Few people at Live Nation have more of an impact on more tours – and how they’re perceived publicly – than Kelly Strickland, who as senior vice president, U.S. concerts tour marketing, oversees marketing for all of the live entertainment behemoth’s tours domestically.
In recent years, that programming has constantly expanded in scope, as Live Nation welcomes young talent like Billie Eilish, Lizzo and Harry Styles into the fold and increasingly stages non-musical events, like Michelle Obama’s 2019 arena tour supporting her memoir “Becoming.”
And, in the midst of the coronavirus, Live Nation’s programming keeps evolving.
“As a way to keep people around the world connected while we couldn’t be physically together, we moved quickly to launch Live Nation’s Live From Home platform in March in over 30 countries across the globe,” says Strickland, detailing the virtual music hub that’s updated daily with livestreams, exclusive artist content and new music, and has hosted eight original content series since March.
Earlier this month, Live Nation got in on the drive-in concert trend, presenting “Live From The Drive In,” which featured performances from Brad Paisley, Nelly, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi and more as socially distanced drive-in events in Nashville, St. Louis and Indianapolis.
“We’re optimistic about the return of the live concert experience, and we will continue to find creative and innovative ways to connect artists and fans in the meantime,” Strickland says.
Strickland, who was nominated for Marketing/PR Executive of the Year at this year’s Pollstar Awards, recalls catching the concert bug when she attended one of her first concerts in middle school, telling her dad at set break, as she watched the crew rearrange the stage, that that was what she wanted to do.
“I ended up in marketing instead, but a career in the concert industry and being a part of the piece of the magic of live did happen!” says Strickland, who joined Live Nation shortly after graduating from Michigan State University in the early ‘00s, and bounced around the company’s Detroit and Chicago offices before landing in Southern California later that decade.This “has allowed me to understand the business on each level and how different offices as well as divisions operate around the country,” she explains.
Growth will be the name of the game as the industry rebounds from the pandemic in the months and years ahead. Says Strickland: “As we go forward, we’ll follow guidance from experts and continue to find unique ways to bring the experience of live to fans.”.