Ticket Arena SL 2018
EPS 2018
Ticketmaster ILMC 30 SL

The latest industry news to your inbox.


Would you be interested in hearing about marketing opportunities?


Italian promoter David Zard passes

David Zard, the "visionary" concert promoter, agent and record producer behind many of the biggest Italian shows of the past 50 years, has died aged 75

By Jon Chapple on 29 Jan 2018

David Zard

image © Alessandro Dobici/Saludo Italia

David Zard, a pioneering concert promoter who was the first to bring some of the biggest names in rock music to Italy, has died aged 75.

Born in Tripoli, Zard (pictured) emigrated to Italy in 1967, fleeing persecution of Libya’s Jewish minority after the Six-Day War, and over the next five decades established himself as one of the country’s leading promoters, organising stadium tours by Cat Stevens, Elton John, Tina Turner, Lou Reed, Frank Zappa, the Rolling Stones, Genesis, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Michael Jackson and more.

He was also a record producer, a longtime ILMC member and a booking agent, to Italian singer-songwriter Gianna Nannini, among others. In recent years Zard and his company, Saludo Italia, focused on stage shows, most recently producing the 2013 musical Romeo e Giulietta – Ama e cambia il mondo (Romeo and Juliet – Love and Change the World).

Vincenzo Spera, president of Italian promoters’ association Assomusica says he was left “speechless” by news of Zard’s passing on 27 January (also Holocaust memorial day). “Your voice, your teachings and your passion will never abandon us,” says Spera. “You will be greatly missed.”

“David Zard has done much for Italian music – much more than one imagines”

Writing for la RepubblicaItalian music journalist Erneso Assante describes Zard as a “visionary” who foresaw a modern concert industry worthy of the term “industry. But he was also a huge fan of music: he knew artists, genres, trends… nothing escaped his radar.”

He was, continues Assante, “gruff and sympathetic, affectionate and sharp, difficult and soft, an eagle and dove. A wonderful heap of contradictions, from which emerged his personality, his strong beliefs, his love for music. Yes, David Zard has done much for Italian music – much more than one imagines. And it will, rightly, be remembered for it.”

Barley Arts founder Claudio Trotta says Zard was a “visionary, proud, brave man” with “charisma, a personality and a unique character”. Trotta also praises his work in fighting against ticket resale, saying Zard was “one of my colleagues who spoke against the phenomenon of secondary ticketing, highlighting the abuse by some well-known multinationals”, and his recognition of the “undisputed talent” of Italian singer Angelo Branduardi, whose success opened the door other for Italian artists in Europe.

Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish Community of Rome, praises Zard’s contribution to the “history of music and entertainment in Italy. He brought prestige to the Jewish community, who now mourn their loss.”

Zard is survived by his wife, Patrizia Tomasich, and their son, Clemente, who now leads Warner Music Italy’s live operation, Vivo Concerti.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

More news

Italy set to outlaw secondary ticketing Italian lawmakers have approved a bill criminalising ticket resale, paving the way for the adoption of some of the strongest anti-touting legislation...in the world
Zard leads management buy-out at Vivo Concerti Warner continues its international live sell-off… with CTS Eventim believed to be waiting in the wings to snap up Vivo Concerti
Italy welcomes new ‘law for live music’... Act 4652, which passed the Senate of the Republic last Wednesday, has been hailed as "an important acknowledgement" of the importance of the Italian...live business
Italian promoters welcome concert VAT cut The reduction in VAT paid by "intermediaries" working in live music has been praised by promoters' association Assomusica as bringing Italy's tax code..."up to date"
Exclusive: No Secondary Ticketing stream Watch live coverage from Milan of the world's first anti-ticket touting conference, including the launch of the Anti-Secondary Ticketing Federation