BKLA Management, Inc.
Guns N’ Roses • Pink • The Rolling Stones
Luis Soto took an unconventional path into tour managing. “I was a high school history teacher and, in 1997, was offered to tour with Maxwell,” Soto tells Pollstar.
“Seemingly polar opposite careers, yet, my skills were transferrable to touring. I had no idea at the time, but my past experience determined this future.”
That future includes his most recent run, keeping Guns N’ Roses running like a well-oiled machine since 2016 – an accomplishment he counts as among which he’s most proud. And he’s had plenty of those. In addition to GNR’s reunion tour, Soto has tour managed The Rolling Stones, Pink, and Jay-Z and put in tours as assistant TM for artists including Katy Perry, Aerosmith and Black Sabbath, as well as the co-bill of Jay-Z and Kanye West.
“Being part of the logistics planning for the Rolling Stones show in Havana, Cuba, is something I will never forget,” Soto adds. “It was unlike anything I have ever done. Definitely a historical touring moment that still blows my mind to this day.” While “high school history teacher” isn’t a typical entry on a tour manager’s resume, Soto identifies important traits both should possess.
“In my opinion, organizational skills, interpersonal skills and keeping a sense of calm and humor are integral parts of the job which were either innate or refined over time,” he says. “I personally enjoy fulfilling the vision of a tour by focusing on the above. Each tour is different so I work within their unique dynamics to tailor a system of protocol that works for each one to run smoothly. Within that framework is where the success lies.”