2024 Impact 50 Honoree: Jay Marciano

AEG Presents

Converted the Beverly Theatre into a concert venue

AEG Jay Marciano

Jay Marciano garners wide respect for his impact inside and outside the live events industry, as evidenced by the Spirit of Life Award he received this year from the cancer research and treatment organization City of Hope.

The honor from City of Hope’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry fundraising group is a testament to Marciano’s support, Kristin Bertell, the organization’s chief philanthropy officer, said.

Marciano has been a concert promoter since he was in his 20s, having come through the ranks of Universal Concerts, AEG Europe and Madison Square Garden Entertainment. He rejoined AEG in 2011.

His firm has promoted massive tours by some of today’s biggest artists, including Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney, Zach Bryan, Luke Combs, Sleep Token, Kacey Musgraves, Mitski, Tom Segura, $uicideboy$, Journey and Kane Brown among many others.

Marciano, under whose aegis falls nearly 100 music venues and 23 offices worldwide, as well as AXS ticketing, has also made a mark developing industry-leading festivals like the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Stagecoach, British Summer Time Hyde Park and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

AEG Presents grossed $1.38 billion in concert ticket sales in 2023, according to Pollstar data, placing the company third behind Eventim, which operates mostly overseas, and Live Nation.

Marciano has overseen the company’s worldwide expansion and was praised by former AEG Presents colleague, Chuck Morris, who now directs the music business program at Colorado State. Morris, Don Strasburg (now running AEG Rocky Mountains) and Brent Fedrizzi (now AEG’s president of North American regional offices) launched Bill Graham Presents/Chuck Morris Presents in 1998.

“I’ve known Jay his entire career. People forget that he grew up in Colorado and started a promoting company here before moving to LA,” Morris recalled. “What I think distinguishes him from others is not only is he a great music guy, but he is amazing at organizing and running large companies. He is one of the best numbers guys I’ve ever known, and he is one of the few that has a keen sense of expenses and overhead.”

That keen sense is borne of experience in live entertainment, and in that regard, Marciano may be unrivaled.

As president of MSG Entertainment, he was in charge of not only the flagship Madison Square Garden, but also world-renowned Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre in New York, and the Chicago Theatre.

After rejoining AEG, he oversaw the company’s 20 venues in nine markets, from London’s 02 to Istanbul’s Ülker Arena. He also oversaw the acquisition of famed Wembley Arena.

Before that, Marciano put in nearly 20 years with Universal Concerts, eventually rising to president and CEO. 

During his first go-round at AEG Live in Los Angeles, as chief strategy officer from 2003 to 2005, Marciano ran AEG Presents’ music festival division while in charge of regional offices.

What he’s done in the business has been accomplished with as much grace as anyone in live, according to those who know him.

This year, when AEG Presents partnered with major Latin music promoter Cárdenas Marketing Network, its CEO and founder, Henry Cárdenas, remarked that in the 40-plus years he’s known Marciano, he developed a deep respect for what he has done in that span.

“We look forward to making an even greater impact on the explosive growth in the Latin market,” he said in a statement.

After guiding AEG Presents through the pandemic’s deprivations, which involved some painful cutbacks and layoffs, it remains on terra firma, and it’s no small thanks to Marciano’s expertise and management style.

“Jay has had to make tough decisions in his career,” Morris said, “but his openness and gregarious personality takes the sting out when he makes those decisions.”