Pollstar + VenuesNow 2022 Women Of Live: Donna Busch
Vice President | Talent Buyer
Since its founding 40 years ago, Los Angeles-based promoter Goldenvoice has defined California’s music scene and shaped trends followed by the rest of the industry.
Aside from its world-conquering Coachella, which returns for two weekends in April with a lineup topped by Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Ye, and its major country fest Stagecoach, which descends on the same Indio, Calif., site as Coachella the weekend after that fest with a bill led by Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs, Goldenvoice operates a formidable battery of clubs up and down the California coast that inform what’s hot and, like Coachella on a smaller scale, serve as industry bellwethers.
Goldenvoice’s L.A. portfolio includes the Microsoft Theater (7,100 capacity), Shrine Auditorium (6,300), The Novo (2,400), Fonda Theatre (1,200), El Rey Theatre (770), and, in West Hollywood, The Roxy Theatre (500). Outside of the city, Goldenvoice’s properties include the Fox Theater (Pomona) and Santa Barbara Bowl, and in the Bay Area, it handles San Francisco’s Warfield, Regency Ballroom and Great American Music Hall and Palo Alto’s Frost Amphitheater.
Goldenvoice veteran Donna Busch, who serves as vice president and talent buyer at the company and won Small Venue Talent Buyer of the Year at the 2022 Pollstar Awards, plays a critical role, helping to shape the bookings that make Goldenvoice an industry leader.
While Busch has booked major shows including Daft Punk at L.A. Sports Arena in 2007, she told L.A. Weekly in 2015 that she prefers smaller gigs.
“I don’t really like big shows,” she said at the time. “I like new bands, up-and-coming bands. I’m so excited and passionate about new music.”
The programming at Goldenvoice’s clubs and theaters, which have hosted a dizzying number of buzzy, breaking artists just since the live business resumed operation a year ago, bears that out. Among the highlights: three nights of Björk’s elaborate “Cornucopia” production in January and February at the Shrine; two sold-out nights of rapper Jack Harlow in early January at the Novo; three November gigs by British post-punk outfit Idles at the Fonda; and the second U.S. show – and first in L.A. – by glammy “Beggin’” stars Måneskin at the Roxy in November.