Tour icon raked in $420 million—and helped pave the way for U2 and Madonna’s new deals
With mega-clients U2 and Madonna not on the road, 2013 was supposed to be a relatively quiet year for Arthur Fogel, but it didn’t work out that way.
Live Nation’s global touring division, led by Fogel, produced tours by such acts as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Rush, Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, a powerhouse lineup that generated more than $420 million in gross revenue, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Fogel’s status as the “King of the Mega-Tour” is unequaled. His tours with Live Nation alone have grossed more than $3 billion combined in the past eight years. Tops among them is U2’s 360°, which grossed more than $736 million, while his work with Madonna has generated more than $1 billion in revenue.
So, when searching for a link between U2 and Madonna (both years into multirights deals with Live Nation) in the wake of Live Nation taking on both acts’ management last year, Fogel is the obvious answer, though the press-shy executive would never take credit for it. As former U2 manager Paul McGuinness—who handed the reins to Guy Oseary, longtime manager of Madonna, at Live Nation—recently told Billboard, “People don’t realize that [Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino] and Arthur are hand-in-glove. Arthur’s very modest, but he’s my hero.”
In 2014, as the Web provides worldwide exposure for all levels of artists, Fogel’s history of breaking open international markets with acts like U2 gives him unique insight. But he’s keenly aware of the risks involved too.
“In some of the developing territories, there’s only so much money to go to shows, and there’s a lot more shows than there used to be,” he says. “That’s a good thing, but it can start to be problematic if there’s too much.”