Q’s With Adam Lind, Co-Manager Of Q1 Chart Toppers Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Jason McEachern / TSO
– Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Selling 885,304 tickets to top Pollstar’s Q1 2020 Worldwide Top 100 Tours Chart is an amazing accomplishment by any measure; but, for Trans-Siberian Orchestra, it’s just another Christmas. The perennial chart-toppers (with total Pollstar Boxoffice numbers reaching an astonishing gross of $750 million and 15 million tickets sold) run an extraordinary live business. Here, co-manager Adam Lind discusses the strategies and operations behind the massive TSO operation, the late founder Paul O’Neill’s vision and prices that keep fans thinking they “ripped the band off.” 






See all Pollstar charts here

Pollstar: Congrats on Trans-Siberian Orchestra topping the Q1 charts. It’s extraordinary: nearly 900,00 tickets sold – 300,000 more than the runner-up – how do you explain the phenomenal success?

Adam Lind: TSO gives people more than the typical concert experience. It’s a story, it’s a visual experience, it’s a music experience, it’s an emotional experience – a bit of everything. The band and crew do a great job of accomplishing Paul’s vision of enveloping the audience in the experience.
What is your role and background?
Kenny Kaplan and I run Night Castle Management, which is TSO’s owned and operated management company. I’ve worked with Paul O’Neill and family since 1995. Before that I worked in management, labels, record distribution selling everything from Aerosmith to EPMD.  
EPMD and Aerosmith, that’s cool! How did that inform your work for TSO? 
I’m not sure anything prepared me for that, but it is a unique journey and I can’t imagine I would do anything different.
What is Night Castle Management?
NCM is an extension of TSO. Paul and his family always had big dreams, and we have a lot to do to fulfill them. Just as TSO really created their own music format (that they deemed Rock Theater), there is so much to Paul’s work from finishing unreleased work to different performance formats. The company is Ken and I, who’ve worked together for so long people can’t tell the difference between us on the phone. Adam Seidel is our comptroller and grounds all our craziness. Josh Ruzansky is our digital/computer guru and finds ways to get things done. Gabi Bisconti is the newest addition and balances being our conscience and giving us new insights everyday. 
Why do you think so many flock to TSO shows?
It’s more than a traditional concert and for some an escape from the everyday and/or a family tradition. In 1999, 12,000 people came to see TSO, by 2004 close to 1 million came. To have that kind of explosive growth it has to be something that inspires people deeply. 
What were some of this year’s production features?
The band went back to the first rock opera “Christmas Eve & Other Stories.” Some songs hadn’t been performed in years and it was great to dust them off and present them in a new way. We always keep the integrity of Paul’s vision and how things are presented intact. The standouts are the overall design and execution and, of course, the Tesla Coil in the middle of the audience!
One major tour’s production is often a huge challenge. What are the challenges and perhaps advantages of having two touring companies?
The advantage is we can cover more ground and bring the show to more people. Paul always felt that the rock opera was more impactful the closer it was to Christmas. The challenges are everything else. In many markets the band does two shows a day and typically eight shows a week! Each production travels with 120 people, does three days a week of doubles and everyone has two days off to recover. There’s 20 trucks per tour in the winter setting them up in time for a 3 p.m. show and again for evening. It’s moving a small city all over the place and getting in and out in time for the next show. And everything is doubled!
Who are the team surrounding the tour?
Elliot Saltzman knows everything about touring and works closely on every step of the production and tour. Bryan Hartley is a brilliant lighting and production designer. Jeff Boguski and Jimmy Pettinato, our heads of production, are the best in the business. David Comeau is an amazingly smart tour manager and tour accountant we are lucky to work with.
Are there certain TSO territories? 
Definitely where it all started in Cleveland (they have a special spot since WNCX first approached us about doing a show), Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida.
The pricing looks very reasonable – often $49 to $90 and as low as $21.
That’s been the goal from day one: Try and make this a show the family can come and enjoy from across the economic spectrum. Paul used to have a saying, he wanted our fans to leave feeling like they “ripped the band off.” 

Who is the tour promoter?
Live Nation does a majority of our dates, but there are others as well. We have a great relationship with all our promoters. They have been with us since the beginning.
What kind of TSO merch is available, do you know the rough per caps? 
This has never been a huge merchandise band. The fans are there for the experience. 

What can we look forward to from TSO next season?  
This year will be what the band always strives to do. The best show ever!