Pollstar VenuesNow Digital Series

Pollstar today announced its ‘Black History Month Roundtable: Celebrating Excellence in the Live Industry,” a power-packed roundtable of top executives including: ICM’s Dennis Ashley, Culture Collective founder Jonathan Azu, Afropunk’s Tina Farris, Jesse Collins Entertainment’s Dionne Harmon and Cheaa Mayfield. The panel will be moderated by Collective Management Group’s Geoff Walker.  

“Black History Month Roundtable: Excellence in The Live Industry” livestream discussion will take place on Thursday, Feb. 25th at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET and can be accessed from Pollstar’s Facebook page. 

The Feb. 9 “Reviving Live” Live Week Pollstar Digital Session featured a roundtable of major industry players, including heads or co-heads of the major talent agencies like CAA (Rob Light), UTA (Samantha Kirby Yoh) and AGI (Marsha Vlasic) as well as major players on the promoter and venue side discussing all things live as the business looks to reopen.

Nederlander Concerts CEO Alex Hodges talked about the promoter/venue operator’s successes with drive-in shows, including a full tour with Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness, while Chase Center GM Kim Stone talked about the extensive efforts to make the San Francisco arena, home to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the safest venue in the U.S. That means being able to essentially flush out all the air in the arena at will, multiple times per hour, as indoor gathering rules take shape in the post-COVID era.

As the Latin Grammys approach, Pollstar is inviting a group of esteemed panelists to discuss the growth of the Latin music industry. The discussion will be livestreamed on Pollstar’s official Facebook page today, Nov. 17 at 11 a.m.

Panelists included award-winning recording artist Carlos Vives, Luana Pagani of Seitrack US, John Pantle of Sound Talent Group, and entertainment attorneys Angela “Angie” Martinez, Esq., and Simran A. Singh.

The discussion will touch on why the Latin market has exploded in global popularity in the last several years, what are some different elements of the various Latin markets; and what are things the Anglo/English-speaking music industry can learn from the Latin explosion.

Grand Ole Opry Roundtable
Continuing the celebration of the legacy of the Grand Ole Opry, Vice President/Executive Producer of the Opry, Dan Rogers and 50+ year Opry member Jeannie Seely will take part in a roundtable discussion with Pollstar contributing editor Holly Gleason on Thursday’s edition of Pollstar Live! Digital Sessions. 

Rogers and Seely are featured in this week’s special issue of Pollstar marking the 95th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Industry leaders convened Thursday to discuss the intersection of civic engagement and live entertainment in the latest Pollstar Live! Digital Session.

In a wide-ranging conversation taking place less than a week before America’s presidential election, Emily White (#iVoted), Andy Bernstein (HeadCount), Kevin Lyman (Kevin Lyman Group), Hannah Gordon (San Francisco 49ers), Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers) and Vernon Reid (Living Colour) discussed how the live business has harnessed its platform to inspire political participation – during a pandemic, no less.

Noelle Scaggs, founder of Diversify The Stage and brilliant co-lead vocalist for Fitz & the Tantrums moderated a livestream roundtable on the crucial topic of diversity in the live industry with six prominent figures in the live business. 

The panel boasted Tobi Parks, co-head of NIVA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity and owner of xBk Live; Brandon Pankey of Live Nation Urban, which last week released the Black Tour Directory; Jerome Crooks of Diversify The Stage, who is the founder of online employment portal NeverFamous.com and the production manager for Nine Inch Nails; Sooner Rae Routhier, an award-winning designer, producer and director; Lance “KC” Jackson, co-founder of Roadies of Color; and Joe Schaffner, a legendary tour manager who worked on tours with Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and the Jacksons. 

MINT Talent Group
Pollstar’s latest Digital Session featured the founding agents of the newly formed MINT Talent Group, which includes notable agents previously with Paradigm, CAA, WME, and Madison House striking out on their own with a formidable, diverse roster, leaner operations and common goals. Hear how the agency came together, their plans going forward, and the overall state of the agency business.

Agents C.J Strock (formerly of WME), Patrick McAuliff and Phil Egenthal (formerly of Paradigm), Mary Allen and Cassie Siegel (formerly of Madison House), Michael Morris and Ryan Owens (formerly of Paradigm), Pete Wiederlight (formerly of WME) and Logan Handelsman (formerly of CAA) were interviewed by Ryan Borba, managing editor of Pollstar.   

