2023 Impact 50: Jon Landau

Manager, Jon Landau Management


In the midst of 31 sold-out stadiums across Europe since launching April 28 in Barcelona, Bruce Springsteen is without question an elite touring artist for the ages. Five decades in, Springsteen remains one of the most powerful live acts in the history of the business and has released many of the most celebrated albums in the popular canon. While epic performances and iconic songs certainly drive the train, no artists put together a career like Springsteen’s without a lot of smart decisions being made along the way. Few — not even Springsteen — would argue that he owes no small amount of his enduring success to professional (and personal guidance from his long-time manager Jon Landau.

The European dates come on the heels of 28 “wonderful, and wonderfully successful” arena shows across the U.S., Landau now in Europe with the tour, told Pollstar via email. The trek – which marks the first time Springsteen and the E Street Band have toured together since 2017 – returns to these shores in August, with a mix of stadiums and arenas for a total of 90 shows in 2023. Landau says there has been no final decision on whether the band will continue to work into 2024. As it stands, Springsteen will finish the year at or near the top of Pollstar’s touring charts

As of last summer, Springsteen & The E Street Band is the No. 4 all-time ticket seller (gross and attendance) of the Pollstar era, basically as long as anyone has tracked ticket sales. That the group can sell out stadiums across Europe in 2023 is a testament to the commitment Landau and Springsteen made to the territory – and others – many years ago. Today, Springsteen is an elite global touring superstar in league with U2, Elton John and The Rolling Stones. Internationally, that’s a return on the investment.

“We started going to Europe for real in 1980; from the beginning, we loved the audience, the audience loved Bruce and the band, and we now can play 60 European stadium dates,” Landau says. “So, to have that and our incredibly loyal and devoted North American, Australian, New Zealand and South African audience is extremely satisfying.”

Regarded as one of the tightest well-oiled machines in the touring business, Landau admits that even Springsteen’s tour ran into the same challenges other tours are seeing in what many have called the busiest year ever. That includes dodging COVID gremlins, jockeying for top venues, scarcity of supplies and equipment, and competition for top talent in touring personnel. “The legendary [tour manager] George Travis, who has been with Bruce and me since 1977, masterminds it all,” Landau says. “He has ensured that we are fully staffed, primarily with our long-time personnel, and that our production is state-of-the-art. Moreover, he has managed to deal with the day’s problems without sacrificing one iota of quality.”

Ahh, the quality. Longtime Springsteen fans, including those in the live entertainment business, have been gushing about the power and passion of Springsteen’s current shows. Landau, a rock critic in a previous life (and the man behind the infamous “Future of Rock ’n’ Roll” quote before he ever met Springsteen), remains a fan. “The reason for the outstanding response to this tour is simply the quality of the show and production,” he says. “Bruce and the E Street Band get better and better.”

Landau observed that the love between Springsteen and his audience has also grown: “Bruce feels these are as great an audience as we’ve ever had in the United States. He is just as excited about playing for his audience today as he was the first time I saw him 48 years ago.”

Springsteen himself called Landau “the Clark to my Lewis” in his autobiography “Born To Run.” The love and respect between the two clearly transcend the professional. But the professional is working out pretty well.