tour: On Fire
Booking Agent: Joey Lee, William Morris Endeavor
Dates: June 1-Sept. 7
Country has developed a wealth of new headliners during the past decade. But most of these newer acts are either male (Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church) or groups (Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band). Enter Miranda Lambert, who is averaging better than 95% capacity and 10,000-12,000 paid attendance per show, according to her agent, Joey Lee at William Morris Endeavor. In fact, as of mid-May, Lambert was the top-selling female artist touring North America, with $8 million in ticket sales from just 23 shows reported to Billboard Boxscore of the 70-plus dates Lambert will headline in 2012, many of them at Live Nation sheds this summer. "We went from 4,000 to 6,000 to over 10,000 [per night] this year," Lee says.
Live Nation co-president of North American concerts Mark Campana adds, "Country is killing it. And now, when you look at acts like Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts and Toby Keith, you've got to start talking about Miranda now in those same ranks, in terms of ability to sell tickets."
Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez
Booking Agents: Darryl Eaton, Creative Artists Agency (Iglesias); Michel Vega, William Morris Endeavor (Lopez)
Dates: July 14-Aug. 31
Like last year's successful Euphoria tour (Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Prince Royce; $15,638,084 gross, according to Billboard Boxscore), the co-headlining Iglesias/Jennifer Lopez tour with Wisin & Yandel hits both pop and Latin markets. At more than 30 dates, with doubles in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles and Miami, the tour begins July 14 at Montreal's Bell Center. AEG Live president/CEO Randy Phillips predicts, "By the time the acts hit the stage, every one of those dates are going to be sold out."
Booking Agent: Russell Warby, William Morris Endeavor
Touring in support of solo record Blunderbuss and backed by an all-female band known as the Peacocks, White's routing for 2012 is a strategic mix of large clubs, theaters and key festivals like Hangout, Sasquatch!, Firefly and Fuji Rock. The strategy is simple, according to Russell Warby, White's agent at WME: "The priority has been to play the good rooms over everything else."
tour: Old Ideas
Booking Agent: Robert Kory (manager), AEG Live
Dates: Aug. 12-Dec. 20
After ending a 15-year absence from the road in 2008, Cohen has become a global phenomenon and one of the top 25 biggest-grossing touring artists in his 70s. Since 2008, he's earned $90 million and moved about 650,000 tickets, according to Billboard Boxscore, working with AEG Live the past two years. This year, Cohen will hit arenas, stadiums and festivals across Europe before playing arenas in North America. "We were acutely aware of the pent-up demand to see Leonard perform his classic songs and daring new material live onstage," AEG's Phillips says. "What started out as the ultimate honor became a worldwide economic juggernaut."
Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller
tour: Under the Influence
Booking Agent: Peter Schwartz, the Agency Group
Dates: July 25-Aug. 5
The Under the Influence tour, which will hit Live Nation amphitheaters this summer, taps into two key areas that are appealing to fans: value-oriented, synergistic packaging and youth-oriented hip-hop. The package includes headliners Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, along with Kendrick Lamar, Chiddy Bang, Schoolboy Q and Chevy Woods. Peter Schwartz of the Agency Group in New York says sales are off to a great start. "The shows generally have 6,000-8,000 tickets sold already in just three weeks on sale," he says. "These venues have a lot of lawn, but with tickets reasonably priced in the $20-$40 range, this is an event any music fan can afford."
Booking Agent: Joel Zimmerman, William Morris Electronic
Dates: June 7-Sept. 16
Avicii's 27-date North American tour (his largest to date), in partnership with AEG Live, will launch June 7 at the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times Forum. The Swedish DJ/producer's tour is "a massive, eight-semi show; what you saw at Coachella was only two semis' worth," says his agent, Joel Zimmerman of William Morris Electronic. "It's the most complicated show I've seen to date." On the back of one massive single, "Le7els" (plus a synch and personal appearance in Bud Light Platinum's Super Bowl spot), Avicii is skipping nightclubs and moving directly to large live venues and arenas-all prior to a formal album release. Punctuated by a headlining set at Lollapalooza in August, the tour will bring the 23-year-old to venues like Denver's Red Rocks Amphitheatre and San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Zimmerman says, "After the first show, everyone is going to be like, 'Holy shit, you need to see this thing.'"