40 Years Of 9:30 Club: Pollstar Live! Digital Sessions
In a freewheeling and historical roundtable — significantly on 9/30 — the 9:30 Club celebrated its 40th anniversary with a power-packed livestreamed Pollstar Live! and VenuesNow Digital Session (full video below).

The discussion featured a number of high-powered Capital City music luminaries including Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (and Nirvana, but who mostly spoke about his punk past in Scream and Dain Bramage); beloved Trouble Funk frontman Big Tony; Mark Noone from the amazing and criminally under-appreciated Slickee Boys; and, for a few minutes, the D.C. deity that is the great Ian MacKaye, Dischord Records co-founder, member of The Evens and Coriky and formerly of the Teen Idols, Minor Threat, Embrace and Fugazi.  

Charlie Daniels
To go along with a special Charlie Daniels issue, Pollstar Live! Digital Sessions featured “A Southern Rock Salute To Charlie Daniels,” a livestream roundtable including Marshall Tucker Band’s Doug Gray, Wet Willie’s Jimmy Hall, Outlaw’s Henry Paul, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington & Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr. 

The Southern rock stars were interviewed by Ray Waddell, President of Media & Conferences for Oak View Group. 

The Sept. 21 issue of Pollstar paid tribute to country music and Southern rock legend Charlie Daniels, who had such a profound impact on so many, from his influence as a musician to the kindness he showed fellow artists who looked up to Daniels as a father figure and the charity work he did in support of the military and other causes including the Volunteer Jam concert and The Journey Home Project.

Pollstar Live! Digital Sessions: Stevie Van Zandt
Stevie Van Zandt – one of the world’s foremost authorities on rock ’n’ roll – sat down with OVG President of Media and Conferences on Sept. 15 for an hour-long conversation spanning the history of American music, his own career/musical journey and other projects he has been involved with more recently.

SVZ is known around the world as a musician, performer, songwriter, arranger, producer, music supervisor, TV producer, actor, director, Broadway producer, TV and Film composer, live event producer, International DJ, entrepreneur, activist, historian, teacher, philanthropist, and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Some of the groups he has been a member of over the years include Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul and he will be recognized by many as the actor portraying Silvio Dante in the TV show “The Sopranos.”

Pollstar Live! Digital Session: TBA Agency 
This Pollstar Live! Digital Session features a livestreamed roundtable discussion with four of the co-founders of the just-launched TBA music agency – Marshall Betts, Amy Davidman, Devin Landau and Avery McTaggart – along with Head of Marketing Katie Nowak and Head of Artist Creative Strategy Samantha Tacón.

Pollstar recently broke the news that five former Paradigm agents (including Ryan Craven) had formed TBA, a new, independent music agency with an impressive roster boasting The War on Drugs, Courtney Barnett, Chvrches, Hot Chip, Tune-Yards, Guided by Voices and more. 

Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett quickly warmed up to the concept of streaming concerts. Early on in the industry shutdown, Buffett began streaming epic shows to his rabid Parrothead fans via his Radio Margaritaville and Margaritaville TV platforms, even staging a Cabin Fever Virtual Tour featuring legendary performances from around the world. 

Clearly, Buffett is all in on NoCap, as evidenced by this rare interview. Buffett spoke with Pollstar via Zoom, discussing his support of NoCap, as well as his own ascension from these small venues and the importance of live performance in his now diversified career.

Grammy-nominated, neo-traditional country band Midland joined Pollstar Contributing Editor Holly Gleason in conversation via Zoom on Aug. 27 for the latest edition of Pollstar Live! Digital Session.

Jess Carson, Cam Duddy and Mark Wystrach chatted with Gleason about the Luck Springs, Texas-based trio’s songwriting influences, using racy lyrics to “convey the human experience,” stories from the road, the significance of North Hollywood’s historic Palomino Club and more.  

Legendary artist manager “Supermensch” Shep Gordon and David Fishof, producer of Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp, sat down with Oak View Group’s Ray Waddell yesterday, Aug. 20, to talk about their careers, their summer vacations in turbulent times, and the new Rock Camp Master Class program which has been taking place nightly since June.

