Jonathan Gilliam On Concert Security

I first had a conversation with Jonathan Gilliam after the Las Vegas shooting. He had an informed opinion on how to make outdoor festivals safer. One of our followup conversations took place when he was hired to run security for Eric Church’s Double Down Tour in 2019 but, being a busy guy, Gilliam could never expand upon his experience. It took us until this week to get around to the conversation. 

Gilliam’s bonafides are extensive and we’ll put them at the bottom of this article but his background includes being a Navy SEAL Officer on Counter Drug/Narcotics missions, an FBI special agent on criminal and counterterrorism squads and is currently the President / CEO of United States Continued Service, LLC consulting firm. 

He has more than 1000 appearances on television.

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Steve Mac

Sometimes we dismiss the familiar in search of the exotic. It was at this point I realized, knowing his background at Bill Graham Presents, as a manger of a baseball stadium, and as a production manager worldwide, I nor anyone else in the media ever asked him his story.

Before I became executive director of NACPA, I spent literally decades at Pollstar magazine and each year I would reacquaint myself with Steve Macfadyen who produced the Concert Industry Consortium, then Pollstar Live, along with the awards show. During the rebuilding of this newsletter, I realized he has never been featured in any trade magazine or other media.

So here it is.

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Yet Another Take On All This Ticket Talk

In 2015, when I was the news editor at Pollstar magazine and ticketing issues were in the news, like they seem to be every few years, an Arizona paper interviewed Dr. Stephen Happel for his view on whatever that problem du jour was (Springsteen vs. scalpers). Happel was a champion of free markets who thought that a ticket should be worth what people were willing to pay for it. It was an interesting take and I filed that name in my mental Rolodex for the next ticketing concern. A few months later, the NBA and Ticketmaster got into a conflict with StubHub. It inspired a Pollstar interview with Dr. Happel that got a lot of traction, with reactions coming from all angles. It was so controversial that it created a follow-up article compiling the various reactions.

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Goldenvoice’s Wiley Dailey Is Not Who You Think He Is

You think you know someone.

We all have those people– not family or BFFs – that we assume we know. That person we see every year at the holiday party, that coworker we talk to in in the breakroom, that friendly volunteer that shows up at every church function. Yet we don’t really know them; we just think we do.

This writer/interviewer has spent literally decades talking to the so-called intriguing bigwigs that everyone gravitates toward, it’s possible to zip around those whom are closer.

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A Conversation With Backline’s Hilary Gleason

As the pandemic made tectonic shifts in the music business, one thing that emerged was a new, significant nonprofit service called Backline. Founded in late 2019, and launched mere months before the lockdowns, the organization provides music industry professionals and their families with mental health and wellness resources.

The service did not begin as a small project but quite the opposite. Because of events in 2019 and a laser-focused industry, an organization that connected artists and crews directly with mental health services was quickly embraced.

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Tim Taber, Transparent Productions

Transparent Productions, the newest member of the North American Concert Promoters Association, continues to grow with shows coast to coast as well as festivals. Operating in the Christian music space, Transparent has emerged from the lockdowns through elbow grease, thinking outside the box and working in churches.

Tim Taber learned the basics of promotion while playing in the alt-rock band The Prayer Chain, then by managing bands and as the previous owner of Floodgate Records.

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Charles Johnston: Select Artists Associates

Charles T. Johnston, known to his many admirers as Charlie, has been a staple of live entertainment since the ‘60s.

That’s just the byproduct of spending more than 50 years in the business. Johnston’s main contribution to live entertainment is taken for granted: sports event performances. Sure, halftime shows at the Super Bowl are part of American culture, with marching bands since 1967 and Carol Channing taking the field in 1970. Yet, Johnston and his company helped solidify the culture in the mid-90s with staging that could be moved on and off the field in minutes and was used for a pre-game show at Super Bowl XXX for the Doobie Brothers.

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Chris Semrau: A Venue Perspective

As the U.S. events return with or without restrictions, NACPA decided to take a look at how our friends in facility management are handling it. Chris Semrau is the GM of the once-named Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, a venue that was recently renamed Paycom Center and is home to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.  It was an SMG-managed building until that powerful company merged with AEG Facilities to become the venue’s facility manager, ASM Global. Paycom Center can house up to 16,591 for concerts and has 18,203 seats in its basketball configuration.

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