Over the years we've interviewed artists, venue owners, management, and more...but never the people who actually put artists on the road and on the stage. Today, Brad and Barry talk with Ali Hedrick and and John Bongiorno of Arrival Artists break down how booking works in a normal year and during a pandemic. This is a fascinating peek behind the curtain into what goes into the booking process, and we find out what we were wrong about in the past.
Also, Brad teases a little bit of news coming that's going to make big waves in the festival world. Find out what that could mean for Bonnaroo in September and hear what John and Ali have to say about the likelihood of us returning to The Farm this year.
A podcast for Bonnaroovians by Bonnaroovians!
Because I, being Bonnaroovian A, that's Bonnaroovian B, that's Barry Courter, I'm Brad Steiner.
I am really excited about today.
A lot of stuff to get to.
We've got a big show that was sort of curated by you, the Bonnaroo and What! podcast listener.
The reason why it was sort of brought on by you.
We had this idea a couple of weeks ago when we were talking in our season premiere.
Why have we never talked to anybody that books artists?
We've done venue operators, we've done promoters, we've done lawyers, we've done the artists.
Why have we never done the actual booking agent, Barry Courter?
And let's be honest, we, me especially, have pretended like we know what we're talking about in this regard
by making certain comments and predictions.
We kind of got corrected on some of that in this and I love it.
But today we've decided to start, I guess, you know, I guess it's essentially the beginning of season four,
even though we did one episode already.
You know, this really is going to set the table like we've done in years past,
set the table for the conversation for the rest of the year.
Ali and John, partners and agents at Arrival Artists, are going to join us today for a mammoth of an episode.
We thought about cutting this up into two episodes,
but honestly, Barry, everything seems to be changing by the day.
And I would hate for some of the really pertinent pieces of information that happened later on in the podcast to be missed,
only to be old news come a week from now when the second part would be released.
So why not just put it all at once?
Yeah, along those lines, been talking online with some of our regular listeners who question,
jokingly, I think in some ways why we wait so long and between episodes and tease and all that.
And a little bit of the reason for that is things like this.
I think you would agree.
What we try to do with this is rather than speculate, you know, be two guys who just speculate.
We are, you in the radio business, me in newspapers, we try to be professional as well as fans.
And so we try to go get, you know, the actual information from actual people rather than just guess.
And that's what we've done. Number one. Number two.
I will say and you correct me if you saw it differently, but after talking to Ali and John,
while we got some things wrong over these many years, we got more right than wrong.
Predicting, talking about how things work and all that.
It's not necessarily pat ourselves on the back, though it is.
You love that part. You love that.
You get the biggest workout of your life is patting yourself on the back. You realize that?
It's getting tougher and tougher too. I can't reach around.
And it's happening more and more.
It's happening. No, but you're right.
I'm going to stop you though for a second.
Who was complaining at us for not giving them an episode every seven days?
They were teasing Chloe. They were, you know, what are we going to say?
Look, I'm going to be honest with you. We don't like to talk.
I don't like to talk unless I got something to talk about.
And, you know, honestly, the reason why you don't get an episode every week is my fault. Blame me.
Because these guys with the Lord Tacos of the world and the Barry Courters of the world would do this every day if they could.
Yeah. I don't have anything to say, which is stunning for this group of all the people who would
have something to say. I've got nothing to say except for today.
I do have something to say because I teased this a little bit on the socials yesterday.
But, you know, I've got something and I'm trying to be delicate with this piece of information.
So I hope that I am. I'm talking to very intelligent people when I say what I'm saying.
I was told that a major domino in the festival world is going to fall soon.
And that is going to create a ripple effect and a wave that is going to take over the rest of the year.
With all that being said, how that domino falls, I think that you can probably assume.
But it's very, very good news. It is a stellar lineup with a big time artist that will be headlining it that was not planned before.
Look, I can't I just can't say what the festival is. I can't.
But a major domino is going to fall. And when I look around to the people that, you know,
this circle in this world go to for information on these sorts of things, all of them do the Lord's work.
All of them are fine, fine people. But it drives me a little baddie that some people basically just say generic things
and then somehow are acting as if they're breaking news or if they hear, I don't know, stuff on a podcast,
perhaps that then automatically becomes news that they get to share without really.
We know where you got that from. So look, I'm not bitter.
I don't need pats on the back like Pat on the back, Barry does. But, you know, it's a little it's a little irritating.
So, you know, just beware of the people who seem to shroud what they say in very simplistic phrases and words and generalities that
if you really thought about it, literally anybody could say anybody could say hearing things about something that could happen very soon.
And so even as somebody that that, you know, can can dabble in that sort of talk on occasion, you know, we've got a pretty we've got a pretty good,
you know, track record at this. But with all that being said, when I heard that piece of information, Barry,
this past week that a major domino in the festival world is about to fall. And when I say, by the way, when I say soon to fall,
I'm talking about in like next three to four weeks and something big is going to come and then it's going to reverberate throughout the rest of the festival world.
With all that being said, we had major news with the state of Texas, the state of Mississippi.
I'm going to put all of my money down on the state of Florida being next and all of this because Lord knows Ron DeSantis is not going to be left out of this party.
And then you have the what I think was the biggest piece of news in our world was the Live Nation CEO coming out and saying that he expects festivals and large scale events to be ready by summer.
Not only did he say that a couple of days later, he tells Rolling Stone why partial festivals won't work.
Right. And so trying to put all of that together, especially what Ali and John told us.
I still go back to nobody really knows, you know, one of the things you guys will hear.
But it's it's just pretty much what you and I have been talking about, Brad.
It's it's a big old moving ship with lots of parts, and it's not just a simple matter of I keep using the expression, ringing a bell and we all go running out the front door.
And what Mr. Rapinoe says that, you know, there are a lot of moving parts.
John says in our interview, and I don't want to give too much away, but, you know, this idea that the artist might take half of what he was getting because the venue is going to offer half
doesn't work because the guy driving the truck isn't going to take half.
You know, the guy doing the lights isn't going to take half.
Yeah. So it's we all want it to happen.
You ask them to put a percentage on what the chances of it happening.
I found that fascinating. The numbers that they gave surprised me in a lot of ways.
It's it's it's just really, really interesting.
Yeah. And so this is and I think to various point, the reason why, you know, we wanted to have somebody on here like this, like Ali and John is because, you know, generic speculation and just generic word salad put into a tweet to me just makes everything dumb.
It just dumbs down the entire conversation that, you know, is is is pretty interesting right now.
I mean, I know that it's swamped in this, you know, terrible covid thing that we've all had to deal with for a year plus.
But it is a fascinating thing that we're all having to to to dissect and to figure out.
Look, I mean, I said it in a couple of episodes before. There is from every single person that I have talked to, there are absolute 100 percent plans to do shows in October.
And what I had heard were the holds were three to four deep in every room in the southeast. Now, Ali will talk directly to that considering she's the one that's actually booking these artists.
And that she she blew that out of the water. Yeah. And her answer is going to surprise you.
