Pollstar Live! Preview: Marcie Allen’s ‘Branding 101’

Marcie Allen
– Marcie Allen
MAC Presents

As founder of MAC Presents, Marcie Allen uses her varied concert industry experience of the past 25 years to negotiate high-profile partnerships between major artists and the world’s leading brands.

She’s made deals with brands including Sony, Southwest Airlines, YouTube and many others, with major artists such as Chance The Rapper, The Rolling Stones, Khalid, John Mayer and more.

Allen will lead a roundtable discussion at Pollstar Live! Thursday, Feb. 6 at 11:15 a.m., called “Branding 101” where she will surely share tips and tricks of the trade in this ever-increasingly important part of the live music business. Ahead of the discussion, Pollstar caught up with Allen to get a preview of what will go down.

Pollstar:  What new trends are you seeing in your corner of the industry?
We will continue to see more musicians releasing their music independent of a label or with a label that affords them more ownership and control of their catalog. There are so many people in the proverbial boxing ring right now encroaching on one another’s rights to profit and artistic control. 2020 will assuredly see more elbows and knees thrown to advocate for the artists. If we are not cheering for the artists, we are forgetting why we are here. 
Festivals are here to stay. In fact, new festivals are born just about every month, and artists love popping in for festival appearances versus the long, grueling work involved with tour life. Fandom is also staying healthy with the boom in festivals. There is a camaraderie and distinct vibe for almost every festival. The word Coachella is now synonymous with a certain brand of fashion. So, get ready for more festivals because aside from the Fyre Fest debacle, many are success stories that both artists and the fans love to book.
Albums are fading out as artists gradually release their newest material. We all grew up with album names ringing in our head. If you were a ‘90s kid, you knew Nevermind from start to finish like the back of your Fender. Now, we get teasers as songs are dribbled out. That will continue. 
Women are going to continue to demand equal airtime on the radio despite radio being guzzled by streaming. Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini are not the only ones noticing when their songs are bookended by five male artists on the airwaves, and women are over it. Rightfully so.

If a kerfuffle were to break out between panelists and/or audience member what might the issue be over?
The artist and label relationship and ownership of the catalogs. There is a very distinct which-camp-are-you-in mentality around this issue. The issue is raw and unresolved. It brings everyone out swinging.
What was your favorite live performance of the last few years?
Lizzo. She is breaking barriers and just getting started doing it. She is far more than a champion for body inclusivity. Some may call her act part of a fickle trend or gimmick, but I assure you that once you see her live, you will eat those words.