Maggie Gessner
Head of Clubs | Live Nation

Although the COVID shutdown made club shows difficult to socially distance and club tours unpredictable at best, Live Nation appears to be fully committed to the sector as a vital pipeline for developing talent.

“Over the last year, my team has really united around the important role clubs play in the venue ecosystem,” says Maggie Gessner, head of clubs for Live Nation overseeing 22 venues across the country. “Clubs are true incubators. It’s not only the place that artists develop, but it’s also a place where many young fans see their first shows and the venues where general managers and their crews can focus on testing out new ideas and concepts.”

She says the club space is ripe for investment and a reflection of emerging trends on the brink of blowing up and producing the next touring superstars.

“Since clubs play such a special role in the music industry, this is where you are going to see the live industry make huge shifts when it comes to embracing new genres of music and bringing more diverse artists to the stage,” she says. “The clubs will also continue to be such an important way to welcome more people into the music industry. At the club, there’s a huge opportunity to ensure that the local club reflects the diversity of its community and offer paths to leadership roles particularly for women and people of color.”
Although smaller in capacity than the local arena or stadium venue, clubs have a connection to their community that Gessner says provides further opportunity in fields like sustainability and inclusion.

“Our clubs play such an important role in local culture and it’s essential that these rooms reflect their neighborhoods,” she said, adding, “I’m so excited about some of the programs we have in our clubs that support both inclusivity and sustainability. In particular, this summer we’ve launched TURN reusable cups in venues like Buckhead Theatre and the Fillmore.” — Ryan Borba

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