So the other thing that is on is pressing and it's really interesting to talk about and dissect is, you know, does does a festival work with half capacity or a third capacity?
And they talk directly to that, too, and why that could or couldn't work. And your answer, their answer would surprise you.
I keep going back to your question to Jeff Cuellar in season three. Does Bonnaroo happen with fewer people? And he said Bonnaroo is an 80,000 seat capacity festival.
End of story. Yeah. And by the way, you know, and I look, we asked that question for a reason because the conversation even then was, well, we could do a half Bonnaroo, couldn't we? No.
And I think that if you if you read between the lines of what he said then your answer hasn't changed.
You know, the answer hasn't changed and wasn't ever going to change. I don't know why everybody all of a sudden is whipping up this sort of like idea in their head of what it could be.
No, this is. And by the way, the other thing, too, and I mentioned this in a conversation offline with Barry, you know, Live Nation is a major company and Live Nation for all intents purposes is is operating and controls Bonnaroo.
So God love them and God love Bonnaroo. We all love it. The reason why we're doing this is because we love it. But Bonnaroo is so far down the list of priorities for Live Nation.
By the way, a company that has 75 percent of the workforce is sitting at home still. You know, do I believe the Live Nation CEO when he says that they're going to have a major festivals open up by summer in the fall?
I don't know. But I do know he has a stock price and I do know he's got, you know, a publicly traded company that he wants that stock price to jack up all while he's still not paying his people who are furloughed sitting on the sidelines.
So, you know, I think he's talking about maybe not about both sides of his mouth, but he surely is not telling most of the truth. But the business hasn't changed. It hasn't changed.
The mere fact of the same question we asked a year ago is the answer still hasn't changed. And, you know, at the end of the day, the money just doesn't work. The money just doesn't work. Yeah.
And again, we asked this before we predicted it before. Of course, they're going to say that because they want it just like we do. If they're a business, they need it.
Lots of people are predicting this is going to happen. That's going to happen. We all want it to happen. Ali and John give us tangible things that have to happen that are happening, which was amazing.
I think you and I will recap it here at the end of some of those things that surprised us. You know, the major things. I don't want to give it away now so people will listen.
In the meantime, Barry's going to change his shirt.
Yeah. Yeah. Shirt.
For some reason, Barry decides to do a wardrobe change in about 90 seconds. I don't really know why.
This is big time. At least I didn't get a haircut. Almost.
I'm getting one today. You want to do one tomorrow just so you can see my hair?
But it's I'm anxious for everybody to hear this. I'm going to ask you later. You'll probably ask me what your prediction number wise, you know, percentage wise is what you think will happen.
Will Bonnaroo happen in September? I don't, you know, there's still so much that has to happen.
I do have I do have another piece of information that I will share with you about the Bonnaroo part of all of this.
I do think look in my heart of hearts at the end of the day, I do think it will happen.
That's just an informed guess, to be honest with you. But I do think Bonnaroo will happen.
But here's where it does give me pause. Not only, you know, Live Nation's got other priorities and Bonnaroo doesn't really have anybody or an infrastructure right now.
They can just whip up considering everybody's on the beach.
But when I was when I specifically asked about Bonnaroo, when it was in the list of things that are possible on the list of conversations, what I was told back from somebody I really, really trust.
They said they have not heard one peep about Bonnaroo.
This is not Ali and John. This is someone somebody completely different. So, you know, I there are definitely, you know, acts booked.
They'll tell you that there's definitely a festival in theory happening.
But I don't know if the conversations have really gotten to the point of, you know, is this happening?
Because I think they've got other things going on. Have checks been written?
Yeah, it's a good question. It's a good question. Boy, I should have asked Ali and John that question. That's when it counts. Have you gotten the check yet?
Have you cashed the check?
All right. Let's do it. Enough posturing. Let's do it. Ali and John from Partners. I'm sorry, Ali and John, Partners and Agents and Arrival Artists on the What Podcast.
On an alley, Ali and John from Arrival Artists. I'm really excited that you guys agreed to do this because you are the first people.
So what we try to do this the show is dissect every part of the industry that intersects with Bonnaroo.
Now, Bonnaroo being, of course, our central nervous system that keeps us alive.
But it has so many other ramifications and it tells the story of all the other pieces that go around it like a spoke in a wheel almost.
So where we've talked to lawyers who've explained things like force majeure and we've talked to venue owners who are struggling throughout all this.
We've not really talked to the people that, you know, put the artists on the road and how they actually do that.
So that's the part of the industry you guys know best and you guys do on a daily basis.
So I want to start with how you got here in the first place.
How in the world did you find yourself putting bands in rooms and how long has that been doing the whole process?
Well, I can start. My name is Ali Hedrick and I've been a booking agent for 25 years.
I went to college at Columbia College in Chicago for the music business program and kind of by process of an elimination figured out I wanted to be an agent.
I wanted to I thought for a minute I wanted to be a promoter and then I realized I would have to book bands I didn't like.
So I said that is not for me. I want to be an agent.
I get to, you know, promote and work hard for artists that I love and believe in and love their music.
So that's kind of where I started. I started in Chicago, Illinois, working for David Viacchelli or Bach Billions.
Billions was an independent agency, probably one of the largest boutique booking agents in the country for about a decade.
We booked Arcade Fire, Mumford and Sons, Death Cab for Cuties, Soufiane Stevens, Bon Iver, Vampire Weekends.
Yeah, so I worked there for 21 years at that agency.
And just as an aside, how hard was Joe Shanahan to deal with? Oh, I love Joe Shanahan. That's my guy.
That's my guy. That's the best. And then you eventually got to where you are now, which is a rival artist.
How does how does that process get from point A to point B?
Well, Billions kind of exploded.
And at one point and I went to work for Paradigm and I only worked for Paradigm for about a year and a half and then COVID hit.
And then Paradigm let go one third of their staff, which abruptly and surprisingly and shockingly for a lot of us.
And so I kind of sat back and I wasn't quite sure what we were going to do.
And some of the agents, we all were friends and been working together for, you know, 20 years or so and started talking.
And then we formed a rival. So this is all a new this is all a new entity.
This was all whipped up because of COVID. No kidding.
We are four months and a week old. And who who is sort of like the like the main drivers of this of this entity?
I think we all just kind of you know, that game where you drop the coin at the top and it just kind of goes down and ends up in its slot.
It's Plinko. I think when you had one third of Paradigm let go, you had just a bunch of coins going down.
And then the six of us that formed the partnership of arrival kind of ended up in the same slot just by its flinted off and then it's flinted off and then it's flinted off and does.
And so how did so how did you get to this same place? I guess because of Paradigm.
For me, I was also Paradigm. Yep. Yeah. And what did you do before that?
I was a punk rock drummer in the early 90s. I found more fun managing and booking the shows than playing them.
Oftentimes when you play football, you're like, I think I could coach a lot better than like.
Yeah. In my case, you're on the knees.
In my case, I think I was pretty good at playing, but I just didn't like the going out as much.
So I sent a really, really awful look and resume to every book agency in the country.
