The SaveLive platform, founded by Marc Geiger and John Fogelman in 2020 to build a network of independent venues in the midst of the pandemic shutdown, has announced a first round of venue and promoter partners, which includes The Criterion in Oklahoma City, Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, The Alibi in Palm Springs, Hammerjacks in Baltimore and more.
“When John and I started this mission in late 2020, the live business was feeling pretty hopeless as the pandemic was hitting the sector head on,” Marc Geiger, former head of music at WME, says in the announcement. “All I did during this time was listen to music and obsess on ideas on how to help the independent live industry. It was clear streaming services plus the pandemic changed the concert industry for good and web 3.0 is going to change it even more. All of this created a huge punch list of possibilities and to-do’s. We used that downtime to raise capital of like-minded and long-term investors, build a music focused team of professionals, and ultimately build out version 1.0 of our partner network. 18 months later, the live business is rushing back to record levels…and it’s time to launch.”
Venue and promoter partners listed in the announcement include The Albibi in Palm Springs, Golden State Theater in Monterey, Hammerjacks in Baltimore, The Marquis in Park City, Utah, Oklahoma City’s Criterion Ballroom, Tower Theatre, Beer City Music Hall and Ponyboy, as well as San Antonio’s Tech Port Arena and Tobin Center and Elektricity in Pontiac, Michigan. Promoters Patchwork Presents and Deuterman Productions are also listed as partners.
The announcement comes after SaveLive has completed its first round of financing, saying it has raised $135 million to invest into independent live music. Investors include Breyer Capital, Deep Field Asset Management, Raptor Group, and Shamrock Capital, according to the announcement. The SaveLive network will benefit from coordinated investment, booking, ticketing, marketing, food and beverage, VIP technology, financial analytics, sales and sponsorship, as noted on its new website that just went online at SaveLive.com.
The Alibi’s Liz Garo said in the statement, “As an independent booker for Spaceland, The Echo, and 100 other places since the beginning of time, being able to partner with SaveLive is a dream come true. (Alibi co-owner) Melanie Tusquellas and I can stay true to our roots knowing we have their full support, whether its finance, booking, marketing, sponsorship, questions about the bar or just bouncing ideas off the team. It doesn’t hurt that we’ve known some of the people at SaveLive for years – we all came up through the business together.”
Ineffable Music president and Golden State Theatre owner Thomas Cussins adds, “As Ineffable Music continues to focus on bringing top notch national acts to secondary and tertiary markets, getting involved with Marc (Geiger), John (Fogelman), and SaveLive to re-launch the Golden State Theatre in Monterey, CA was a no brainer.” Cussins told Pollstar that, while Geiger is an investor in Ineffable’s recently opened Ventura Music Hall in Southern California, the Golden State Theater is the only SaveLive partner in Ineffable’s portfolio currently.
SaveLive’s online rollout includes a staff listing, with multiple talent buyers of various genres as well as personnel handling finance, marketing, food and beverage and more.
Included on the staff listing are Madison House co-founder Nadia Prescher, who announced on June 15 she was joining SaveLive as head of music and shifting her role at Madison House to a board member position. Other notables include Danny Wimmer Presents’ executive sr. VP / Talent & Curation Gary Spivack, who is listed as a Senior Executive at SaveLive, and Dave Poe, Patchwork Presents President, which books talent for multiple rooms including the Criterion in Oklahoma City. Poe is listed as VP of Talent for SaveLive.
The site also differentiates participating venues as partners or non-exclusive, such as the 3,100-seat theater concert venue Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, which is opening in May with a show by Smashing Pumpkins and is operated by ASM Global. A venue rep told Pollstar that SaveLive is booking talent and events for the venue, which is open to all promoters.
Geiger left his post as longtime head of music at WME in June of 2020, and announced through a New York Times profile the formation of SaveLive with the goal of assisting struggling indie venues across the U.S. The $16 billion Save Our Stages act passed not long after that and SaveLive continued to make news, including bringing longtime Madison House head Nadia Prescher aboard.