President & CEO |Venue Coalition & ArenaNetwork
With an urgency for artists to get on the road and venues to fill dates, it’s maybe no wonder that companies that connect venues with talent are busier than ever.
“The first word that comes to mind is robust,” said Andrew Prince. Venue Coalition and ArenaNetwork represent more than 150 venues, mostly arenas and theaters in North America, where the company connects venues with talent and tours to increase event dates for its members.
“It’s amazing to see how much traffic is out there and how healthy the live entertainment business is after such a long and painful shut-down,” Prince said. “Fans are clearly engaged, while grosses and ticket prices are higher than ever. The economy is still looming, so that’s an unknown for us all, but for now, the future is bright and we seem to be settling into the new normal.”
Two years ago, Venue Coalition and longstanding booking consultant group ArenaNetwork joined forces. While the timing wasn’t the best for touring, Prince says the combined entity is strong and thriving.
“While touring certainly took a backseat at the beginning, we were able to shift and focus on the needs of our clients, to help them weather the storm,” Prince said. “We now collectively represent over 150 independent venues with more than 2 million seats, combined, in over 80 markets throughout North America. I’m very proud of the focus, creativity and commitment our staff gives daily to driving more content to our members and providing them with the support, competitive intelligence and industry advocacy they need.”
Looking forward, Prince says he sees trends toward increasing independent venues, higher ticket prices and a further move toward cashless operations. Looking back, he says he’s grateful to those who have helped along the way.
“The relationships and friendships I’ve made along the way are my biggest highlight.” he said. “I owe a lot to my mentor, Jeff Apregan, who provided me with such wisdom, perspective and patience over our 15-year partnership. I am forever grateful and make a point to pay it forward by mentoring as many new staff members as I can. I truly value the results of our collective hard work, and enjoy watching the next generation of bookers in our organization continue to grow and make us proud.”