Nurit Smith | Music Forward Foundation
Haley Binder | HAIM / Brandi Carlile / KultureCity
Loreen Bohannon | LoBo Productions
Meg Miller | Tour Manager for Lainey Wilson
Misty Roberts | Independent Tour Manager
Jaki Van Hoose | SGPS ShowRig
A new generation of road warriors are a bringing a fresh, more diverse perspective to the production side of the live industry. A group featuring Haley Binder (chief brand officer for KultureCity and assistant tour manager for HAIM), audio engineer Loreen Bohannon (LoBo Productions) Meg Miller (tour manager for Lainey Wilson) Misty Roberts (an independent tour manager who has worked with artists including Jonas Brothers, James Taylor and Enrique Iglesias) and technical training manager Jaki Van Hoose (SGPS ShowRig) will join together in conversation at Production Live! to share insight from their lives on tour and how the new generation is helping shape the touring landscape. Nurit Smith, executive director of Music Forward Foundation, will moderate the discussion.
Speaking to Pollstar ahead of the panel, Roberts promised to share a great story about the time she and Binder met at Gwenyth Paltrow’s house. To learn more, you’ll have to attend the Production Live! discussion to hear about how it all went down, and how Roberts managed to convince Binder to join her on tour. As for the rest of the panel, Roberts says she’s looking forward to Production Live! so that she can finally meet Bohannon, Miller and Van Hoose in person for the first time.
Roberts remarks that this was a major year for her, with her company working on something she hints might be “the biggest tour maybe in history,” alluding that the artist “rhymes with Slaylor Snift.”
Following the industry shutdown in 2020, many in the older generation of road warriors opted to head toward retirement or seek out other opportunities. It allowed for a younger generation to step in and make their stand, this one more diverse and with fresh ideas for how to go about tour production.
“Our panel will be a great conversation with some great new generation crew members,” Roberts says. “They all bring a fresh perspective to touring habits, routines and procedures, but I also hope to be able to bring to the conversation the importance of the older generation being available to mentor the new generation and also talk about hiring green flags and having an open enough mind to look at different kinds of experience that might now come into play.”
Roberts credits her mentors for helping her get to where she is, pointing to production veterans Bob Davis and Dan Braun as two that took her under their wing when she was starting out. She explains how they educated her on the biz, teaching her accounting, rigging, staging and everything else in-between.
Roberts first met Davis, a tour accountant who worked at the time for All-American Rejects, when she was a “young van and trailer tour manager,” opening a college tour with his artist.
Braun is currently the show designer for Metallica. Roberts says that when she worked on Metallica’s tour “he would carve out an hour or more every day and ask me what I wanted to learn about … He knows every piece of gear on his tour, what it does and who works it. I never knew the human brain could retain that much information. He also taught me so many useful people management skills. I still use so many of the things that I learned from him every day.”