The Master Classes – organized by Fishof after the pandemic disrupted the entire live event industry – have featured Alice Cooper, Steve Gadd, Sebastian Bach, Steve Howe, Leslie West, Lita Ford, Liberty DeVitto, Derek St. Holmes, Mark Slaughter, Tracii Guns, Vinny Appice, and Shep Gordon himself, all giving lessons on how to rock in all aspects of the music industry. 

The broad discussion during the interview ranges from Fishof’s transition to the music business during The Monkees’ run on MTV to Alice Cooper’s saran wrap jumpsuits and much, much more in between.  

Good Charlotte’s Benji and Joel Madden, who are the co-founders of MDDN and Veeps, took part in Tuesday’s edition of Pollstar Live! Digital Sessions to talk about lessons learned over the years, both as artists and executives.  

The 41-year-old twins founded MDDN – a Los Angeles-based company that offers music management, production and digital media marketing – in 2015 along with their older brother Josh as Chief Creative Officer. Ticketing platform Veeps was launched a few years later to help bands sell VIP offerings and has evolved during the pandemic to become one of the premier ticketing livestream platforms with clients including Brandi Carlile, Liam Payne and Pete Yorn.  

With over 40 years of success in the live production business, one would think tours of every stripe would be lining up to hire the eminently qualified Lance “K.C.” Jackson and Bill Reeves as tour or production managers. Unfortunately, for over four decades in an industry lacking in racial diversity and inclusion, no major tour by a white artist ever called. Their organization Roadies of Color United International is actively working to change that.

Dayna Frank, First Avenue
Pollstar sat down with Dayna Frank, the subject of Pollstar’s Impact 50 cover story.

To say Dayna Frank has had an eventful 2020 doesn’t even scratch the surface. On April 3, First Avenue, the iconic Minneapolis venue which anchors First Avenue Productions of which Frank is owner and CEO, celebrated its 50th anniversary. This came as the Minnesota State Legislature was set to vote on a $20 million city bond so First Avenue could develop a new amphitheater along the banks of the Mississippi. Concurrently, the 41-year-old executive became board president of the National Independent Venue Association, an industry advocacy group of some 2,000 “Type-A” independent promoters and venues from all 50 states with a critical mission.  

Pollstar sat down with this week’s cover artist, Mickey Guyton for a live One-On-One as part of the Pollstar Live! Digital Series.

Guyton was recently the subject of a Pollstar cover story which explored how she fell in love with country music, why she wrote the song “Sister” and her own experience being young, Black, gifted and female. 

Grammy-winning artist Mike Farris sat down with Oak View Group President of Media & Conferences Ray Waddell for a Pollstar Live! One-On-One conversation, which was streamed live on Pollstar’s Facebook Page on June 16.

The conversation touched on Farris’s expansive career, which included touring with Meat Loaf, founding and fronting Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies and his solo career, which includes his latest release, Silver & Stone, released through Compass Records.

The concert industry is going through a “reset,” says Marcie Allen, president and founder of branding and marketing powerhouse MAC Presents, who sat with Pollstar May 28 for the latest in the One-On-One series of digital interviews.

Despite an industrywide shutdown thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Allen is upbeat and sees opportunity rather than catastrophe. Content becomes more important than ever for artists — not just in terms of streaming, but in partnership with companies like Netflix, Apple, Disney Plus and others. And, until live concerts return in a meaningful way, it’s important to remember that artists’ own businesses need to pivot, too, in monetizing beyond ticket sales.

Pollstar Live! Digital Session: Fleming Artists’ Jim Fleming and Lara Supan 

For 40 years, Jim Fleming has run his own agency and, while he’s seen much change and worked through multiple crises and challenges, COVID-19 is different.

“I’ve never seen anything like this. Who has, right? This is the great reckoning,” Fleming says from his base in Ann Arbor, Mich., where his roster includes singer-songwriter and actor Jeff Daniels, Grammy winner Tom Paxton, songwriter Erin McKeown and burgeoning talent such as The Accidentals and Carsie Blanton, among others.

Jamie Cheek of Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc., handles the budgeting and financial planning for artists and their teams at every level of the business, and he has had a very busy last couple of months.

