‘Our People Are The Key’: Q’s With Proactiv Entertainment MD Nicolas Renna

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Nicolas Renna, Managing Director of Proactiv Entertainment.

Proactiv Entertainment was founded by Horacio Renna in 1987. Today, the business is run by his son, Nicolas, and promotes concerts, festivals, shows, and exhibitions across different regions in Spain. Proactiv leads Pollstar‘s promoters ranking filtered by Spanish companies in 2022.

Among Proactiv’s most recent successes are the Spanish shows of Maluma’s “Papi Juancho Europe Tour 2022,” which set attendance records all over the place, including at Madrid’s WiZink Center, where he surpassed the previous record set by Metallica.

At the time of writing, Proactiv had just started a 25-city tour with Spanish star Malú, which will have been attended by way over 100,000 people, once the tour wraps at A Coruña’s Coliseum in September. Pollstar spoke with Nicolas Renna about the current state of business.

Pollstar: Mr. Renna, what is your business philosophy?
Nicolas Renna: We love to “generate emotions,” we’ve learned to do it through shows, concerts and exhibitions. We believe in long term partnerships that allow us to grow with them inside and outside our home country.

What makes Spain a reference in the European live music biz?
I believe our people are the key. We love to enjoy life and share it with our friends and family more than other nationalities. Music is key for that, there is a huge appetite for consuming live music, and creating your own. That’s why there are so many artists from Spain.

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Maluma setting an attendance record at WiZink Center in Madrid, promoted by Proactiv Entertainment.

What can you say about the country’s overall live infrastructure, the amount of promoters, agents, suppliers, and know-how present, as well as small to medium-sized venues for newcomer acts, and big buildings for the superstars?
I think there is a need for more venues in the main capitals Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. There is a need for mid-size concert venues with capacities of 2,000 to 3,500. Of course, there is a highly anticipated new arena being built in Valencia, as well as new spaces at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium or FC Barcelona’s future new arena, which will transform the cities no doubt.

Right now, the demand for spaces is too high due to rescheduled tours, but I don’t think is sustainable at this level in the mid-term. A lot of tours will struggle and promoters that survived the pandemic might not survive the post-pandemic excess of offers. Anyhow, Spain is a strong market for live entertainment, and even 2019’s numbers [showed] a lack of mid-size venues, an arena in Valencia, and probably another space in Barcelona and Madrid, respectively.

Are there vast differences from territory to territory? Do Madrid and Barcelona stick out? What other territories have a huge live crowd people may not be aware of yet?
Barcelona and Madrid are the two main pillars. In the past, Barcelona got all the main international tours, and business was bigger than in Madrid. That has changed and Madrid is a much stronger market than Barcelona now. Valencia is growing, there is a strong appetite for live music.

Can you talk about ticket sales? Is the audience ready to get back to concerts/shows?
Sales are definitely not [what they used to be]. Madrid outperforms the secondary cities. Concerts targeting young crowds sell well, while older crowds are slower at buying tickets now. There is also an excess of offer, and tours that usually sell out do not sell now. I think that people want to go to concerts, but now they must choose among too many options, plus many still have rescheduled shows to attend.

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Spanish star Malú is currently touring the country with Proactiv.

What upcoming concerts/tours promoted by Proactiv would you like to highlight?
Juan Luis Guerra in July visiting six cities in Spain, Malú with 25 cities, or our new festival, “Neox Music Day,” taking place in different cities across Spain.

What were the most important factors for surviving these past two years? Did you manage to sell tickets during the pandemic?
We created low-capacity festivals in different cities, where we sold a decent number of tickets. But our key to survival is our diversification, we not only work in our territory, but also sell exhibitions and shows to other countries.

Is Brexit posing difficulties for touring artists between UK and Spain?
Not right now.

You’ve landed on the number one spot on Pollstar’s 2022 promoters chart filtered by Spanish companies. What’s the most important reason to have achieved this success in your view?
Hard work, when our industry was mainly on pause. We thought of quick ways to get out on tour, sell new concepts and go back live. We took risks when it was the most difficult time to take risks, and now I can say it was the right decision.

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