Midwest concert promoter Mammoth started small when it opened its doors in Lawrence, Kansas, in 2006 but is making some big moves in 2022 as it expands into the Pacific Northwest and opens a New York City office headed by industry veteran and former Live Nation VP Sean Striegel.
Striegel becomes president of Mammoth Northeast, bringing more than 20 years of experience – starting in Southern California booking clubs like House of Blues Anaheim and the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano – to the Big Apple with Live Nation, where he became vice president of booking in New York.
The move comes on the heels of a merger between Mammoth and Mike Thrasher Presents, creating Mammoth Northwest and giving the company a foothold in Portland, Ore. The companies announced an alliance in November following the March 2020 death of Mike Thrasher, who founded the Pacific Northwest promotion mainstay.
Mammoth produces a wide array of live events including concerts and festivals, as well as national tours. Mammoth’s events range in size from small club shows to amphitheaters and arena shows and includes booking in more than 50 historic theaters to account for more than 1,000 events annually, according to a company statement.
The addition of the Mammoth Northwest office gives Mammoth, which has largely promoted artists in secondary and tertiary markets in the Midwest, an important presence in the Pacific Northwest beyond its Portland, Ore., base, and it’s already booking shows in Eugene, Ore., and beyond. The addition of Striegel, and his many relationships built over decades, and Mammoth Northeast to the fold now gives the company a coast-to-coast reach.
Shows on Mammoth’s books through the end of June include Jackson Browne at Foellinger Theatre in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Willie Nelson at MAD Amphitheatre in El Dorado, Ark.; concerts with ZZ Top at Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Neb., and Hartman Arena in Park City, Kan.; and “Weird Al” Yankovic at Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Ore.
“Growth is organically happening within Mammoth, and when the opportunity to include Sean on the East Coast presented itself, it just made sense,” Mammoth co-founder Josh Hunt says. “We can’t think of anyone better suited to take on the responsibility of opening and running a Mammoth Northeast office.”
Hunt’s fellow co-owner Jeff Fortier adds, “We’ve had a long working relationship with Sean that’s developed into a close friendship. His renowned booking abilities are a huge asset and addition to Mammoth’s capabilities. We’ve very excited to have him as a part of a growing team.”
Striegel tells Pollstar the move has him excited, too, and represents not only a mid-career pivot back into independent concert promotion but an opportunity to work with a team he’s known for more than 20 years.
“I’ve known Jeff and Josh going back to my House of Blues Anaheim days and they were in the Midwest and just starting,” Striegel says. “We used to do stuff with them in the club network. So we have long friendships that evolved into a great working relationship. Now, with their expansion and growth, the timing just worked out perfectly.”
Striegel becomes president of Mammoth Northeast, which he’ll build out and run from an office in New York’s historic South Street Seaport area. While the division is building from the ground up and has no exclusive booking agreements yet in place, his long relationships with venues in the region will no doubt come in handy.
“I’m sure that that will come in time and I’m going to be doing things all over the place,” Striegel says. “I’m going to be putting on shows in theaters and arenas all the way from the Canadian border south into the region. I have special personal relationships with artists all over the place, and [relationships] are what it’s all about, you know.
“It’s an approach I love – doing shows with our friends and giving them the attention they deserve and make sure they know who their promoter is and doing a job well. I really appreciate Mammoth’s approach of quality over quantity. We’ve got an amazing team at Mammoth and I’ll be working with them to create the best situations. I think it’s going to be a fantastic thing.”
Striegel is no stranger to the Northeast market, of course, and is acutely aware of the challenges and competition on the club and theater level. At the same time, he sees nothing but opportunity.
“It’s unfortunate the pandemic changed so many things,” Striegel says. “But it also created some opportunities for people. I’m looking at this one as an amazing opportunity for me to refocus what I was doing. My first three decades were spent going in one direction and to be able to move in a new one is huge. I think there’s a lot of opportunities out there right now and seizing those opportunities will create growth and success.”