Debra Rathwell: Women In Music 2014
NO. 7

Debra Rathwell


Senior vp, AEG Live

Rathwell's highest-profile "tour" of the year never actually went anywhere. As senior vp for AEG Live, the world's second-largest concert promoter, Rathwell booked Billy Joel for his extended run at New York's Madison Square Garden, working with Joel's agent, Dennis Arfa, CEO of Artist Group International. The shows have grossed more than $20 million and continue into 2015. Rathwell is one of the most active regional promoters in the country, involved in nearly 1,000 Northeast shows each year. But she's also focused on ventures where one promoter buys and promotes an entire tour, and works closely with AEG Live head of global touring John Meglen on those ventures.

Her management style is simple: "I hire really good people who are expert at what they do, and then I let them do their jobs," she says. "When you work for me you must have the ability to think quickly, be nimble and adapt to an ever-changing landscape."

Aside from Joel, highlights of her year include the arena sellouts by Katy Perry and Cher, Ed Sheeran's first arena tour of the United States and Canada, a red-hot Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull trek, The Voice Tour, selected dates on Paul McCartney's Out There Tour, Shania Twain's residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Bruno Mars' biggest outing to date and the recent nine-date swing through Australia by The Rolling Stones.