And I got an interview with a company called Associated Booking Corporation, which was a legendary company in the 70s, was booked Bob Marley and booked Alice Cooper.
But by the time I'd gotten there, it was kind of a relic on its last legs.
It still represented B.B. King and it represented the four tops and it represented Roberta Flack all exclusively.
They had Anita Baker, who was big at the time, and they just signed Mary J. Blige, they signed Bernie Mac.
And, you know, my musical taste weren't at all aligned.
So I was like, I'm just going to go in here and just work. I'm just going to take the job and then I'll just look for another job right away.
I love what you're saying, Colors, what Ali was saying, the difference and I hadn't heard put like this after 20 years of doing it, that the difference between a promoter and a booking agent is that you get to work with artists that you like.
And how often? Yeah. And but but essentially, with all that being said, what do booking agents do?
Now, I know that the top line stuff, but what what do you what are you physically doing on a on a daily nine to five basis?
Well, I listened to your last podcast and I remember you said something about like, oh, they look for a venue about 90 minutes away down the road for their next show.
That was absolutely not true. That's right.
Which, how would you know? Our drives can be pretty brutal that anything you look for something about 400, 300 to 400 miles away really is about a drive for a band.
If you're on a bus, you can push it to about 500 miles, maybe even a little bit more depending on the bus company that you get.
But yeah, so that was a little bit to my defense. I think my point was ideally you'd like that 90.
So it's it's quicker and easy. But but you're you know, there's kind of an unwritten rule that you never book anything that's under 100 miles away from the next gig.
That's kind of not everybody follows that. But that's just an unwritten rule. And then for festivals like Bonnaroo, you're going to have a much bigger radius of about 350 miles.
So when you're playing Bonnaroo, that cuts out a lot of cities that you would route on a tour.
Let's start from the from the seed in the ground. You have a band like Mount Joy. Let's just use Mount Joy as an example because we have mutual friends there.
So Mount Joy wants to go on tour. How do they find you and why do they find you? And for how long do you work for them?
Well, we're we're one of the only people in the industry that doesn't have a contract.
So bands can leave us at any time that they want. But generally speaking, we all kind of tend to sign artists that have teams in place.
So a manager that I already work with will approach me about a new act or record label that I do a lot of business with will say, hey, we just signed this new act.
Or we'll find it on our own and our will find an act through a Spotify playlist or from a mutual friend.
We'll listen to we'll like it and then we'll start to spread it out throughout the industry and we'll send it around to labels and managers that we like and try to create teams of people that way.
You know, not very often to do something completely unattached to do any of us end up working with.
I got you. And so when Mount Joy calls you and you say, OK, is the first question that you ask them is what's your budget?
No, never. OK, so what are you asking of them? What are you needing from them? What is your goal for a band like Mount Joy?
Who you know, you could probably just the talent. I just need to listen to it and hear the music and think the songs are catchy and think other people are going to like it.
And then whenever I'm going to sign an act to, I think, can I see this band one day selling three thousand tickets in every major market?
That's kind of I like to look at it that way. I mean, I didn't used to earlier on my career.
Certainly it was never thinking that way. Early, early days you would think like, well, you're from Chicago.
Can you sell 200 tickets in Minneapolis and in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin and in Indianapolis?
And if you can, then it's time for you to get a booking agent. But nowadays, you know, that's kind of that's long gone.
People are getting booking agents from signing one act. Is it that you guys know your territories?
Do you think about an act with what you just said? I know Minneapolis, I know Nashville, I know whatever your routes.
Do you think these will work here? Are there multiple routes that you think that might work?
Yeah, generally speaking, when we try to when we sign an artist, we're trying to sign them for the whole world aside from Europe.
So we'll work in Australia. We'll work in South America. We'll work in Asia, Canada, all those places.
And every band is different. I mean, for a band that is coming from Australia who is on a major label,
you're thinking about them because, you know, by default, the band coming from another country is already a worldwide band.
So you're thinking about them here in terms of Seattle and Portland and San Francisco and Los Angeles and Denver and Chicago,
Minneapolis and Toronto and New York and Boston and D.C. and the big, big cities, you know, like where the MLB teams play.
But with a local jam band who is not international, anything but international, who has, you know, inconsistent but tangible pockets of fans everywhere,
you look at those bands in more terms of like New York City and Albany and Buffalo and Rochester and State College, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and D.C.
and Grand Rapids and Detroit, you know, and you can book them more.
Although, yes, so they're generally speaking, those bands who are more reliant on creating revenue on the road,
play more shows a year because of it. And you have to kind of get really granular with where you play them.
And that's where that tacticalness of the routing comes in, where if you're playing Chicago, you don't want to play Milwaukee on the same court.
You play Chicago in the middle of September, you wait to go on sale in Milwaukee until after that show plays.
That's in the middle of December. You don't play Indianapolis and Bloomington, you know, at the same time, but you play them.
So there's a huge difference. And there's a those are two extreme examples, the Australian International Band and the local Jam Band.
Those are two polar opposites of approach. And there's a whole spectrum of approach in there based on the artist,
how much activity they have going on with their streaming on the radio, how reliant they are on the road.
You know, are they a band that develops on the road? Are they a band that doesn't develop on the road?
Do they stay home and wait for the streams to kind of artificially pump them up?
And then you just go out and they're already in a bus before they ever had to, you know, pay their dues.
Is your version of success a certain number per night? Is your version of success?
Well, we got them to seventy five percent capacity a night.
And then even further, the next step through this is since you've gone through all of this for so many times and you've worked with every possible
genre of artist and level of genre of artist, are those paths and those positions from point A to point B to point C across the country,
are they already pretty much well worn and you can already see the tour before it's even, you know, in your mind, before it's even set up?
Yes. For an artist like I represent Dweezil Zappa, who is my longest standing client.
I've represented since 1996 and he plays 100 shows a year and it's like precision.
You know, some tours I could just look I could book him twice a year, eight weeks at a pop and some of them he'll play New York City on one tour.
And then the next tour will come back and he'll play Morristown, New Jersey and Englewood, New Jersey, which break Ali's 100 mile rule.
And Carytown, New York, where I am now. And then, you know, and then 18 Muscle Pass and then he'll play New York again.
And then the next time after that, he'll play Neptune, New Jersey.
And, you know, so it's there is a there is an approach there that is pretty much laid out for an established artist.
You know, markets that they do well, you know, you know, the markets that they that they don't do well.
You find success in a band that's not got that well-worn path that already has an established thing.
Your your level of success is what if they're not going to meet the goal of three thousand tickets sold?
I think just selling out whatever capacity their tour is booked in is success.
So if you have a brand new artist, you usually put them through kind of the 200 caps.
You know, they might headline at the high watt. So all across the country.
So if they sell out all of those venues on their first tour success, you probably feel personally responsible.
Putting those kind of people in the right rooms.
You know, the first round through AJR is, you know, touring life, you know, is much different than AJR if they put out a tour tomorrow.
Right. Where they're in a theater of fifteen hundred probably now, you know, when they did my dopey running of the Chihuahuas
in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a couple hundred people.
