Live Nation’s Arthur Fogel on U2, David Bowie and the Australian touring landscape

Arthur Fogel is the biggest player in live music who doesn’t sing, dance or strum a guitar.

The Canadian-born impresario has been characterised by Bono as “clearly the most important guy in live music.” Madonna called him a promoting “genius.” All with good reason.

As Chairman of Global Music and CEO of Global Touring, Live Nation, Fogel guides the concerts giant’s music division in the acquisition of musical shows around the globe. He’s the go-to promoter for the world’s leading acts including U2, Lady Gaga and Madonna, the mastermind behind most of the top-10 biggest box office tours of all time.

An inductee into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, the entrepreneur was the subject of the 2013 film ‘Who The F*** Is Arthur Fogel,’ which documented his move away from the drumkit and into the live scene, through to the Rolling Stones’ ‘Steel Wheels’ tour which revolutionised the global touring business and his mega-tours for the likes of Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Police and Neil Young and many others.

Fogel is currently in Australia for U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree Tour,’ the band’s first visit to these parts since 2010’s 360° stadium jaunt.

Here are some of the highlights of Fogel’s Q&A:

On U2 taking its ‘Joshua Tree’ tour Down Under This region of the world is the most logistically challenging in terms of moving a show. It’s complicated and its expensive but it’s important…the band hasn’t been here for nine years, 14 years to Japan and they’ve never been to South-East Asia in a 40-plus year career.

It’s important for artists to properly touch all regions of the world. It’s very easy for people to move on and forget about you if you don’t show them love. That was one of the reasons why it was important to get down here at this time. But it is challenging, there’s no question.

The Industry Observer/Lars Brandle

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