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Fuji Rock booker James Smith joins Live Nation Japan

Live Nation is expanding its business in Japan under its newly appointed VP of touring and festivals, James Smith, formerly of Smash

By Jon Chapple on 25 May 2018

James Smith, VP touring, Live Nation Japan

James Smith

Live Nation has hired talent buyer James Smith, formerly of Fuji Rock promoter Smash Corporation, to attract more major international acts to the company’s events in Japan.

Tokyo-based Smith becomes VP of touring and festivals, reporting to John Boyle, president of Live Nation Japan, in an appointment the company says “signals its ongoing investment in Asia”.

At Smash, Smith focused on securing talent for both Fuji Rock – Japan’s largest outdoor festival, which draws more than 100,000 attendees annually – and the promoter’s touring business, where he worked on international tours by artists such as James Blake, Grimes and Bonobo.

“James’s knowledge of Japan’s music industry runs deep, and he has a true passion to unite artists with fans, existing and new,” says Boyle.

“My ultimate goal is to bring acts from all over the world to Japan”

“His dedication and expertise makes him the perfect addition to Live Nation’s team to help us expand our business as we continue to meet the growing demand for international concerts in Asia.

“I can’t wait to see what amazing shows we create together for the people of Japan thanks to his extraordinary vision.”

Live Nation currently operates across ten markets in Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Recent successes include Bruno Mars’s 24k Magic world tour, whose Asian leg sold out 14 shows across seven cities.

“My ultimate goal is to bring acts from all over the world to Japan, which is why I’m so excited to be joining Live Nation entertainment and begin tapping into their unparallelled artist pipeline,” adds Smith. “There is enormous potential in this market and I plan to maximise these opportunities for growth with a hands-on and artist-centric approach.”


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