That was it's a much different world and is probably where you find the most pleasure as as a professional.
Finding those exact right spots for them to succeed and sell out. Right. Sure.
OK. Part of it is also when you book an artist in any city at any venue, an artist that has upward trajectory that is wants to grow bigger than they are.
You want to grow them bigger than they are. A big part of the decision making is where you're going from where you are.
So when you book an artist in a venue, you are absolutely considering where the next venue is after that, what the next step is and what the ultimate destination is.
You know, if your destination is, you know, the ceiling is, you know, everybody wants to get to Madison Square Garden, for example.
You know, the thought of how to get there really does start not necessarily with the very first gig, but once you start selling out venues, you start thinking about the tempo at which you're playing a city like New York and the venue and your promoter partner.
It's not just who's going to pay me the most and where's the right place to play for now.
It's how do we get the steps up to get to where we want to go? And then one more thing to put a bow on this and I'll let Barry take over for a second.
But when you use that example, like you just did, go one step further for like a Bonnaroo look.
If you get a low, small stage Bonnaroo look, are you the ones fighting for that next stage up?
Yes. And it's also you have to time the Bonnaroo set just right because if you look back, which I'm sure you have on their past lineups, they don't book the same band.
So if you have even an early slot on a stage, they're not going to have you back two years later, most likely.
So you have to look at that offer and go, is this our look? Is this our Bonnaroo look?
Or do we want to push and wait for the next year when we're going to be bigger, better, make more money on a better slot, play in front of more people?
Or it could be Dua Lipa and do two years in a row.
If a band is moving up from level to level, the likelihood of them playing again is much greater.
If you happen to grab a Bonnaroo slot when a band is at whatever X level and they play it and then they put a record out two years later
and it doesn't grab, graduate them to noticeably the next level, you're going to have a hard time getting that band a slot a second time
because they're really only going to be interested in a band that can graduate from the next level.
Otherwise, if you're more or less playing this 10 or that 10 at 4.30 in the afternoon, your first time in,
and then three years later and your trajectory suggests that you're still playing relatively that same spot late afternoon, same stage,
that's lots of taking by something fresher. You're going to have to graduate to early evening on one of the two outdoor stages to get a look.
I mean, this feels almost more of than just booking management, but management in general.
Well, that's where we discuss all these moves with the manager for sure. And we have to educate our managers sometimes as well.
Not all the time, but sometimes because they just see a Bonnaroo offer and want to take it.
And you're like, you know, it's like we're playing chess in a way.
You have to think two to three moves down the road.
I think we're going to get into in a little bit how all this ties into what we've just been through in the last year because it's all sort of been blown up.
But I'm so glad to hear all all of this because it confirms so many things. But I'm wondering, I mean, you just said you work with managers.
It's all planned. It's business, right? But how much of it?
Because I think I know as a fan and I don't think I'm alone, people wonder how much of it is luck, how much of it is.
Well, if they just got the right break, you know, if somebody believed in them, I love them. Why aren't they doing better?
And so I'm thinking along those lines, you know, you're talking about, well, if they do well in a 200 seat place and then they graduate.
How much of that is just hard numbers you guys are looking at versus Allie?
You said at the very beginning you wanted to work with bands you like or don't like.
How much of it is personal? How much of it is just hard business? You've done it for a long time, you know.
You know, where does that come in? Yeah, I kind of feel like it could be 50 50 on hard work and 50 percent luck.
I mean, I know that's not the answer that you want to hear. No, it absolutely is.
It actually it's way better answer than I thought, because I thought you were going to say, you know, we hardball it and kick people to the curb.
They're just not making it. But you're saying, yeah, you believe in somebody.
And that I think that's what as a fan, that's the answer that I wanted to hear.
Music is subjective. So it's you know, it's not like sports where, you know, in a baseball analogy,
if you can move to your left the fastest and your fastball is the fastest and your bat speed is the fastest,
you're going to make more money and you're going to be a bigger star.
Music is a lot of circumstance, timing, luck.
I mean, Allie and I both, you know, over the years have signed bands that we swore were going to be huge.
And they weren't. And we'll never understand why. We will never understand what it was about that band that it just didn't click.
And a lot of it has to do with things that you really just can't touch.
There's a lot of intangibles that get buff. So when Allie says 50-50, she's right.
A lot of it is the manipulation that we do and the salesmanship that we do.
But sometimes it just happens to be, you know, the way it is.
Hey, I really love that War on Drugs album. And then I went to the show and there was 12 people.
Now, when you start looking ahead and, you know, you get what the Live Nation CEO said over the weekend,
you know, you start hearing rumblings like festivals feeling as though they can come back at full capacity.
How do you guys start preparing for the fall? What are you doing to prepare for the fall?
And what are your contingency plans if it all falls apart again?
Well, I've moved the majority of my touring to 2022.
I do have three or four tours that are 2021 because it just felt safer.
Also, not every band is going to get a festival look either.
Not all my clients are kind of going for that.
You know, it just depends on where they are in their touring cycle or if they've already done a few.
You can kind of always move backwards as well.
Like you make your plan set for 2022 and when we can tell it's truly going to open up,
some of the venues might have some open slots and you might and then you can kind of pull it back and change that,
you know, do a week or two here or there in 2021.
But I'm still not banking on full caps quite yet for the fall just to be just to be safe.
And really, when you think about it, pushing it three months later, it's like, why not?
If it is that you go ahead, I'm sorry.
And John, I want to let you answer that.
But I want to sort of go back and jump in on the same question.
I'm curious. I mean, you guys, would you say three months ago you were with a different company and all that blew up and you decided to start this.
What was it about the industry that said there's still a future in this and we we need to get together
and and and do this and plan, especially what you just said, Ali, that it may be a year.
You know what I mean?
I know you've done it for a long time and it's what you do, but it sure would seem like, you know, maybe I maybe I need to look for another line of work type of thing.
I'm a lifer. I don't know how to do anything else.
I don't know. I don't even know how to like like change the fuse in the fuse box.
I have no idea what I'm doing.
But you feel good about the industry. It's just you got to get past this.
Yeah, I mean, good. No, go ahead, John. As long as you retain your clients, as long as your clients are viable clients and you feel like, you know, it's an easy it's an easy set of questions to ask to get to the end.
It's will I be able to retain my clients? Will there be shows again someday? I'm not going anywhere.
That's simple. When you say that you're pushing most of your stuff off to 2022.
Is it you making the call or is it the artist making the call? We're making the call together.
Yeah, it's always a comment. I mean, we work for the you know, it's like, you know, we work for the artist and the manager.
So ultimately, you know, we they trust us to give them the right information.
And then we talk about it as a crew. But it's never a situation where we're telling them what to do.
Ali, I know you listen to the at least part of the last podcast and there's probably some other things that you heard that we got wrong.
But first, did you did you did you rate and review it and give it four stars?
That's really important. I didn't. But I will because I actually loved it.
And that's what I know. This is gonna be fun. Yeah. Yeah. That's why I'm asking.
