2024 Women of Live: Jessica Lawson

SVP Tour Marketing | Wasserman Music

Wasserman Music SVP of Tour Marketing Jessica Lawson, tells Pollstar that last year was one of her most triumphant yet. She led marketing for Brandi Carlile’s three-night stand at Washington’s Gorge Amphitheatre, which featured a surprise performance from her hero: Joni Mitchell.

“Last June, Brandi Carlile played three sold-out shows at The Gorge in Washington and it was such an amazing experience,” Lawson says. “I think everyone in this business has those shows or moments where we look at the audience and see the joy in people’s faces and are reminded of why we do what we do. That weekend at The Gorge was one of the moments for me, surrounded by ecstatic fans and my amazing coworkers, with incredible music, at a beautiful venue. And seeing Joni Mitchell, who has played such a big part in my love of music, perform as a special guest was a highlight of my career.”

Lawson shares she’s been consistently busy since touring returned post-COVID, with momentum continuing to accelerate year over year. With 2024 set to be another major year, possibly due in part to the upcoming election, Lawson also believes that fans will continue to seek out concerts as a form of escape.

When Lawson started her career in music back in 1999, she says that she saw fewer women within the business. “When I attended my first Pollstar conference over 20 years ago, there weren’t nearly the number of women that are attending today,” she says. “There are so many more female agents, talent bookers, tour managers, artist managers, etc. than when I first started in this industry. It’s really encouraging to see.”

Despite the growth over the last 20-plus years, Lawson emphasizes that there is much more to be done. She points out that the music industry still does not reflect the diversity of artists and fans, and that the behind-the-scenes still has a lot of catching up to do in order to truly reflect that.

“I’d like to see hiring practices in companies across the live business (including ours) putting even greater focus and resources behind the hiring and career development of young women, particularly young women of color,” she says.