IMPACT INTERNATIONAL: UK/EURO HONORS
EVP & Managing Executive, Wasserman Music
The Biggest Accomplishment
Imagine Dragons have been touring stadiums, open air stages and festivals in Europe all summer. Some highlights from Pollstar’s boxoffice include two sold out concerts at Letnany Airport in Prague, Czech Republic, with 115,018 tickets sold, June 5-6, grossing $8,632,207, or a sold-out 21,456-capacity Waldbühne in Berlin, Germany, raking in $517,250. The band will return next summer, as demand across Europe remains high, according to the band’s agent, Wasserman’s EVP & Managing Executive James Whitting. He didn’t want to reveal too much about the next tour, but gave away that they had set their sight on unique venues in cities they haven’t visited before.
And while Whitting is obviously happy about this kind of success in “the first full summer of activity since 2019, after two years of massive uncertainty,” he’s equally happy to see that even during the worst of the pandemic, “music doesn’t stop getting made, and we’ve taken on some really exciting new acts.” Benson Boone, Mother Mother, Cian Ducrot, Nessa Barrett are just a few on Whitting’s roster, who have been seeling “thousands and thousands of tickets all across Europe. The demand for new music from young fans is very encouraging. That people still want to consume the music and get involved in it and go out and buy tickets has been a real positive, something that makes you get up every day and go to work.”
It’s part of an agent’s job to predict the future, yet, as Whitting emphasizes, “the path forward isn’t straightforward at all. We’re entering into a new scenario with new global challenges. You scratch your head, at the best of times about what’s the right thing to do for the artist. You throw the global pandemic and cost-of-living crisis on top of it, it makes you second guess yourself.”
Wasserman’s strategy has been and continues to be to remain “very visible and vocal with our clients,” Whitting explains, “let them know the lay of the land. With so much rescheduling of tours that can be tough, but [you have to] keep that dialogue going. It was also important to keep regular contact with the staff, when everyone was working remotely, while the world was falling apart right around us. It’s very difficult and the best way is dialogue and honesty.”
There can be no doubt that this strategy is the reason, Whitting is still working with the same people he used to with when launching Coda in 2002, which merged with Paradigm in 2019 and into Wasserman earlier this year. “I think that’s testament to the personalities of the people in the office and the fact they want to be there for each other. I consider this my biggest accomplishment.”