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Gay Mercader honoured by Spanish government

The Live Nation executive brought the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson to Spain for the first time

By Lisa Henderson on 04 Jan 2023

Gay Mercader

Gay Mercader


Live Nation Spain’s Gay Mercader has become the first rock promoter to receive the gold medal for merit in the fine arts (la Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes) from the Spanish government.

Born Lluís Jordi Mercader Aguilar in Barcelona in 1949, Mercader brought many household names to Spain for the first time, including The Rolling Stones (1976), Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley (both 1980), Bob Dylan (1984), and Michael Jackson (1988).

In 1973, the Spaniard launched his own company, Gay & Company (later, Gamerco) which was bought by Live Nation in 2006, marking the live entertainment giant’s first foray into Spain.

The Spaniard’s company Gamerco (formerly Gay & Company) was bought by Live Nation in 2006

The purchase brought Mercarder, along with Pino Saggliocco and Roberto Grima, under the Live Nation umbrella.

Spain’s minister of culture and sports, Miquel Iceta, says that one of the reasons for Mercader’s nomination is his organisation of The Rolling Stones’ first concert in Spain, “which was quite an event and put [the country] on the map for the great concert tours of artists such as Bob Dylan, AC / DC or The Cure, among many others”.

In Mercarder’s 40-year career, he has staged nearly 3,400 concerts and counts Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Sting among his friends.

 


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