2023 Impact 50: Danny Wimmer

0224 DWP TeamPhotos 2

Back Row (L-R):  Danny Wimmer, Les Targonski, Molly Zidow, Damon D’Arienzo, Kathi Wimmer, Albert Lomeli Front Row (L-R):  Maureen Valker-Barlow, Danny Hayes, Chamie McCurry (Photo by Christian Gonzales)

Danny Wimmer Presents

Danny Wimmer Presents continues to build back up from pre-COVID levels, with seven large-scale events taking place in 2023 including the second year of Golden Sky country festival in Sacramento.

With longer lead times and more moving parts than most live events, large-scale music festivals were some of the first to cancel during COVID and first to come back, as established events were able to provide a platform for artists eager to get back on stage in an outdoor, socially distanced-friendly manner.

That doesn’t mean it’s been easy, as a lot can change between onsale and show time. DWP’s founder says he remains “cautiously optimistic” overall, after record-breaking attendance for multiple festivals in 2022.

“The economy is incredibly unsteady, our costs to operate continue to increase at a rate that is almost impossible to keep up with, and new, shiny experiences keep popping up, creating more competition for the consumer dollar and attention,” Danny Wimmer says. “However, fan demand has continued to rise in the last two years and most of our events in 2023 are on pace to perform at an incredibly high level so that gives me hope that the experiences we are delivering can weather the storm.”

For 2023, Wimmer says he’s particularly excited about the company’s Bourbon & Beyond event in Louisville, Kentucky, a multi-genre fests showcasing local spirits and food. Wimmer calls it “one of the best festivals in the United States.”

“Being able to showcase what makes that community so wonderful is a privilege, and we are excited to grow the festival in 2023,” Wimmer says, noting the lineup topped by Bruno Mars, The Killers, The Black Keys and Brandi Carlile along with curated culinary and bourbon workshops.

That event takes place one week before and on the same site as its long-running Louder Than Life festival, at the Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Exposition Center, this year topped by Foo Fighters, Tool, Avenged Sevenfold and Green Day.

2023 sees the return of DWP’s Sonic Temple festival in Columbus, Ohio, in late May, which makes two Ohio events for the company along with the tattoo/lifestyle event Inkcarceration festival taking place in Mansfield, Ohio in July over three days. That makes five four-day festivals at a clip of about 40,000 fans expected per day – and DWP execs are bullish on meeting or breaking attendance records set last year.

Wimmer notes the continued development of DWP Talent Services, which was formed after the acquisition of talent buying firm Billy Alan Productions in 2021.

“Led by Del Williams, alongside Billy [Brill], they’ve been able to expand that service into more non-traditional spaces and additional venues to really grow our relationships with agents, managers and artists,” Wimmer says. A recent example was the February opening of The Venue at Thunder Valley Resort and Casino near Sacramento, a $100 million, 4,500-seat theater that opened with back-to-back nights of the Eagles, Bruno Mars and Santana, booked by DWP Talent Services.

Instrumental in making it all happen is Danny Wimmer Presents CEO Danny Hayes who makes up half of the duo often referred to within the industry as “The Dannys.”
“We really complement each other well and he is able to see our business in a way that I don’t, so I am able to learn something from him to be better constantly,” Wimmer says of his partner, who joined the company in 2014.

On an even more personal note is one particular concert highlight Wimmer shared.

“I was able to go to see Elton John’s last show in L.A. with my family and it was something I’ll never forget,” he said. “Being able to experience decades of hits with the people that matter the most to me in the world – that is what going to a live event is all about.” – R.B.