On the heels of a record year for live entertainment in 2022, Pollstar Live! set a milestone with its 2023 edition of the three-day conference, and none other than Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Pollstar’s parent company Oak View Group, was the one to break the news that a historic turnout of nearly 2,000 industry professionals was attending this week’s event.
“This will be the largest conference in the history of Pollstar, but more importantly, the largest conference in the music business,” Leiweke said. “This is what we dreamed of, having a place and a time that our industry can come together and talk about not only what’s working but what are our issues, what are our problems and how we can solve them.”
His opening remarks were very brief, but Leiweke didn’t shy away from the elephant in the room which is ticketing, an issue that will be explored in two panels Wednesday featuring the biggest names in the industry, including music business mogul Irving Azoff.
“I think it is amazing to me that the politicians can take an issue like this and jump on it with such a lack of understanding about our business,” Leiweke said. “What they truly don’t get is that if you look at what the major issue we’re facing today with these big tours is demand, which is a wonderful thing that this many people want to go to your concerts, want to go to your venues, want to come join our industry to be a part of it.”
Leiweke also celebrated the fact that Oak View Group is opening its seventh building in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, a remarkable achievement that confirms the increasing demand for live entertainment and a thriving market. The company spent $5 billion developing the new buildings, and two of them are among the top 10 in the world of music.
“Music is the future of our company, music is the future of this industry, and this conference will continue to be at the leading edge of getting us a platform and opportunity to come together and discuss all of the issues that face us on an annual basis,” Leiweke said in his closing comments.