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Marc Geiger’s SaveLive hires talent buyer Gary Spivack

Veteran talent buyer Gary Spivack has joined SaveLive, the “war chest” launched in 2020 by former WME music execs Marc Geiger and John Fogelman to “bailout” struggling US music venues.

Under his role as senior executive of music, Spivack will work with the SaveLive network to enhance day to day operations and long-range business, according to an announcement.

“Over my career, I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the biggest acts on the planet from Radiohead to Metallica and many in between,” says Spivack. “But to those who know me, it’s been and always will be about music discovery and breaking artists. It’s about finding the next Turnstile, Halestorm, Greta Van Fleet.”

Spivack was most recently EVP of talent and curation at festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) and says he will remain as a contractor and consultant to help book DWP’s rock-centric festivals.

“To join the all-star team at SaveLive is an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,”

“To join the all-star team at SaveLive is an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Spivack adds. “It’s about championing the indies. I’m a big fan of the independent venue community and support independent-minded artists. Thanks to DWP I’ve been able to spread my creative wings and curate some of the world’s top rock festivals under its umbrella. On a personal note, Marc has been a mentor, a peer and a close friend for years so coming in as a senior executive at SaveLive is beyond exciting and I’m ready for this journey. Let’s go!”

SaveLive’s website went online in early April, along with news of the first round of venue partners and a US$135 million round of financing.

Geiger adds: “We are building a network of indie venues and promoters and we need the best possible team made up of great humans with a passionate love of music. Gary fits that bill. For years I have watched him grow into the rock and alternative guru he is now, and we are excited for him to bring that expertise to the SaveLive community.”

Spivak joins a team including notable industry execs such as Jorge Avila (talent buyer, Latinx and world), Evelyn Chia (talent buyer, electronic and alt/indie), Cristian Morales (talent buyer, Latinx and world), Ashlin Palmer (talent buyer, country and Americana and folk), Anthony Paolercio (talent buyer, all genres), Nadia Prescher (head of music), and more are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.


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Danny Wimmer Presents enjoys record return to festivals

US independent promoter Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) has set a number of festival attendance records after making a triumphant return to live music shows this autumn.

DWP attracted the biggest-ever crowd for its Louder Than Life event in Louisville, Kentucky, which pulled in 160,000 fans over an expanded four-day weekend last month.

It also recorded sell-outs for Aftershock in Sacramento, California, which pulled in 145,000 people across four days in September, and Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival in Mansfield, Ohio, which drew 75,000 concert-goers last weekend.

The DWP festival series will climax at Welcome To Rockville at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida from November 11–14, which will feature two sets from Metallica over two nights, in addition to Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Disturbed, Lynyrd Skynyrd, A Day To Remember and The Offspring, among others.

“Nobody’s taking anything for granted, everyone is giving 110%”

“When we announced our fall festivals for this year, we could already sense the excitement, we knew how eager bands were to get back on stage, and how long fans had been waiting for something to celebrate. But these festivals have been on another level,” says DWP founder Danny Wimmer.

“Nobody’s taking anything for granted, everyone is giving 110%. There’s something special happening, not just with the bands’ performances, but the energy that the crowds are giving back. The rock and roll spirit is bigger than I’ve ever felt it. Welcome To Rockville is the grand finale of our festival season, and as a fan I can’t wait to feel that energy one more time in 2021.”

DWP has also announced the dates for its 2022 calendar, which will include Welcome To Rockville (May 19–22), Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival (July 15–17), Louder Than Life (September 22–25) and Aftershock (October 6–9).

One of the largest independent producers of destination music festivals in the US, other events held under the DWP banner include Bourbon & Beyond, Epicenter, Hometown Rising and Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival. In 2020, DWP launched the digital series Offstage with DWP and Beyond the Barrel, and ventured into digital content curation, promoting pay-per-view livestreams.


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Danny Wimmer Presents acquires Billy Alan agency

US festival promoter Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) has acquired Billy Alan Productions, a leading booker of talent for Native American-run casinos.

Billy Alan Productions, which has been rebranded Billy Allan 2, will continue to be led by president Billy Bill, who represents various casinos in California, Oregon and Mississippi. Since 1999, Billy Alan Productions has​ has booked a range of American Indian bands for casinos, as well as international artists such as Duran Duran, Ringo Starr, Chicago, ZZ Top, Snoop Dogg, Gabriel Iglesias, the Beach Boys and Wynonna.

“I love being the advocate and talent buyer for Native American casinos,” comments Brill. “My goal is to collaborate with DWP and utilise their resources to bring in top-level talent to the casinos, offer better ticket prices and ultimately bring in wider audiences, including more VIPs, to the casino shows.”

“It makes sense for DWP to expand into this space”

Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents, adds: “We love the business that Billy has built and feel that our resources will help him grow and develop the platform. Native American properties are becoming a larger part of every artist’s routing and it makes sense for DWP to expand into this space.”

Los Angeles-based DWP produces eight US festivals, including Louder than Life in Kentucky, billed as the biggest rock festival in America. It is part of Y Entertainment Group alongside the likes of K2 Agency, Artist Group International and Primavera Sound, having sold a stake to private-equity firm Yucaipa in early 2020.


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Paradigm investor Yucaipa ups interest in live

Private-equity firm the Yucaipa Companies has provided backing for another live entertainment company, making a “substantial” investment in independent US festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP).

Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa has existing interests in the live music industry, through its joint venture with Paradigm Talent Agency and minority stake in Primavera Sound and Primavera Pro.

Danny Hayes, CEO of DWP, cites Yucaipa’s “successful investments in the music industry” as the reason for the financial partnership.

“We had several different options for investors, but ultimately selected Yucaipa because they really understood our growth strategy, and they are uniquely situated to help us execute on it,” says Hayes.

“Yucaipa [also] has key relationships in cities where we already operate and others we’d like to enter. We believe they will be able to accelerate our plans to expand into new markets.”

“We believe [Yucaipa] will be able to accelerate our plans to expand into new markets”

Founded in 2011, LA-based DWP produces seven music festivals across the US: Sonic Temple in Ohio, Aftershock in California, Epicenter in North Carolina, Welcome to Rockville in Florida and the Louisville Trifesta series, comprising Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life and Bourbon & Beyond.

DWP festivals attracted almost 750,000 fans in 2019.

The promoter aims to announce its initial acquisitions soon, having also announced new investment from First Horizon Bank and a renewed ticketing partnership with Front Gate Tickets.

“Collectively, the new and renewed partnerships provide DWP with a foundation to aggressively grow the business surrounded by forward-thinking partners,” comments Hayes.

The United Auburn Indian Community, an earlier investor in DWP, continues to hold a position with the company.


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