Executive Vice President, Messina Touring Group
No way around it: 2020 was as tough as it gets for someone whose company plots tours for Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, Shawn Mendes and more.
That’s why Kate McMahon, executive vice president of Messina Touring Group, is sanguine when discussing the last year.
“First and foremost – sanity!” she says when asked about her biggest recent accomplishment. “I mean, for a hyperactive, Type A human to be locked in with her favorite co-worker (Rome McMahon), two kids and lots of pets for what seemed like a millennium, routing and rerouting tours, treading water and never actually feeling like I was moving forward, the fact that we’re all still functioning is what I lovingly refer to as a ‘GDM’ – ‘miracle’ is the last word.”
When touring returns, McMahon and Messina Touring Group will have plenty of work and the industry lifer, who has helped lead MTG since its inception in 2001, expects the business to “come back with a ROAR.” But confidence in pent-up demand isn’t enough for McMahon, who wants to find ways to improve the sector as it rebounds.
“Have we used this down time to grow and change our industry in positive ways?” she asks. Enter Climate Positive Touring, “a rogue group of longtime promoters within the AEG family” led by Concerts West’s Amy Morrison and AEG Presents’ Nicole Neal that McMahon meets with weekly to talk sustainable touring solutions.
“As a posse, none of us have had this much deep thinking time in the last 20 years,” says McMahon, explaining the benefits of being “able to step back, pause and think about doing things differently and improving our processes.”
On a personal level, McMahon is looking forward to finally trading Zoom calls for stadium shows.
“My favorite moment of a big stadium show is to walk out on the floor, just before the headliner goes on stage – you can feel the excitement and electricity in the air,” she says. “I can’t wait to be in that moment again.”