So, I mean, what have we gotten? And I'm not asking. I'm not fishing here.
What have we gotten right? What have we gotten wrong? Because I'm fascinated by this idea that you guys have so much intimate conversations with management artists is what we've assumed.
So what have the conversations been for the last year?
And what are they now in particular to Brad's question about what makes you know, you think 2022?
What are when you're talking to artists, what are the key things that are the topic of discussions from from all sides?
And it's a loaded question. And I'm sorry to throw it at you that way.
But I mean, that's that to me is what I want to hear is what's being talked about, you know, because we all want to go back to festivals.
We all want to have live music. So what are the issues? Well, that's it. What are the issues?
I mean, I have a tour that starts beginning of September and I've been trying to find a support act to go on this tour.
And I and I've had four bands turn me down because they they don't want to be first out there in the country touring around the country until it feels a little bit safer to them.
So that's one thing. But, you know, pretty much four bands turn you down.
Yeah, yeah. Four different bands turn me down for that. I mean, it wasn't, you know, it's five hundred dollars a night support.
But these I know you don't want to I know you don't want to give it up. But if you could, what what level would you put these bands?
Are you like if I'm on the Bonnaroo poster? This was a five. This would be the smallest stage of Bonnaroo.
So this is a five hundred capacity a night band. But the thing for me is that's the tour that's probably going to happen. Right.
Because the small clubs are the ones that are going to be able to be at full cap, not the bit, you know, not the big art.
Now, the big artists are a little they're pushing out farther.
It feels like from my roster just to ensure that they're going to have dates because touring at 50 percent capacity in a venue, no one makes enough money at that.
The venue doesn't the band doesn't unless they double the ticket price, which, you know, arrival were we've booked a lot of socially distanced and drive in tours.
I mean, I think we had, you know, a pretty full plate of tours that actually happened during covid.
I just announced a big Mount Joy socially distanced and drive in tour, 11 dates and half of them blew out on the on sale.
And I added I added an extra five and I could have kept going.
But right. But what you just said, we have that's one thing that we have not actually thrown out as a possibility is the ticket price doubling to make up for the known.
Cap issues that are going to happen.
Do you have much say in that?
Can you argue with the promoter slash the venue with where their ticket price is going to be?
Yeah, it's a mutually agreeable ticket price.
And you're not you're not necessarily worried about a double ticket price that would be 25 is now 50.
Go ahead, John.
If there's nothing else going on in the area, it's a really comes down to old fashioned supply and demand.
You know, if it's pre covid and you've got a band that's worth thirty dollars and they're playing in a very busy time, let's say in October and thirty dollar band.
And they're in a town where like, let's say Boston, where there's the Sinclair and the Paradise and the Brighton and the House of Blues and the way.
And, you know, there's just a ton of options.
So you think what would amount to 10 different venues in the city of Boston that basically are open six nights a week.
Right. So that's like 60 shows a week that are in these venues.
So if you have a band that's worth thirty dollars in that scenario where there's 60 shows a week every single week in that town, then put it in a scenario like a pandemic.
And there's two shows a week within one hundred and fifty miles.
And those are the only two shows. Your ticket price can be greatly higher.
I mean, it sounds like gouging, but it's not in the sense that all of these venues that came together in the pandemic, they just kind of popped up.
They're not established. You know, they had to bring in the state of rent to stage.
The stage is not always there. They had to bring in the sound.
The sound is not fixed there all the time. They have to bring in the bike racks and the porta potties.
So all of a sudden, the ticket price becomes much, much more.
But the band can sustain it because the only other thing that a fan of live music can go see is something next Thursday seven miles away.
And to Ali's point, the reason why some of these smaller shows are going to happen is because they don't travel with the support staff.
That's like the weekends. They can probably pull off something a lot quicker and easier in a two hundred fifty.
Now, OK, so what I've heard and you tell me if this is incorrect, at least in the city that I'm in, in New Orleans,
they have rooms in this city and in the southeast that are running three, four hole deep.
So that means there are three to four artists holding dates at venues. Is that what you guys are seeing as well?
That's not correct. That's a ten full deep. That is the wrong from your last time.
All right. Say it again. Say it again. Ten holds deep.
Right now, I'm eighth hold on a target I want at the Sinclair and Boston.
So no, no, it is not. So it's even bigger than I was. It's even bigger than.
Yes. Wow. That was sort of my next question was so from your point of view,
does it feel like everybody's lining their horses up at the gate ready to bust out or are we still in a way?
It sounds like we're all we're ten horses deep ready to.
Well, it's one of these confusing times because we are all lined up, ready to go.
Yet Live Nation has a lot of their staff gone, their marketing staff is gone, a lot of all their assistance gone.
Everyone is short staffed. So there's a lot of work to be done.
I mean, I personally there's some of my tours I've moved four times already.
Complete tours rerouted, rebuked. Now, I didn't redo the deal every time because I'd already had that sorted once.
And I just went and plopped down dates in a different month, kicked the can down the road, challenged the date and tried to clear it.
But there's been a lot of busy work. We've been really busy doing nothing for a long time.
Can you describe for me, the layperson, what having eight, nine, ten holds deep?
What does that mean? What? How do you make that work? If because I'm I alluded to it from my own ignorance on our podcast is, you know, you get Milwaukee.
Yay. In New Orleans. No. Or vice versa. And the whole routing thing that, you know, I got wrong.
But how does that even work in reality? What do you do? What is your day like?
Let's say you're you want to play Chicago and you want to play it on a weekend. Right. And you're in Denver the weekend prior.
So you you go and ask the venues in Chicago for the next weekend after Denver, the Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Grab the Sunday to ask for the whole being, you know, you're getting in line with other bands in an order.
That's that weekend. And let's say maybe it's two weekends later because coming from Denver, you can go straight to Chicago and play, you know, Omaha.
You could fudge around in Kansas City and St. Louis and then go up there or out of Denver.
You can go down to Denver the next weekend and then go shoot up to Chicago the weekend after.
You mean Dallas? So if you're on the 12th in Denver and it's a Saturday and you want to be the next weekend in Chicago or on a weekend,
you get the 19, 18, 19, 20 and you also get 25, 26, 27.
You ask for those six dates, they give you the hold and you get in line behind other artists.
And then sometimes there's like a shell game going on where there's little like elbowing and poking the eye here and a stop on the foot there.
So, you know, and it's really whoever's most sure that they're not, you know, when you're ready to jump, that's when all the seismic shifts start to happen at that point.
OK, you just got to the really interesting part of all this. You said the elbows and then the stomping on the feet.
What is that? What are you doing?
Because, OK, I get I'm eighth hold and I'll challenge it.
That promoter is not going to go back to seven other bands and say, do you want this date? Do you want this date? Do you want this date?
They're going to go to the first one and two and say, do you want this date?
And then they're going to look at all the other bands and they're going to leapfrog me to the front.
Yeah, and if they see somebody that they like more than your band, they're going to call that agent and go, this is about to go away.
You know, we really want you in the room. You know, so that's the that's the stomping and elbow.
