2024 Impact 50 Honoree: Melissa Ormond

COO, Festivals
AEG Presents

GETTING POLITICAL: Political science degree via the University of Kansas and interned for Sen. Bob Dole.
FIRST JOB IN THE BIZ: 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.


There’s been talk of the festival circuit struggling, even in the current landscape of the live entertainment industry chock-full of artists willing to hit the road, but you wouldn’t think it following an interaction with Melissa Ormond. As the chief operating officer of festivals at AEG Presents and COO of Goldenvoice, which puts on Coachella and Stagecoach in Indio, California, every year, she said that the promoter had so many wins in 2023 that it’s “hard to narrow them down.”

“Coachella and Stagecoach, of course; the return of Camp Flog Gnaw after a four-year break, a nine-show Fred again.. run at [Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles]; Neil Young performing two shows to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Roxy Theatre in L.A. We’re fortunate to deliver impactful events,” Ormond told Pollstar in March.

While AEG and Goldenvoice have carried much of that success into 2024, the market for festivals this year is uneven. Coachella this year, for example, faced slower sales; Stagecoach, however, sold out six months before the country festival took place and generated a powerful buzz on social media with memorable performances from Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson and Post Malone. Just Like Heaven and Cruel World, held at Brookside, next to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium, were more boutique and a hit with the LA crowd, while No Values with the original Misfits and Social Distortion headlining also sold out.

Ormond always finds ways to make a fest interesting with an act that can shake things up. It’s a knack the veteran acquired since her early days at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. where she began her stellar career and climbed up the ranks to become general manager in the 1980s. She later held leadership roles at MCA Concerts and Delsener/Slater Enterprises in New York before serving as president of Madison Square Garden Entertainment. Ormond acquired skills in ticketing, safety and operations, marketing and branding, financial planning and sponsorships, earning her multiple accolades along the way, including taking home Pollstar’s Talent Buyer of the Year award.