Sara Bollwinkel, Senior Vice President, Wasserman Music

Sara Bollwinkel
– Sara Bollwinkel

‘An Extension’ Of Today’s Hottest Headliner 

Sara Bollwinkel
Senior Vice President, Wasserman Music  

No musician had as much momentum when the pandemic hit as Billie Eilish.

Weeks before the coronavirus shut down the industry, the pop wunderkind, then only 18, swept the four major categories at the Grammys – Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist – and on March 9, 2020, she kicked off her first proper arena tour, which sold out upon its fall 2019 onsale. But Eilish only logged three dates before she was forced off the road.

“Billie and the entire Billie team is such a creative force; we felt really motivated to do something incredible for fans at home!” says agent Sara Bollwinkel, whose roster includes Eilish, Public Enemy and Dirty Heads, and who recently assumed the role of senior vice president at Wasserman Music following the firm’s acquisition of Paradigm’s music division.

To that end, the Gen Z luminary staged a buzzy livestream, “WHERE DO WE GO? THE LIVESTREAM,” in October, and “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry,” a documentary chronicling her career so far, debuted in late February.

But, while Eilish – whose sophomore album arrives in July – has gained steam during the pandemic, “the truth is, momentum is never the main goal behind anything Billie does, but rather the outcome of her work,” Bollwinkel says. “While it is momentum that Billie has gained in the past year… it’s simply because it’s Billie Eilish.”

For Bollwinkel, the pandemic “was a solid reminder that being an agent does not mean just booking concerts,” and it prompted her to analyze the industry and her place in it.

“The past year has forced us all to take a look at our lives and our businesses in a new way,” she says. “The root of our jobs as agents is to be an extension of our artists… to connect the dots between these creative individuals and their audience in a way that is meaningful to the artist and their community. We are building the steppingstones in what we all hope to be a healthy and incredible long-term touring business. … While we haven’t been able to focus on the live element of our artists’ careers for over a year, so many of us have found interesting alternative methods of being a bridge for them.”

Still, Bollwinkel can’t wait to get back out on the road, and says she now has “a sense of clarity and strong motivation to win for my clients in a much bigger way.”

Eilish, who “misses her fans in a major way,” could return as soon as September, when she’s booked to headline Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful, Delaware’s Firefly and New York’s Governors Ball, and Bollwinkel hints her live shows are “going to be bigger and better than ever.”

Hot Takes

When it’s safe to do so, will you go back to the office, work remotely or a combination of both? Why?

For me, both are important. I very much miss my colleagues and need the energy and dynamic atmosphere of working physically alongside them. But I do see the value of not being in an office 12 hours a day personally. Striking a balance so we can all be efficient and heathy sounds amazing to me. 

Your favorite music documentary – recent or old?

“Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry”

Zoom, Clubhouse or TikTok? Why?

TikTok all day….the amount of life hacks I have learned is immense.