Pollstar Live! Preview: C3’s Three C’s

– Charles Attal, Charlie Jones, and Charlie Walker

One of the marquee panels at Pollstar Live! 2020 will be Ray Waddell’s sitdown with the three founders of C3 Presents: Charles Attal, Charlie Jones, and Charlie Walker. 

The company was in headlines last month when news broke that Charlie Jones would be departing the company to pursue independent interests. Although details are still scarce on what that means, Jones did tell Pollstar he doesn’t expect the name to change to C2. 

All three Charlies are scheduled to take part in the Pollstar Live! discussion, adding extra intrigue to an already top-notch industry panel, and they were gracious enough to speak with Pollstar ahead of the event. 
Pollstar: What key issues will be discussed at your panel? 
Charlie Walker: I hope Ray is bringing the issues. It was told to us it’s a Q&A session moderated by him, so I plan on discussing whatever he wants to talk about.
Charles Attal: Exactly
What new trends are you seeing in your corner of the industry either as it relates to your panel or otherwise?
Walker: One of the things that’s been interesting to watch is the artist-curated festivals. Post Malone has one, Travis Scott has one, Pharrell has a great one in Virginia Beach. That’s been cool to see blossom. Most of us in our space agree when the festival business is healthy, it’s healthy for everyone.  I’m kind of a fan of seeing other things develop because I think it helps us all.
Attal: We even look at our competitors and cheer for them to have a good onsale for their festival. 
I would think that’s counter-intuitive because you guys do so many festivals, some of the largest in the U.S. 

Attal: People are gonna pick and choose where they want to go. If you’ve got good real estate, a good concept, good bands, you are gonna do ok. People do compete with all the [other] festivals, but as long as you are not stepping on somebody in the same market, you’re gonna be fine.
Walker: We compete with staying home. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, All the reasons you could or should stay home is what we compete against. If Travis Scott has a successful festival in Houston, it brings more people out to experience live which hopefully feeds into the rest of our business, what we do and what everyone else does. 
Charlie Jones: Maybe those mega ones that give you everything, maybe there is some saturation there. But there is a lot of room for targeted [events]. As far as Travis Scott, it’s a pretty targeted experience. People of all ages want to get out of their house and experience live, and they’re gonna pick and choose exactly what they want, whether it’s hip-hop, country or alternative rock ’n’ roll.

And even with the examples of Post Malone and Travis Scott’s festivals. Both are in Texas (Dallas and Houston), obviously not the same market, but they don’t seem to be hurting each others’ business. 
Jones: Yeah and they’re drivable. We sell a lot of tickets in those markets for Austin City Limits and I’m sure they sell a lot of tickets in Austin for their events. I don’t think we see saturation at that level, I think that’s just encouraging people to participate in live music events, which is good.
If a kerfuffle were to break out between panelists and/or audience member what might the issue be over?
Jones: Trump? Maybe some YouTubers and Irving?
Walker: I think Jones had it right with Trump. I think politics might be the most divisive thing in the country and in the business.
What are you looking most forward to at this year’s conference? 
Attal:  Hanging out with Ray
Jones: I second that, hanging out with Ray.
What was your favorite live performance of the last few years?

Jones: Childish Gambino at Lollapalooza Chicago. He is beyond a musician, he is a true performer. Almost in the spirit of the “This is America” video, his connection with camera operator in that video was very similar to his connection with the camera operator for the jumbotron. The way he connected to the audience with his eyes was pretty spectacular.  
Attal: Lizzo, with my kids, on the side stage at ACL. She blew up so fast, and she didn’t want to move off the side stage. It was wild. My kids were there, it was just a great show.
Walker I’m gonna go back a few years and go sentimental. The sunset slot that Willie Nelson played at ACL. Austin and Willie, it was the opposite of divisiveness. The rock kids were down there, the hip-hop kids were down there, the old people were down there, the young people were down there. It was Willie and Austin, at that time of the day, it was pretty special. 

Any other thoughts?
Walker: I just noticed the panel is at 9:45 a.m., so we’ve got a nice support slot.