A Letter From Ray Waddell, President Of OVG Media & Conferences

Ray Waddell
– Ray Waddell
President Of OVG Media & Conferences

And you thought we’d never get here…. 
Welcome to Pollstar Live! 2021, a testament to the strength and resiliency of the live entertainment industry. Historically, Pollstar Live! is the world’s largest gathering of concert industry professionals, and we highly doubt anyone challenges that status this year.
Firstly, we’d like to thank you for attending, and also thank our many sponsors, especially our presenting sponsors, Live Nation and Ticketmaster. This year more than ever, our goal is to present a conference that addresses the most profound issues facing our wonderful world of live. We are thrilled with our program of speakers, topics, and networking opportunities, three days that will see us grappling with the most serious issue our industry has ever faced: namely, how to ramp back up to the Golden Era status live entertainment enjoyed for the past decade and, consequently, what our industry looks like going forward in an era of social change and heightened safety awareness.
Once again, we are bringing influencers, visionaries and thought leaders from all facets of live entertainment, from the most experienced, proven entrepreneurs and business leaders, to the next generation of executives, and those “in the trenches” who day by day will fight to make our business diverse, safe and successful. The twin themes for both Pollstar Live! and sister event Production Live! are inclusivity and safety, and through that lens we also continue to stress the forever topics of artist development, deals, ticket sales, fan engagement, branding/sponsorship, technology and more, tapping into the vast knowledge of our esteemed speakers.
As always, we are committed to delivering a three-day industry gathering where the discussion, networking and exchange of ideas help us maximize revenue, adapt to change, and better serve fans and artists. In launching the first in-person conference for our industry in 16 months, we have implemented conference protocols conceived to create a safe, healthy, secure event, as this is our business, the business of LIVE!
On June 16, we will present the 32nd Annual Pollstar Awards: A Celebration Of Live, an awards show unlike any in the history of this conference. In the absence of tour data or, uh, tours, this year’s Pollstar Awards will, in addition to special recognitions, celebrate our favorite artists, venues, and events under the Decade banner. As the most coveted recognition in live entertainment, the Pollstar Awards remain primarily an industry peer-voted honor, though once again Pollstar factored in our industry-leading data to determine nominees for many awards. This is a competitive business and many in our industry really want to win; but our hope is that this year, more than ever, the Pollstar Awards will be viewed as an opportunity not only to celebrate the vitality and excitement of our industry as a whole, but also to honor the Heroes Of Live who selflessly set out to serve, render aid, innovate and provide a beacon of hope in what were some very dark times for this business.
Better days are ahead, as the industry continues to return to heavy traffic and activity. Now is the time to be bold! Like so many who will present their ideas, opinions, successes and challenges these next few days, as well as those celebrated at the Pollstar Awards, the goal of Pollstar, and its parent Oak View Group, is to bring positive disruption to our industry and maximize everyone’s success. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your support.
With thanks,  
Ray Waddell  
President, OVG Media & Conferences