Which distinguished young executives have made IQ's New Bosses 2023? Find out here...
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Continuing a series of interviews with the 2023 New Bosses, IQ speaks to Dani Lopez, promoter at Live Nation
By IQ on 29 Aug 2023
The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.
To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.
Catch up on the previous interview with Chloe Pean, promoter at AEG Presents in the UK. The series continues with Dani Lopez, promoter at Live Nation.
Madrid-born, Dani Lopez started working in Live Nation Spain after finishing an MA in live entertainment business at Universidad Europea de Madrid. Starting off as a promoter assistant in 2018, Dani was quickly upped to promoter in 2019 and joined the MC Festival booking team in 2021 after finishing his MBA.
Dani’s expertise spans various musical genres, from K-pop to Latin music. He has worked closely with notable Spanish artists such as Rels B, Beret, and Hombres G, striking arena deals with them.
You studied live entertainment business at university – was this one of the Live Nation courses? And if so, how did it help prepare you for starting work in the business?
Yes, it was the first version of the Live Nation MA. I think the most important part of the program is the 360º approach. They show how the music business works from different angles, which helped me understand the business and gave me an overall vision of how this industry works. As a promoter, understanding the job and responsibilities of all the roles involved in a tour is crucial. When you are 20 years old and have almost no background in the music industry, programmes like the LN MA give you an extraordinary advantage to pursue your music business career.
Is anyone else in your family involved in the entertainment business? If not, why did you choose this career path, and how did you find out about jobs like promoters and agents?
No, my parents came from entirely different industries. Music has always been around my entire life. I studied for many years in the conservatory, then played in bands with my friends and touring a few years as a sound engineer in my early 20s. But, the main reason for pursuing a promoting career was not being able to see the bands I loved when I was a teenager in my city. It all started with the romantic dream of booking all the bands I listened to and wanted to see in my hometown.
“Live shows are the best way to determine if you believe in an artist or not”
How do you discover new talent? Are there any venues/radio stations/streaming sites or other platforms you use to find new acts?
I spend a lot of time listening to new acts and scrolling around playlists. Streaming radio has also been an incredible tool for discovering new talent. But live shows are the best way to determine if you believe in an artist or not. I get input from seeing the support bands on our tours and attending conferences and festivals like The Great Escape.
And what about meeting new contacts in the business – are there any conferences, festivals or other events that you have attended that have been useful for networking?
As a young promoter, conferences were crucial to making connections and meeting in person all the agents you mail non-stop during the year. IFF, ILMC and The Great Escape are a must for me.
Are there any particular events or tours you are looking forward to this year or next?
Gracie Abrams. She is my most streamed artist of the year—something special about that album.
Do you have a mentor or people you can trust to bounce ideas off?
Nacho Cordoba. He is one of the best promoters in the business, and working with a boss who trusts you, listens to and respects you the way he does is something I am grateful for.
What’s your favourite venue to see new artists in?
It depends on the music genre. But, overall, I would pick Razzmatazz in Barcelona. They have three rooms, and you can see shows from 200 to 2,100 capacity.
And what about your favourite venue for established acts?
Club level, it would be La Riviera. It’s a very special venue for me. I have countless memories from my childhood of seeing shows there, and now I am lucky enough to promote shows there constantly. Arena level, Wizink Center, one of the best arenas in Europe.
“Burnouts and breakdowns from the workload and stress have become more frequent…we need to set up boundaries”
As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
Work-life balance. This is a high-demand ecosystem with intense schedules and burnouts and breakdowns from the workload and stress have become more frequent. We need to set up boundaries and take care of each other. We are hyperconnected, and we should do better in prioritizing. Most of the time, problems are not that urgent or important. Also, the live entertainment industry must be an inclusive, representative, and equitable space for all its participants, and we all should work together to accomplish that.
What would you like to see yourself doing in five years time?
I feel comfortable with changes and challenges and hope to develop new projects and create new business models around entertainment. I think it is an exciting time to be in this business. Also, I am fascinated by how local culture reflects on our business and how that makes every market so unique and different. It would be great to be able to understand as many markets as possible and work alongside different promoters in the world.
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