And you're and you're selling the promoter that they're going to absolutely make their money back is essentially what you're you're you're.
No, no, you're not you're not going to be providing data to them to say this is going to be a better look for your room.
John and I have good reputations.
We've been in this business for so long that people trust us and they know if we lose them money,
we're either going to sell them this band back till they make it or we're going to sell them one of our other artists or certain cities.
I give most of my business to Frank Heath and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for most of North Carolina.
He's going to lose money on this artist. He knows that then my next artist is going to make him money.
So that's just where that's where the like the relationships and we we tend to have good relationships with our promoters.
We're trying to beat him up and cram things down their throat, which it doesn't always work in your favor because in the next time when you need a favor for them,
they're going to be like, no way.
OK, so this is in a world where you go from individual market to market and individual room to room.
But what about when you are dealing with Live Nation where you're talking to just Brian Trager or so that's going to give you the entire run of it.
How does that interaction work?
I let John answer this, but I love Brian Trager.
I do too. He kicks my ass at golf every time I see him.
Oh, he's so great.
I don't really look at tour deals all that often.
I've only done a few of them in my career.
I've found in general that doing it city by city on your own has greater benefits.
I think that at a certain level and with certain marketing behind it, it could be a little bit different.
I think that is more apparent when you're dealing with more mainstream artists, which I don't deal with more mainstream artists.
So a little bit more tactical with you can't plug and play.
It's not just like this band's on the radio in these 36 cities.
Live Nation has the venue in every one of these 36 cities.
Like a mechanical, I think with a lot of the artists that Rival work with and that I work with, it's very, very tactical and city specific and promoter specific.
And there's too many variables.
I got you. But if you're trying to get one of your guys on to Bonnaroo, who are you calling?
Are they calling you?
Steve Green or Brian Benson?
Yeah, you're on the Bonnaroo people.
And then also it should be mentioned that when you have that same band going through Nashville, they're your first call.
You certainly don't want to go play, you have a buzzy brand new band, get the opportunity to play outside of the lands in San Francisco.
And then when they go headline San Francisco the next time, they go with somebody other than another planet.
And that just then you're then that next buzzy band that you have is going to be a little bit tougher to get.
So there is a little bit of that happening.
Can I, Brad, just because I thank you guys both.
This is amazing.
The festival thing.
How is it going to how do you see in particular festivals opening up?
I know we talked about 2022, but what's it going to take from your point of view?
And I mean, we already talked about people's willingness to go and all that.
But just from the booking standpoint, and this is the thing that I guess I've sort of been talking about for my limited knowledge, there's a lot of moving parts, right?
I mean, or is there?
I mean, you know, you guys know way better than I do, but can can you put together a 50, 60, 70, 80,000 festival in a few months?
I just ask it straight up.
Can you can it be done?
It depends on the city and the state.
That's the first thing.
I think there's some states that are going to be more into doing that without much precaution.
You know, I think Florida is certainly one of them and Virginia seems to have a festival where they're like, we're doing it.
And I don't even know if they'll be, you know, if you're going to need vaccination passports or I think it'll just be, you know, you're encouraged to wear a mask.
You're encouraged to socially distance.
But we're back.
I think some cities are going to be like that in some cities.
I think that you are going to face what was a 60,000 capacity, then you cut down to 25,000 capacity, 30,000 capacity.
They're going to have to rebook the tour because they can't afford the bands anymore.
The bands are going to have to take reduction.
Some of the bands that were on it are going to fight the fact that their money's getting cut, even though there's half the tickets they could sell and half the general revenue made.
It really does depend on that.
And I think with some festivals, if they're looking at if they were traditionally a 60,000 capacity festival and they have to be a 20,000 capacity festival, I think you may see them be like, we'd rather just not do it because I don't think that they're going to get enough breaks from the bands at the top to make it viable.
You know, I don't think that every band's going to be like, yeah, we'll just take a third and we'll still come out.
I think ultimately it still costs the same amount of money to get there.
The hotel rooms are going to cost the same amount of money.
The crews are going to cost the same amount of money.
There's some expenses that just don't change.
It's not just like, oh, I can go there and I'll only make a third of the money.
It's like, your drum tech is not going to take a third of the money.
He's going to say that.
That's a good point.
If there's one place, one festival I think would happen, it is Bonnaroo though.
You know, I do feel like, I mean, I've been, I went to the second Bonnaroo ever, kind of the early, early days.
And just the way it's set up and the amount of community around that festival, I think that they'll be able to pull it off.
Well, when was your last Bonnaroo?
It surely wasn't the second ever Bonnaroo, was it?
Oh gosh, I can't even, I went, God, the years are all a blur.
You guys have trouble like keeping track of what years?
15 years deep.
You're pretty much lost.
I went in 18 or 19.
That's really sad.
I don't know.
But I did.
John, how many Bonnaroo's you've been to?
If you experienced the farm yet?
Only about three or four.
I can't remember.
Definitely three, maybe four.
It's a good number.
If you think that they're the ones that can do it, look, I'll just be frank.
Have you booked anybody for Bonnaroo this year?
And do you expect it to happen?
I can give you a percentage.
Yeah, I'll give you a percentage.
Let's say it at the same time for fun.
One, two, three, 45 percent.
I wrote down 65.
I wrote down 65.
I guess I'm a little bit over.
I think everybody's optimism has to be guarded.
We've been burned and hurt and porched and dumped on our heads and slammed into a fence
so many times in the last year.
That's a good thing.
Oh, this is such a bully.
And read some good news about our business specifically for Ali and I to wake up in the
morning and read good news.
There's this automatic thing.
It's like, don't get too excited about this.
Something's bound to the new variant or whatever it is.
Doom is right around the corner.
I love that answer.
I'm so glad you guys did that.
So splitting it even 55.
What do you think might be the things that kill it?
I think we can all guess what will have to happen for it to happen.
But what are the things that worry you that make it either 30 percent no or 65 percent
or 50 percent?
There's a number of things that get out there.
You know, we're not even coming close to herd immunity.
I mean, the thing that the child thing that children need to be included in the 70 percent
and we don't have a vaccine for kids yet, you know, and they make up 24 percent of the
So that's a big question mark to me if we're really going to be able to get near herd
immunity or not.
I have a different look on this.
I kind of feel like there's going to come a time sometime between late May and, you
know, the end of August somewhere in that window, July 4th, you know, somewhere in there.
There's going to come a time where everybody that wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated
at that point, but we still won't have herd immunity at that point.
So what happens at that point when everybody that wants to be vaccinated can get vaccinated,
but there's no herd immunity?
Then we're just sitting around waiting for what?
A year and a half after this thing started, the people that have been vaccinated are like,
OK, I'm ready to get on with my life.
I got the vaccine vaccine.
And the dynamic of I don't have to worry about you and your mask anymore.
You don't have to worry about me.
If you don't want to get the vaccine, then you go ahead and get sick, whatever it is.
I think there's going to come a time when there's not going to be herd immunity.
Everybody's going to be vaccinated and we're going to all be looking around going, what
does happen next to get us back to normalcy?
