Aaron Spalding grew up around the concert business, but that doesn’t make him jaded – nothing thrills like watching an artist you booked sell out two nights at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Spalding cites Morgan Wallen’s 52-show tour and 1.5 million tickets sold as a high point to date. “It’s his biggest tour yet and seeing him skyrocket to stadiums and set a new blueprint for the next generation of country artists has been a huge highlight,” Spalding says.
Spalding has been in the business for 12 years; his first job was as a production assistant for the television department of the Country Music Association’s CMA Fest.
“I grew up around the industry, particularly at a time when country music was really crossing over into the mainstream,” Spalding says. “It was inspiring to see so many artists becoming big stars, year after year.”
Among the artists that most impacted Spalding are Brooks & Dunn.
“They were the first country act to really put on a rock show, with pyro, stage props, etc.,” Spalding says. “They also put on a masterclass in how to be good people, and how to run a tour that brings a positive experience to every venue.”
Spalding’s first mentor in the industry was his father, who taught him valuable lessons like, “how to work hard, always be honest, avoid procrastinating (still working on that), and how to maintain a work/life balance.”
And for those he’d mentor, Spalding advises, “This will sound insanely cliché, but always be yourself. It’s very easy to get intimidated in this business, but if you’re not being yourself, you’ll never be comfortable or relaxed.”
Spalding may have been brought up around, and works hard on behalf of, many country artists, but he isn’t immune to the recent explosion of international artists and music.
“The growth of global music is extremely exciting. Five to 10 years ago, I would’ve never playlisted a K-pop or Latin song… now I listen to way too much Bad Bunny.”