Cheek jokes that he has been talking with some artists more in the last several weeks than previous years combined. In a normal world, he is helping artists and their teams (managers, production managers, tour managers especially) stay within their budget, plan for expenses and just generally be financially successful.

Monday, May 18 was an important day for our industry: Travis McCready played at TempleLive, a venue run by Mike Brown in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in what is being called the first ticketed show with a live audience in the two months since the coronavirus pandemic forced the shuttering of our economy two months ago.

McCready, this week’s Pollstar cover subject, and Brown sat down for a Pollstar Live! Digital Session livestream with executive editor Andy Gensler in a wide-ranging discussion (below) the day after unpacking the performance, the protocols, the economics, the politics and far more surrounding the show—which may hold many answers for how this industry can come back.

Like many artists, the coronavirus crisis forced Drive-By Truckers to reschedule its spring tour, which included stops at San Francisco’s Fillmore, Chicago’s Vic Theatre, Dallas’ Granada Theatre and several others. Most dates have been rescheduled for August and September.

Drive-By Truckers guitarist/vocalist Patterson Hood took part in a Pollstar Live! One-On-One livestream interview with OVG President of Media & Conferences Ray Waddell May 14. During the session, the two swapped stories and talked about the effects of COVID-19.

Dayna Frank, president and CEO of First Avenue Productions and board president of the new National Independent Venue Association, connected with Pollstar on Tuesday for the latest installment of the Pollstar Live! One-On-One Sessions.

During the interview Frank discussed leading NIVA’s advocacy efforts during the coronavirus crisis, the unique challenges independent venues face, and what a post-coronavirus future might look like for the live industry.
Nederlander Concerts CEO Alex Hodges is a true legend of the concert industry, whose  career includes working with Otis Redding, the Allman Brothers Band, The Police and Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

Hodges has worn many different hats over the years, founding the Paragon and Empire agencies, managing artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, and now heading up Nederlander Concerts, which promotes shows and books venues around the country, most notably in California, where it programs the Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, Calif. 
In the first Pollstar Live! Digital Panel, representatives from throughout the live industry spoke about efforts to help individuals, families and institutions in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Broadcast live on Pollstar’s Facebook page, the participating panelists were Andrea Carter, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility, Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena; Matt Hyman, Vice President of Platform Sales and Integration at LNKBOX and of Production4Health; Robin Shaw of Upstaging; Michael T. Strickland, Founder of Bandit Lites, Inc.; and Eileen Valois, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Sports & Fan Entertainment for PRG.
Dayglo Presents founder Peter Shapiro connected with Pollstar on Wednesday as part of the new Pollstar Live! One-on-One video series powered by prism.fm.

In the wide-ranging conversation, Shapiro, who owns and operates the Brooklyn Bowl nightclubs and the Capitol Theatre, founded Virginia festival Lockn’ and serves as chairman of voter engagement non-profit HeadCount, discussed his many enterprises and drew on his vast experience in the live business to speculate about how the industry might emerge from the coronavirus crisis.
With the premiere of Pollstar Live! One-On-One – a series of video Q&As with influential and insightful executives in the live entertainment industry – Dennis Arfa, founder and chairman of Artist Group International, sits down with OVG President of Media and Conferences Ray Waddell. 

AGI is a powerhouse independent agency, representing Metallica, Billy Joel, Def Leppard, Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, The Strokes,  Five Finger Death Punch, and Neil Young, among many others. Despite their successes, AGI has not been spared from the devastating economic effects of COVID-19. In this conversation, Arfa and Waddell discuss AGI’s business model, how the pandemic initially impacted the agency, how things have progressed, what plans might be like for coming back, and the importance of the live music industry. 

Video Interview: Isaac Rothwell of Digerati Productions and Live Events Coalition

Isaac RothwellIsaac Rothwell

The Live Events Coalition updated its platform April 8 to a four-point plan requesting, among other things, $800 billion in dedicated funds to stabilize the live events industry. 

Pollstar spoke with Isaac Rothwell, the initial author of the Change.org petition that led to the formation of the Coalition, on April 3, in a conversation that spanned Rothwell’s career in production, the massive disruption caused to the live event industry by COVID-19, and the Coalition’s goals in asking the government for relief.