40 Under 40: Ryan McElrath


Senior VP Of Domestic Touring, Live Nation Entertainment


Ryan McElrath’s efforts fuel the amphitheater system that is the backbone of the North American summer concert strategy for Live Nation, the world’s largest promoter. Under McElrath, 38, this year are national tours by such acts as John Mayer, Maroon 5, Depeche Mode, Ke$ha, Matchbox 20/Goo Goo Dolls, Def Leppard, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Aerosmith, Zac Brown Band and Iron Maiden. According to Live Nation, tours produced by McElrath in the last four years have sold more than 8 million tickets, bringing in the ancillary venue revenue from such streams as sponsorships and concessions. McElrath also is a key player in helping bands move up the venue chain from clubs and theaters to the arena/amphitheater level. Years ago he signed a national touring deal with Maroon 5, an act currently selling more tickets than at any point in its career. McElrath says the lasting relationships with artists are rewarding, leading to multiple tours not only with Maroon 5, but such clients as Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith. He adds that “solving problems” is a major part of his job. “Problems are inevitable,” McElrath says. “We are judged on how we fix them.”