Getting To Know Your Pollstar Live! Panelists: Tour Manager Steve Lopez

Pollstar Live! is set for Feb. 7-9 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, marking the return to the conference’s traditional February calendar slot after the 2021 edition was pushed to June in light of the pandemic. The conference is the world’s largest gathering of live entertainment professionals and the flagship event for Pollstar magazine. You won’t want to miss the networking, insightful discussion and the Pollstar Awards honoring the best in the biz.

Pollstar Live! kicks off with Production Live!, the one-day companion conference that features panels on all topics related to staging live events including lighting, video, stage management, sound technique, concert production, video, regulations, security and more.
Click these links for the Production Live! schedule and the Pollstar Live! schedule. 
Register for Pollstar Live! hereAll registrants will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to gaining entry to the conference. 

Getting To Know Your Pollstar Live! Panelists

Steve Lopez, tour manager 
Production Live! Panel: “Stranger in a Strange Land: Road Managing in 2022”
Date/Time: Monday, Feb. 7 at 4:30 p.m. 

Steve Lopez
– Steve Lopez
The skill set required to oversee a team of production pros that moves hundreds of miles a day, sets it up and tears it down, and makes the magic happen night after night, has always unique. Today, this gig is more challenging than ever, with managers managing budgets, “creative” routing, staffing, accommodations, T&E, guest lists, front-of-house, back-of-house, new venues, old venues, vendors, gear, staffing and stagehands, ever-changing economics, and those big road dog personalities we all know and love. What makes a great tour manager? We’ll let a few great ones tell you at Production Live 2022!

Tina Farris, CEO/Owner, Tina Farris Tours

Richard Coble, tour manager/production manager
Ken Helie, tour manager
Steve Lopez, tour manager 
Misty Roberts, production coordinator and road manager
Zito, production manager/tour manager
Steve Lopez began his career in his native Portland, Ore., in the mid-’90s managing and tour managing local bands. He became a regular around the Portland music scene and developed relationships with musicians, promoters and club/venue owners around the Northwest.
It was during a stint tour managing longtime Widespread Panic friend and occasional co-writer Jerry Joseph in 1998, that Lopez met Panic. Joseph was opening for the band when Lopez was made aware of a production assistant opening that Panic was looking to fill. Eventually, Lopez got the gig and hence began his decade-long relationship with the Widespread Panic family.
Lopez worked his way up, starting as production assistant, then assistant tour manager and finally becoming the band’s full time tour manager in 2006, running the road show for one of America’s most successful touring bands.
In recent years, Lopez has also tour managed such acts as My Morning Jacket, Gov’t Mule and DeVotchKa, while lending his talents to the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and Bonnaroo Music Festival. 

What tent poles are you most proud of in your career? 
I believe I have had many. One truly special moment was working with Paul McCartney’s camp at Bonnaroo and at Outside Lands Music Festival. I’ve worked with so many artists coming through the festival but to have one of the Beatles and to see their massive touring group come and set up shop for a couple of days on the farm in Manchester, Tenn., was quite fun and very worth the hard work. And then to do it again in San Francisco was a glorious moment.
What story will you tell during the panel?
It all depends on the questions asked. I do love telling stories, even though there are a lot of “You should have been there.”
What’s the story you won’t tell?
Not sure, I won’t share the stories that nobody asks about or brings up? The ones that are too long winded to share.  

What may cause tempers to flare?
At Pollstar Live!? I hope nothing. On the road, shoot, you live on the road for weeks at a time with several different characters from all walks of life and the smallest thing from drinking the last beer to not wishing you a happy birthday could cause tempers to flare.
What was the best part of your 2021?
Getting back to work! Calling house lights at the first show back since the pandemic! 

Can you give us a prediction for a highlight of 2022?
I am excited for 2022 and what it’s going to bring to the entire entertainment world. I feel as if touring is going to be back stronger and bigger and people are going to be ready to see concerts again.