2024 Impact 50 Honoree: Dennis Arfa

Independent Artist Group

AGENCY BEFORE IAG & AGI: QBQ (Quality Before Quantity)


Anyone who knows Dennis Arfa — and most in the concert industry seem to — knows the man loves stadium concerts: the size, the scope, the magnitude of the event, what it means for an artist to play to 50,000-plus people. As one of the most influential music agents in the industry for decades, Arfa still loves his stadiums — and when clients like Billy Joel continue playing them — but acknowledges that any overall stadium tour activity ebbs and flows.

“Last year was really the first COVID-free year and the Taylor Swift phenomenon just energized our business,” Arfa said. “It was amazing that there’s so many artists that did so well, amazing to see artists who can not only do stadiums but multi-night runs in stadiums.”

With personal clients and part of IAG’s roster still doing hefty stadium business, including Billy Joel, Def Leppard and Metallica, Arfa is also known as being part of Joel’s long-running Madison Square Garden monthly residency, a brilliant concept which will officially wrap in July after 150 performances.

“All things must pass. It’s been an amazing accomplishment and still is,” Arfa said of his longtime client. “I don’t know what the future holds as far as what he does next in New York, but the thing I do know is that after he plays Madison Square Garden on July 25th for his last show, he is playing for the first time in his career Cardiff, Wales [on Aug. 9], with 60,000 people at Principality Stadium.”

It’s not news that Arfa and his agency represent major touring artists, but what is news is the formation of Independent Artist Group, which last year saw Arfa’s own Artist Group International join forces with the long-established APA, which had a sizable music division along with reach into other media like film, TV and publishing.

“It’s a new era,” Arfa says, noting that he’s already seen lucrative deals in film and TV for music clients thanks to the new relationships.

IAG is now home to more than 30 music agents, with two-thirds of those coming from APA. There are more than 100 total IAG agents across all divisions.

“It’s a good match, and we have quickly been able to become one unified company,” Arfa said.