‘We Give Artists A Different Perspective And A Long-term Plan’: Q’s With The Team Of Live Nation Spain

Telefonica 100 Live Concert At The Santiago Bernabeu
Hombres G performing at the Telefonica 100 Live concert, May 18, inaugurating the newly refurbished Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, where the band formed in 1983.
Their 2023 tour, promoted by Live Nation, sold 160,000 tickets, most of which hadn’t been reported to the Pollstar Boxoffice at press time. (Photo by Ricardo Rubio / Europa Press / Getty Images)

For our annual Spain Focus, Pollstar reached out to the team of Live Nation Spain. Amidst a busy calendar of events, president Pino Sagliocco, head promoter Nacho Córdoba, and Chen Castaño, managing director of Planet Events found the time to respond.

A few things became clear: the era of the stadium concert is far from over; outdoor in general is doing major business, particularly in a country as spectacularly beautiful as Spain; and the scene of local talent is as rich and vibrant as ever – as evidenced by a new division at Live Nation Spain focusing on developing the careers of local Spanish talent within the country and beyond.

Pollstar: What are the three most important questions a promoter/producer of live events in Spain needs to ask himself/herself in 2024?
Nacho Córdoba: What volume of live events can the Spanish market support?
What style of music does the Spanish public demand at each moment, considering the immediacy and speed of the market? What strategy should we follow to grow emerging artists so they become future stadium-acts and festival headliners?

Chen Castaño: Is Spain a good market for the artist I’m booking? How can I reach the audience and amplify it? What is the best show for this artist to grow?

What are some recent successes you’d like to highlight? And what upcoming shows would you like to highlight?
Pino Sagliocco: We’ve already seen tremendous success with Depeche Mode’s tour in March, and we look forward to a successful summer hosting 10 stadium concerts in Spain, affirming its status for big artists such as Metallica, Pearl Jam and Travis Scott, and a key gateway for Latin artists entering Europe like Karol G, Feid or Maná.

Nacho Córdoba: In May, we inaugurated the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium during Telefónica’s Centennial. A multi-artist concert featuring Hombres G, Alejandro Sanz, and Ana Mena was a true exercise in teamwork by Live Nation Spain and Planet Events, and a big moment.

The four Karol G concerts taking place at the Bernabeu Stadium in July will be a historic milestone, the first time an artist has filled four stadiums in Madrid. The Maná tour starting in June has sold more than 100,000 tickets, making it a multiple arena tour that everybody is excited to see.

Chen Castaño: Dante Gebel, demonstrating that the market for motivational speakers and comedy is growing. El show de Bluey (Bluey’s Big Play), taking place in Spain for the first time, after having taken place in Australia, the United States and England.

Pino Sagliocco Small
Pino Sagliocco, president, Live Nation Spain.

What trends do you observe in the live entertainment world of Spain?
Pino Sagliocco: The standout trend over the last two years has been the incredible rise in the Latino and Hispanic market. We saw the start of this with the emergence of Rosalia as a crossover star especially in America and this year with the amazing success of Karol G selling out four stadiums in Madrid. This has really increased the size of the market here in Spain and I believe this sector will continue to grow. The hip-hop genre has also started to become established as evidenced by the two immediately sold out Travis Scott arena shows in Madrid.

Nacho Córdoba: Mini-residencies are something that artists in Spain are starting to appreciate. Recently, we saw Dani Martín announce eight arena shows in Madrid. It is a business model we will see more of in the coming years, and in which Spain can be very well positioned. The Spanish audience is very loyal, supporting artists from the beginning and staying with them. We have had recent successes such as Olivia Rodrigo as well as Melanie Martinez and Tate McRae organized by Mercury Wheels.

Live Nation is known for handling the world’s biggest international artists, but how about the local / regional repertoire in Spain? Has that become more important to your business? Can you exemplify that?
Pino Sagliocco: Absolutely. We have created a new division that focuses on developing the careers of local Spanish artists not just in Spain but also using Live Nation’s global reach through our global touring division to build their careers internationally. At the same time, this division is looking to make Spain the bridge for European touring for the new wave of Hispanic and Latino artists as well as, growing the international touring of local acts.

Nacho Córdoba: We have been focused on national artists and tours for years. We give artists a different perspective and a long-term plan. We have recent successes such as the 2023 Hombres G tour, where the band was repositioned, selling more than 160,000 tickets, as well as tours for Cruz Cafune, Beret, El Kanka, Walls, and we have recently announced the Morad tour and Hombres G festival tour 2024.

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Nacho Córdoba, head promoter at Live Nation Spain.

Which cities/regions in Spain could be considered as emerging markets? The Rammstein concert in San Sebastian this year comes to mind. Has San Sebastian always been a stop on the tour itineraries of artists, or is that a fairly new market? Do you see other cities/markets emerging as viable tour stops? Which ones come to mind that you wouldn’t even have considered a few years back?
Pino Sagliocco: San Sebastian, along with Bilbao in the Basque Country, has been established as a third market in Spain for a long time, and Sevilla and Valencia now stand out as important markets because of their available infrastructure. We have put on shows at the Olympic Stadium in Sevilla for a few years now, and there is definitely a market there.

I am sure also that the new 20,000 capacity arena in Valencia will really help bring more artists into the area when it comes on stream at the end of 2025. I am sure that other arenas will be built in these new markets as the demand for them grows.

Nacho Córdoba: San Sebastian had a time when international tours stopped there, just like in Gijón. Now they are expanding and in recent years, we have seen major international artists performing in Málaga, Galicia, and Seville. There are two autonomous communities that are growing significantly in the live music market. Galicia, where we are developing multiple concerts as part of Gozo Fest, and the Valencian Community, which, due to improved transportation with the rest of Spain, is experiencing spectacular growth.

Chen Castaño: Seville has been doing very well in recent years. We are also looking forward to the opening of the Roig Arena in Valencia.

Chen Castaño
Chen Castaño, MD at Live Nation subsidiary Planet Events

Tying into that: is there one city in Spain that could do with another large-scale live entertainment arena?
Pino Sagliocco: As I stated before, new arenas like Valencia and Pamplona will definitely help to bring more content to other cities in Spain.

In the UK, outdoor shows, special one-off concerts in scenic locations have really taken off this year. And that’s a country where the weather isn’t as guaranteed as it is in Spain. So, is the outdoor business growing in Spain, too?
Pino Sagliocco: The summer festival circuit in special locations has been established for many years now in Spain with festivals in Cap Roig on the Costa Brava, Starlite in Marbella and Concert Music in Sancti Petri all attracting major international and local artists for 3-4 week seasons through July and August. Emerging festivals in Murcia and O Gozo in Galicia stand out here.

Nacho Córdoba: In Spain, we have a strong appreciation for open-air concerts and this type of venue has been growing steadily over the years. The Monte do Gozo venue in Galicia, where we promoted Imagine Dragons in 2023, is holding this year’s Gozo festival with Ed Sheeran. There’s also Concert Music Festival which will feature Maná, and at Noches del Botánico in Madrid we are promoting Queens of the Stone Age and Pixies.

How are your Spanish festivals doing?
Pino Sagliocco: Mad Cool continues to be the major international festival in Spain. Our new festival O Gozo Festival in Galicia is developing well.

Anything you’d like to add?
Pino Sagliocco: I think we will see the growth of multiple headline shows in one venue. The model of Adele in Munich is an example of something I believe will grow. The Spanish market, with its great weather in summer, is an ideal location for this format.

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