I think the answer very quickly would be like, we're just going back now.
You said capacity, though.
You think that would your number change if insert festival here decided to go instead
of 80,000 35 K if they can afford to.
But you got to also remember with their camping festival, there's not many places to stay.
There's not like it's not like Lollapalooza in Chicago where there's hotels and Airbnbs
and in the middle of the city.
This is in Manchester, Tennessee, and a lot of people can't.
If camping is still frowned upon, not by the time that Bonnaroo happens, but by the time
they're ready to proceed and start dumping marketing money into it and all that kind
of stuff, I think that's where the rubber is going to hit the road where they're going
to have a real moment and say, can we have camping here?
Because without camping, it's just going to be tough.
They say, so then there's a series of questions.
And again, we're just speculating.
But they turn around and say, OK, we're not going to have camping.
We're going to have to reduce the capacity because there's not enough hotels around here
for people to stay.
No more camping, reduce the capacity down to 20,000.
OK, who on this lineup is going to stay at 20,000 capacity?
This band stays, this band stays, this band wants to, but they want to get paid full.
These bands come off.
And then it becomes just this whole puzzle for them to figure out.
And then they're going to be on a timeline that waits for no one.
So that's why I say 45% because I think there's a couple of variables that are out of everybody's
It's interesting to me, sorry, that dynamic for both of you, it's perception safety.
It's the fans safety drives the train.
I guess I've sort of been looking at it from John, what you just said, the logistics of
how do you make all that work where I mean, it's obviously both, but it's interesting
to me to hear from you two that fan perception is probably the paramount reason.
So a lot has to happen.
OK, so if you have if you have all of those things ready, if you've got a city that's
willing, if you've got a capacity that works, vaccination program that seems to be working
well enough, do you think that July 4th is too aggressive?
Is middle of August too aggressive?
Do you think that these things start to change by I'm going to I'm going to put my money
I mean, things are happening quick.
I think a couple of weeks ago I said jokingly like what we need right now.
This was middle of January.
I said what we need right now is like that montage in the Rocky movies or the Karate
Kid movie where it's like just some Eddie Money song and just shot arms, shot arms,
you know, you get in and best in the shot.
Running on a beach.
Or some T.O. song like, you know, and and I feel like that's literally happening.
We're in the middle of it.
I mean, a montage is three minutes, but this montage is like 100 days.
We're in a 100 day montage right now.
But I feel like it's it's moving quickly.
There's part of me that feels like July's got no chance.
But then there's a part of me that's like in seven weeks, you know, maybe the middle
And that's the middle of June.
Still 10 weeks away.
You never know.
Look, you guys know the calendar.
You might as well say goodbye to anything in the spring for sure.
But when you get to summer, we all know Coachella is in the fall.
You start with Lollapalooza, then you go to Bonnaroo, then you have the explosion of October.
That seems to I mean, in this city alone, we have four music festivals in the month
If what is the drop dead date where they would have to, in your professional opinion, have
to make a call before they've got to they've got to let go of it?
Oh, that's hard to say later.
I think you could probably do it later than usual.
I don't think I mean, there's some logistics that may not.
You know, I don't really I'm not an expert on stage rental.
You know, I don't know if there's stages available or not available, or the trucking or all that
kind of stuff.
So I'm a little it's a little bit of a blind spot.
But I don't think that you I think there's a lot of gear available, John.
I think all of that.
I think all the sound all of the staging all the barricades all the port.
We've got all that ready to go if they want it.
I think that you know, it's selling the tickets, you know, I mean, think about how early we
when does Bonnaroo normally go on sale?
So what does it mean?
But what does it mean for you guys?
If would you take a band?
Let's say you have Tame Impala.
Would you put Tame Impala and only give them a Bonnaroo date if it was open and not try
and build something else around it?
Or are you going to try and build something else around it if if Bonnaroo is going to
I think they're going to be a strong band because they're not a US band.
But add on to that too.
And to sort of the same.
Do they come out and just do a show as opposed to some of these tours, you know, take can
take a year to plan staging and you know,
Harry doesn't listen to me because that's literally what I just asked on a big band.
I ask it better.
on a bigger band, I'm only committing to it if you can afford to do it as a one off.
For a smaller band, that's a little bit more nimble that can play in 700 capacity clubs,
I mean, not I would.
I do for Bonnaroo, for example, my artists that are playing Bonnaroo, I already have
some dates holding around it just in case.
And they're, you know, they're strange places.
Green, you know, the Greenfield Lake amphitheater, Wilmington, North Carolina and Dewey Beach,
Delaware, you know, just odds and ends.
But they're outdoors.
They're outdoors, though.
Yeah, they're outdoors.
Yeah, that is true.
A lot of things that I do have in the summer and August, September, I'm trying to switch
to outdoors almost every.
I have an outdoor backup for almost every venue.
And then this is this will probably be the last question I have.
And then I'll let you go unless Barry wants to steal some more of my questions and ask
When when you see the bands that you have a Bonnaroo, all right, and I'm not going to
make you say which bands, but the artists that you have playing a Bonnaroo, were they
already on the schedule before or were they completely new additions?
Yes, to me, they were already on the schedule.
They were already on the schedule before.
And I guess the whole the nerd part of the festival lineup geek wants to know what the
carryover would be from one lineup to the next.
For these artists, for these bands, or these festivals that have already announced their
lineups, Lollapalooza gets a pass because they didn't have to.
And they were already put out.
Ask it again.
Oh, you lost me.
Is the lineup going to look a lot like the one that was already put out?
Most of the time.
I think sometimes it's not, especially if a festival, if there was a festival that announced
their lineup for 2020, it didn't happen, and 2021 also didn't happen, and it's moving
I think you'll find some of those lineups, some of the promoters on those, not all of
them are going to go to those agents and go, you know, we just want to have a fresh start
I think for a lot of, most of the majority of the festival lineups are going to try to
carry over as much as you can.
But when you have international bands that you're dealing with on these festivals, say
a Bonnaroo, I don't know what percentage of Bonnaroo's lineup is international, but I
would say it's at least 15%, maybe, maybe more.
It's hard for me to tell, but let's say 15%.
I think a lot of those artists are saying, we don't know if we can commit, you know,
because we're not doing it.
We can get in here and crush it.
Because you're such a...
Well, the Visa Press is kind of messed up right now.
It's taking much longer.
It's doubled in price and there's a lot going on with that as well.
There you go, Barry.
What about you?
My last question, and despite what Brad said, I didn't steal his question because really
what I'm asking was, and John, you answered it, bands, I guess what we're assuming is
they need to be fairly nimble, whereas in the past they might have spent months and
months and months planning a tour with elaborate staging, stage sets.
And all of that, that take a lot of time, a lot of manpower to move.
It seems to me that maybe now they're going to be not scaled down.
It's still maybe a big show, but maybe just a different look, something that they can
do, put on the road and go.
I guess that's what I was asking.
Yeah, I would think so.
