstar’s Mid-Year Worldwide Top Tour] Sir Elton John – he is currently on tour across Europe, following his amazing successes worldwide, setting records wherever he goes. He will play two shows in the UK this summer, but will return in 2020 for major arena dates. His visibility is quite incredible, and as the tour title suggests “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” ensures that he brings joy to as many fans as he possibly can, before he takes a step back to enjoy life with his family.
Pink is also having a sensational time. Sold out everywhere, number one album [Hurts 2B Human] around the world, a follow up to her previous number one album [Beautiful Trauma], all in just over a year.  
Can you break down your role in Pink’s career? Agent, Promoter? Both? Pink seems to have a unique setup, with AEG and Live Nation both collaborating, at least in North America. 
Well, first and foremost, promoter, and on some shows co-promoter, collaborating with both AEG and Live Nation, particularly in America.
I have great working relationships and, basically work with the most suitable colleagues in each territory. It is always about what’s the very best thing for the artiste. That’s always the priority.
We have been her promoters in the UK since 2002, and collaborate with our colleagues in Europe across all territories. So, primarily a promoter, but sometimes in Europe and other markets and countries, also an agent.
When did you first see her play live? 
I was in America and saw a breakfast TV show which she appeared on. I thought she was fantastic, and [her manager] Roger Davies invited me to go out to see her play live in a small club in Phoenix.
Seeing her live just confirmed that the TV didn’t lie. Such a presence, and such a voice!

Pink gives the word performance new meaning
Andrew MacPherson
– Pink gives the word performance new meaning
Here she can be see flying through Amsterdam

Can you take us through the initial meeting?

We chatted a little bit, and I think she was checking to see if I was a straight shooter. From then on we had the opportunity to promote her – starting at The Scala in Kings Cross [London]. We then promoted her throughout the UK and across many key cities in Europe.
So during those times I got to know her on the road. We’ve raised quite a few glasses together, and that’s always a treat for me. She’s a very strong person, totally honest, always lets you know what she’s feeling.  
What would you say were milestones in her journey becoming one of the world’s biggest stars?
Her manager, Roger Davies, motivated a great deal of support from her record company. Her songs were infectious, she is infectious. The world started to take notice of her unique talent as an athlete combined with a voice that can sing anything. Showing people you can be swinging upside down whilst still singing live has had such major impact on those watching. Then couple all of this with such great lyrics!
Her live shows were amazing, and she was selling out arenas in the UK & Europe. Then, in 2009, we had the chance to promote 12 sold-out arena shows in America, including Madison Square Garden, which I feel was an important day. The closing number to that particular production was “Glitter in the Air” – a moment of total beauty.
When she performed that at the Grammys in 2010, people simply gasped in awe. It was perfection. I believe that in her career, it was a real “never to be forgotten moment” on the world stage.
How does Pink on stage differ from Pink off stage?
I think Alecia [Beth Moore] is the same person on and off stage. Her opinions remain the same, and she is never afraid to voice them. She works incredibly hard, always writing and thinking about new musical avenues, and sometimes collaborations.
But she is also a great wife and mother. She and Carey are very hands-on parents. In between all those amazing shows, rehearsals, travel, etc., she devotes her time to Willow and Jameson. I’m not actually sure when (or if) she finds time to sleep or how she can do everything – but she does. She’s a perfectionist.
She’s also a wine connoisseur, creating her own! Again, where does she find the time?
What’s next for the tour?
After the phenomenal success she’s been enjoying across North America and Australasia, it’s very exciting to have Alecia back in the UK and Europe. She’s started with a bang with incredible shows and reviews in Amsterdam, Dublin, Cardiff and Glasgow, heading to Liverpool, and then Wembley Stadium. She gets any party started, lifts the spirits and brings a lot of joy.
I have to maintain very high standards in order to continue to have the privilege of working with her, and I hope that continues for many years. Alecia is a fantastic person who I totally admire and respect. She is absolutely a unique and a star in the real sense.
You’re also on tour with Paul McCartney. What comes to mind when you think about him?
Meeting and working with Paul McCartney changed my life. It had a huge impact, teaching me disciplines and respect, because he knew exactly what he wanted to do and I had to stay extremely focused to maintain his standard of excellence.
Visiting so many places and watching incredible shows – the only contemporary concert ever to be staged in the entire Red Square, Moscow. And, just before that, the first contemporary Artiste to play the Coliseum in Rome.  Playing ‘inside’ the Coliseum in Rome to 300 people – and the following night outside to more than half a million people [May 10-11, 2003]. It was quite staggering. Half a million people in Zocola Square, Mexico City [in 2012]. It goes on and on.
Opening up so many new markets with Paul over 30 years, his concerts are like touring history really, but with music that is so fresh and inspiring and stirring memories for generations, whilst managing to be current. So current that last September he had a number one album.
Paul McCartney in Paris
– Paul McCartney in Paris
The icon played the French capital’s Paris La Defense Arena, Nov. 28, 2018

Is there anybody you’d consider a mentor?
In the 60’s, I worked for the Promoter of the day, Arthur Howes. He promoted the Beatles, presented “package shows,” and built a great rapport with many Artistes and their managers. He brought a lot of American Artistes to the UK, and opened the door for many others to follow.
Jimmy O’Dey worked for him, and then I worked for Jimmy. I was probably 21. He taught me so much about “timing,” he represented The Walker Brothers at the time, and shared a lot of knowledge with me. We lost touch for quite a while, but I never forgot the time with him, and still remember those lessons.
Bill Graham was my hero. I met him in San Francisco, and was so influenced by the style and imagination of his concerts. They were events. Events are what we need in this  business. It’s a moment in people’s lives that lives on in their memories. In fact, music is memories.
What is some valuable advice you’ve receive in your life?
Unless it’s a really big name, never book an act you haven’t seen. Never make enemies when you can make friends. Always remember: the people you meet on the way up, will be there on the way down.”