President/Chief Strategy Officer, Live Nation Women
Live touring may have been put on hold for most of 2021 but for Ali Harnell, Live Nation Women’s president and chief strategy officer (and last year’s Women Of Live cover star), the work of supporting and amplifying women never stops.
That work has sustained and inspired Harnell in an incredibly tough year. She worked as a liaison between Live Nation and SoLA Impact, a community in South Los Angeles with a focus on affordable, high-quality housing that is a catalyst for economic development and creates access to educational opportunities for under-resourced communities.
In addition, she’s part of the creation of the Live Nation Music Lab within its Tech & Entrepreneur SURGE Center that will provide a space for young people to access the music business.
“Following the events of last year, we also recommitted to increasing diversity at every level of the company as well as on our stages around the world,” Harnell says. “We have plans to invest further into underrepresented artists and entrepreneurs, increase our spend with Black and minority owned vendors, amply social justice causes and make sure we live up to these commitments.”
One of the most impactful accomplishments on the year for Harnell was the commissioning of an all-female team of songwriters and artists to write “A Beautiful Noise,” a pre-election anthem recorded and released by Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile in October “to commemorate women’s suffrage, give voice to the fight for social justice and drive voter turnout.” It was performed during the “Every Vote Counts” concert and in multiple campaigns.
Not all of 2020 was about COVID-19, of course. Before the pandemic laid the concert industry low, Harnell had two particularly important projects.
“Just before COVID shut us down, we completed the ‘Oprah 2020 Vision Tour,’ and I can’t overstate how impactful and successful it was,” Harnell says. “That tour brought tens of thousands of people together to focus on wellness and intention setting.”