How did you get your start in the music industry?
"When I was in college I started working for Electric Factory Co. during the summer, doing odd jobs like working security and setting up the barricades. That was the time before ticket company conglomerates, when each city's scene was run by the local dominant promoter. After I graduated school, around 92' I went on the road with some big rock acts at the time - Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Eric Clapton, etc. At the time, rock artists weren't always on the road with sophisticated management though they needed it. So young, business minded people like myself were hired to go on tour to help manage what the band couldn't; I specialized in finance.
After my stint on the road, I joined Left Bank Management and ran their Live division.
Then, I started my own company which produced 40+ radio shows (weenie roast types, which were popular then) that I subsequently sold to Live Nation. I also joined the Live Nation team to run their Festival division.
In 2015 I moved to UMG to become their SVP of Live Events and Festivals."
Where has such a lively past led you to, today?
"I still consult for UMG but I'm more focused than ever on building my own companies.
Currently, I am fully immersed in the College Festival scene with my company "Campus Event Group". We take care of every aspect of each festival; from booking, to selling sponsorships, to running the event, Campus Event Group is a fully integrated festival company.
As part of CEG, we are also working on building 'influencer houses'. I am most involved with the house we're building in Los Angeles, which focuses on bringing top influencers from various platforms together in the Pop/Hip-hop/Rap genres. Our goal is to create an ultimate entertainment experience for fans of the influencers, and really connect with the audience instead of just 'contacting' them.”
If you could take an educated guess, when and how do you think the Live scene will come back?
"There is no way to know - we may not have an answer until mid 2021, which means that it could be too late to plan for and utilize the rest of the year. We may have to wait for 2022 for the Live industry to be in full swing ... and even then it will probably be a different animal than we have known. But if I had to guess, the end of 2021 is when everything will be coming back.
Right now, we are at the most profound, and pivotal moment for the Live industry across the board. There will be - and has already been - a lot of loss; but from the ashes, opportunities for the future will present themselves."
Do you think the shows themselves will be different?
"Hm.. I believe that shows will be different initially. But if the vaccine is effective, and gatherings become safe again, we should be able to go back to having 'normal' shows eventually.
What is your favorite music industry memory?
"I've had a bit of a 'Forest Gump'-esque career, having various unique and unbelievable experiences ... At one point I even wound up having dinner with President Clinton!
But the one memory that stands out from the rest is from when I was touring with Elton John. He was playing in a town square in Austria, that hadn't held a musical performance since Motzart had played there.
The energy emanating from the square was palpable. The mixture of amazing music, a legendary historical setting, and a devoted, enthusiastic crowd made for an incredible experience. I could feel the shared energy that day in Austria; I couldn't believe I was there to be a part of it."