I mean, I have a lot of, I booked Sufjan Stevens and he did festivals a few years back and
he certainly did, lost money on the first two or three festivals that he did for sure
and then made all of his profit at the end of the festival cycle because it was a month
It was the staging, it was the, you know, he had a choreographer come in for even dancing
and the lighting and the tech and the renting of the theater to practice the whole tour,
you know, the, you know, the renting of a theater for a month to get ready for the tour.
So certainly what you were saying with that, like Tina and Paula, as an example, yeah,
they're going to be some big acts that are just going to say, no, I would think because
that's expensive, a one-off, absolutely.
And I mean, what I'm hearing, I think is they want to get out.
They need to play the drum tech, as you said, needs to get out and he needs to get paid,
I mean, the guy who drives the truck needs to get paid.
So yeah, so that's, so maybe they will do it.
It'll just be a completely different show than what they would have normally done.
Like you said, right?
I mean, look, I mean, if, if I'm not, please don't, we have too many people that listen
this podcast and read between the lines, but I'm not saying anything about them, but the
Foo Fighters seem like an easy show that can just plop onto a stage pretty quickly.
You know, you get five guys.
It's like every day though, or something insane.
I think they, I, I've heard Dave girl say, you know, it's nuts about that.
Allie is that if you're Dave girl and the Foo Fighters, why are you still practicing?
You know, they love it.
They love to play.
I just heard what he was on Conan O'Brien's podcast.
I think it's a really good one.
And he just, uh, yeah, he loves to play.
They love to play.
They just have a blast.
And sometimes they'll just play covers for like the first hour of practice.
That's see, you know, it's look, I, I have not the biggest Foo Fighters fan, even though
I run a rock station that, you know, if I'd said this out loud, I'd be burned at the stake.
But um, you know, I went to that show at Lollapalooza, that Metro show that will live in legend.
I mean, they played for four hours and they did an entire hour of just rolling stones
It was one of the most remarkable things I've ever watched.
And you know, we don't have many of those anymore.
And no matter what you think about the Foo Fighters or even white stripes, we have two
really great, um, people in rock that are, are great ambassadors for the brand.
It's Dave girl and Jack White.
You know, they love the, they love the product, they love the art and they're going to, you
know, fight for it every time.
I mean, it's, it's remarkable and, um, we don't have many more of them.
That's for sure.
We don't have, let me ask this before we go.
Thank you both so much.
Um, and I'm asking this cause I get the impression after an hour or more that you guys like Brad
and I are music fans.
That's why you do it.
Who are you looking forward to seeing when we come out of this?
There's gotta be somebody that you guys are excited about or who's the, who's the person
you would say to Brad or me don't miss, don't miss this show.
Don't miss Crungman.
Say it again.
Don't miss Crungman.
They're very popular.
They're a very popular band from Texas.
I mean, that's like asking me my favorite band.
Nah, come on.
Who are you excited to see?
Oh gosh, that's really, really hard.
Um, you know what?
I have an artist named Rye, R-H-Y-E.
I love him so much.
They put out a fantastic record.
Their Spotify numbers have doubled.
They're about a 5 million monthly streams right now and, uh, they're going to, they're
going to put on a festival show.
They're going to do something.
Because you know, the music is it's laid back.
Look, it's, it's songs to get the lady ready to go.
I'll be honest with you.
That's the way to apologize.
My apologies to the, to the lady in the group.
I was going to say something too, but they're my client and I can't say it.
Well I can.
It's sexy time music.
It's time, it's time to get naked.
It's time to get naked.
I'm excited to see what they're, what type of show they're going to put together.
Fascinating you brought them up because it's fascinating you brought them up because I
saw them at ACL years ago and they were opening for Jungle.
For an artist that just is nothing but stage presence and Rye being this really soft sort
of sexy smooth sort of thing, it doesn't seem to translate to a festival just off the top
of your head.
But you know, I like this new album.
The last one I think is just magic.
I think that that album before last was just just slamming hit after hit after hit and
I can't put on a bad song from Rye.
I like the new, I like the new stuff, but yeah, that last album was really, really special.
So good for you.
That's a, that's a good one.
Barry already knows mine.
Barry say mine.
I don't know mine is.
Yeah, no, no.
The answer is Brittany Howard every time.
I've said there's an FBI file somewhere.
There's something, there's something odd happening to me.
Guys, I can't thank you enough.
And you know, I hope that, you know, one day we actually get to, to maybe you'll come back
Maybe that's the time we get to bring you back to Camp Nut Butter.
We'll be there.
Well, listen, if you ever need us to, this was so enjoyable.
If you ever want us to pop back on even just to answer a quick question, get off where
we're available anytime.
I would love for you to, it's, it's enormously informational.
You know, it's, it teaches us a few things.
You get to clarify a few things and you know, you get to, you know, tell Barry that he's
right about something and that's all he cares about.
He just wants to be right about something.
Well, I'm looking forward to going back and listening to all your other shows.
Well, there's some, there's some losers in there.
Let's be honest.
There's some losers.
There's some good ones.
Go back and listen to Paul Janoway St. Paul talk about the guy peeing on his back.
It's still one of my favorites.
Ali, John from Arrival Artist.
Thank you so much for joining us and I can't wait to talk to you guys again soon.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you so much for your time.
What do you think?
How do you feel?
And we probably don't sleep on it, but I mean, was there anything immediately that jumped
out that surprised you?
I don't feel like I'm surprised more so than, it just clarifies a few things.
I think that the capacity thing, now that John has said it, feels a lot more of a issue
than I previously thought it would be.
Yeah, I agree.
But at the same time, I think that a good question is probably to ask of the Bonnaroo
audience if you had a ticket price right now of whatever your ticket price is and then
double it, would you still go?
Yeah, he makes a great point because I think the assumption is that the bands might take
a cut, but can they?
I mean, he's exactly right.
Gasoline is what it is, travel is what it is, hotel is what it is, union dues are what
The artist can take a half a cut, but what everybody else?
I was surprised at how positive they were that things might happen given that.
But again, when you throw that in with the half capacity, I don't know.
But then finally, the final point that I'd make that buttresses up to yours, the fact
that the holds are as deep as they are goes to show you that the overwhelming wisdom amongst
those guys is that they are preparing for a fall comeback, just like we sort of felt
was in the cards.
And it's not just in the cards, it's a real, real thing, especially being that deep.
And she spent zero time going after that number.
I mean, it was a split second before she came.
Nope, 10, you're wrong.
Dead wrong is twice what we thought.
Yeah, not even close.
Not even close.
That to me is another big takeaway.
So there you go.
Now, who's going to do now?
When are we going to do this all again for Lord Taco?
Got to do a whole other thing for him.
Yeah, we we missed Taco.
Yeah, this was good.
They were so nice to give us so much time.
And I think it I'm really going to have to think about everything they said, because
it can, like you said, it confirmed everything we've already talked about with some new information.
But the fact that it confirmed it actually makes me think even more, if that makes sense.
So we'll keep thinking.
We'll we'll pick this conversation back up next time on the what podcast podcast for
Bonnaroo by Bonnaroo.
That's Barry and Brad.
Talk to you next time.