Louis Messina Jr. has been breaking ground in the concert business since his wildcat days in New Orleans, years with PACE Concerts and his ongoing alliance with AEG. What has always made the founder and chairman of the Messina Touring Group stand out – whether launching the monstrous rock fest Texxas Jam in the ‘70s, creating the all-day George Strait Country Fest Tour of stadiums or developing the headlining stadium model for Kenny Chesney, then Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and now The Lumineers, among many – is recognizing growth areas and Potential.
Tapping into 12-year Messina Touring Group veteran Haley McCollister to lead his brand new Nashville office, Messina says of the newly named President of the Messina Touring Group Nashville, “Haley was a rock star from the jump. The way she cares about artists and building careers, she’s everything we strive to create at the Messina Group, and she’s just getting started.
“With the artists we represent, the relationships with have and her passion for new challenges, Haley is the perfect person to expand our future. Between what she’s done with Ed Sheeran from the very beginning and The Lumineers, who’re playing their first headlining stadium show at Coors Field in their hometown of Denver and Wrigley Field over Labor Day, her ability to build careers instead of merely doing tours speaks for itself.”
Sheeran’s last North American stadium tour, which McCollister helmed, posted over 1.4 million tickets sold. The Lumineers, currently touring with their BRIGHTSIDE World Tour has already reported 462,223 tickets sold over 34 shows; they’ve earned more than $26 million revenue thus far with 19 dates still remaining to be played.
“What Louis has built with MTG isn’t exclusive to Austin,” McCollister says about opening their Nashville beachhead. “The foundation of MTG is the exceptional people and the passion they put into their work. We are bringing that same energy and excitement to Nashville.
“First and foremost, to get more involved in the amazing community that is the entertainment industry here in Nashville. So many of the artists, managers, agents, touring professionals, and other incredible people that we’ve worked with over the years are based here.”
The woman who’s played an integral role in Taylor Swift’s touring since joining MTG in 2010 and Billboard Women in Music honoree also sees Nashville in more personal terms. “I’m grateful to have found such a special place to put down roots and grow my family, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to do the same with the TMG office.”
“Nashville has always been a part of what the Messina Group does,” Messina agrees. “We’ve worked with George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Eric Church and so many Nashville acts – as well as all the artists and artist teams who’ve toured with them – so this feels like a step to deepen our commitment to Nashville and expand what we are already doing.
“Haley is such a go-getter, such a people and detail person, she’s the one to do just that. She has a real commitment to her artists and everything we do. I think this is going to be the start of some really good stuff.”
McCollister agrees. “All my greatest achievements, as well as favorite moments, with this job are related to being able to help make an artist’s dreams and vision for their touring career a reality. Just last weekend The Lumineers headlined their first stadium show to a sold-out crowd in their hometown of Denver – and I was absolutely buzzing. I remember feeling the exact same way at Ed Sheeran’s first U.S. headline stadium show in Foxboro, Mass.
“It’s certainly not an achievement of just one person alone, but being a part of taking artists to stadiums is definitely one of the best things we do.”