Sarah Zawalski
Senior Director, Entertainment Booking | 313 Presents

Women are well represented at 313 Presents, the Detroit-area live event company that promotes and produces concerts, theatrical productions, sporting events and family shows at venues across southeast Michigan: Little Caesars Arena, the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, Pine Knob Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre and Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre.

Headquartered in The District Detroit, 313 Presents is a joint venture between Ilitch Sports + Entertainment and Pistons Sports & Entertainment, and Sarah Zawalski is among the company’s leaders, as senior director of entertainment booking.

“At 313 Presents, our workforce is made up of 60% of women,” she said. “The industry is becoming more inclusive, but there are still challenges.”

Zawalski was helped along in her career by some key “women promoters and production managers that were based in Detroit.”

“They had been in the business a bit longer than I had and I learned a lot about the industry, reacting to tough situations, the value of preparation and the knowledge that no matter how much you are prepared, things can always go sideways,” she said.

Zawalski tells younger team members “to always ask questions and engage as much as possible.”

“There is a fine line between showing initiative and possibly making a mistake out of fear to ask for help or advice,” she said.

Zawalski came up swinging when asked about top accomplishments in the last year.

“We did our first boxing event at Little Caesars Arena, featuring a female-led local main event with the GWOAT, Claressa Shields, that was a great success; and we turned Comerica Park into a soccer pitch, hosting our first international soccer match featuring Crystal Palace vs. Sevilla,” she said.

She’s understandably bullish on the future of 313 Presents, the greater Detroit market and the live industry in general.

The only things that could take the air out of the pumped-up demand for live entertainment, in Zawalski’s estimation, are “significant social upheaval or some nationwide or worldwide challenge we face,” she said.

Zawalski has a few greatest hits of her own from the last year.

“We did our final KISS show at Little Caesars Arena this year and I have to say it was a great one for Detroit. I also took some time out of the night to watch some of P!nk at Comerica Park and it was an impressive production and a great show. She set the record for the highest attended reserved seat concert in our venue’s history. The other one that sticks out in my mind was Paramore at Little Caesars Arena. Fantastic.”

What’s next for Zawalski and company?

“We’re working with Jack Trice Stadium and The Messina Group on a George Strait, Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town show this year,” she said. “I’m looking forward to increasing our promoter profile with out-of-market shows.”


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