PARTNER & GLOBAL CO-HEAD OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
Last July, Kirk Sommer relocated his family to the top concert market in the country, New York City. His family was looking for new experiences after having spent so many years on the West Coast. Sommer – whose client list includes Adele, Sam Smith, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Hozier, Weezer, Miley Cyrus, Lewis Capaldi, Morrissey, Camila Cabello, Steve Aoki and more – has been at WME for the past two decades. He’s worked his way up through the agency from the mailroom in 2000 to co-head of the department in 2015, and this year sees him and the rest of his team busier than ever. They’ve booked an estimated 40,000 confirmed shows and their artists have garnered 130 Grammy nominations.
In fact, the only challenge Sommer says is facing the agency right now is with ticketing. The hot-button issue has been a major topic across the music industry and beyond in recent months. Despite issues in ticketing, he claims the market “continues to outperform.”
“The public is insatiable,” Sommer says. “The ticket sales continued to outperform expectations. There’s got to be more outdoor shows this year than ever before. The list is endless. Everyone’s so optimistic, it feels the same way about every market around the world.”
As WME continues to grow, sustainability and inclusivity have been at the top of Sommer’s mind. Many of the staffers in the New York City office walk or take public transportation to work and aim to limit their use of plastic. There are no single-use plastic water bottles in the office.
He also finds that bringing in different perspectives and being more inclusive around the office builds everyone else up.
“There’s no way you can gain a full understanding of something without different points of view and experiences around the table,” he shares. “We have a very large and diverse client pool and I think it’s really important that we are doing our jobs correctly; that we understand where everyone is coming from and what their perspective might be. There’s nothing worse than sitting around a table that think they know what they’re talking about and they don’t.”