Summer Tour Festival Preview -- Maroon 5's Touring Surge

Maroon 5 touring surge

At a point on the career arc when many pop-rock bands hit a wall, Maroon 5 is in the improbable position of having its biggest touring year ever.

The 2005 best new artist Grammy Award winner went clean on all 31 dates of the first leg of its North American arena tour, which wrapped April 6 in Chicago. Before that trek ended, tickets went on sale for the band's headlining role on this summer's Honda Civic tour, which encompasses 31 amphitheater dates Aug. 1-Oct. 6. Live Nation is the national tour promoter for both runs, and brought its considerable marketing clout to the party.

"Far and away this will be the biggest touring year the band has ever had," says Jordan Feldstein, Maroon 5's longtime manager.

Maroon 5 is touring in support of its fourth album, "Overexposed," a title that's clearly not apropos. Feldstein says solid ticket sales have always come in tandem with radio hits for Maroon 5, and the band's last U.S. tour, with Train in 2011, was hardly a dog. "It's hard to say we were ever at a bad point, because we were always selling 4,000-6,000 tickets [per show], even when we were in a 'slump,'" he says. Still, the band lacked consistency, a situation Feldstein says has changed due to two factors: frontman Adam Levine's TV gig on "The Voice" and Levine's decision to work with outside writers for Maroon 5 songs.

"Those two things changed the course of the band's career, and with that renewed radio success and renewed endorsement interest came the ability to go out and sell real tickets," Feldstein says. "I'm not going to say I wasn't biting my nails that first week when we put up the arena tour, but once I saw the reaction virally and our presales went up, I knew it was going to be big."

Feldstein is part of the Artist Nation group of managers (formerly Front Line) that creates synergies with the resources of affiliates Live Nation and Ticketmaster in terms of strategic marketing muscle. Corporate partners also provide juice. "Monetarily, the sponsorships are amazing, but even from a pure marketing perspective we've had great partnerships," Feldstein says. "This is our second tour with Citi, and both times they've financed our ability to put a TV spot on 'The Voice,' which is unbelievably expensive to do, but obviously is such a huge driver for us."

Savvy packaging plays a role. Neon Trees and Owl City opened all shows on the first leg, and Kelly Clarkson supports on all dates for the Honda Civic tour.

Feldstein says that after this year's U.S. run, the band will take a year or two off from touring the States. "Luckily for us, we've built so much around the world that we can keep it going," he says. "We haven't toured Europe extensively yet. We'll go back to South America at some point, and then Asia/Australia, which per capita is probably our biggest market for touring. We're also planning on having a new record next year, too."


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