Third generation concert promoter Darin Lashinsky left a senior VP post at Outback Concerts last year to launch Nashville-based independent concert promotion company National Shows 2 (NS2) active in several genres, including country.
At the Billboard Country Music Summit June 6-7 in Nashville, Lashinsky will be joined by such prominent talent buyers as Gil Cunningham, president, Neste Event Marketing; Brian O'Connell, president, Live Nation Country Music; Louis Messina, president, TMG/AEG Live; and Gary Weinberger, president of Red Mountain Entertainment, along with music legend and touring warhorse Charlie Daniels, to take on topics related to the touring industry.
Sponsored by Bridgestone Arena, the panel is called "Touring Saturation: Are We There Yet?" and, as part of our Better Know A Panelist Series, Lashinsky weighs in here with this exclusive Q&A.
Billboard: What's the last new music you heard that got you excited?
Darin Lashinsky: Brantley Gilbert "Country Must Be Country Wide." There's a huge buzz around Brantley, and I think this is a great song to introduce him to the "country"
Name one of the most memorable live shows you've ever seen
KISS, 1976 Destroyer tour in Charleston, W.V. I was 9 years old and it changed my life instantly.
Can country music fans support 20 major-venue- headlining artists?
DL: I don't think so, it seems like sales will suffer somewhere.
At this moment in time, what encourages you about the country music business?
DL: I'm very encouraged by the new crop of headliners, they are diverse and have already created a solid foundation to their careers with multiple successful CDs and support touring slots.
Is the relationship and level of cooperation between the various entities you work with-agents, labels, radio, sponsors, management, ticketing companies-better or worse than five years ago?
DL: I don't think it has changed much over the past five years.
What recent deal, yours or otherwise, impresses you most for its creativity and success?
DL: I'm impressed with the large number of headline artists that have put together very strong support packages. It seems they are trying not only to bring a big show but offer their fans value.
What is the most hopeful/positive development you've seen for the music business recently?
DL: Artists that are continuing to develop careers and break through without requiring terrestrial radio support.
The Billboard Country Music Summit -- featuring Q&As with Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney and two days of programming that encompasses virtually all aspects of the country music business -- takes place June 6 and 7 in Nashville. Head here to register and get information.