Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based venue management and operations firm, has launched Spectra Presents, a live event touring and promotion service, under its Venue Management division.
Former Global Spectrum (now Spectra Venue Management) vp of Bookings Brock Jones will lead Spectra Presents as senior vp of Concert Touring and Events. Spectra Presents will bring live entertainment content to arenas, performing arts centers, theaters, convention centers, and fairgrounds across North America. The focus will be on venues in secondary and tertiary markets, regardless of whether or not they are clients of Spectra by Comcast Spectacor.
Comcast Spectacor is part of Comcast Corporation which, in addition to Spectra, owns and operates the Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Spectra partners with over 300 clients at 400 global properties, and includes divisions for Venue Management (formerly Global Spectrum), Food Services & Hospitality (formerly Ovations Food Services), and Ticketing & Fan Engagement (formerly Paciolan).
Jones will work from offices at Comcast Spectacor headquarters in Philadelphia, as well as maintaining a base in Nashville, where he once served as vp of booking at the city’s Bridgestone Arena. He will report to Comcast Spectacor’s John Page, who will serve as president, Spectra Presents (and remains president of the Wells Fargo Complex). Combined, Jones and Page have over 50 years of live event booking experience.
Spectra Presents will strive to bring events to markets that are often under the radar of national concert tours and shows, many of which suffer from a dearth of live entertainment, even though history shows those markets can sell tickets. Additionally, many artists are seeking venues to play outside of the traditional 40 majors that make up tours.
“We created Spectra Presents to serve the under-served, whether that be the venue, the artist, or in some cases, both,” says Page, president, who is currently in Nashville with Jones and Comcast-Spectacor president Dave Scott to meet with managers, agents, and other Nashville music biz players. “We now have the ability to deliver live concerts to markets whether they are part of Spectra or not."
Jones says his service is not out to compete with the major promoters but offers a new touring strategy for smaller markets. “No one currently focuses on secondary and tertiary markets on the national level,” says Jones. “There's a void in the marketplace we're filling.”
Spectra Presents’ approach will embrace a wide array of touring opportunities, Jones says. “We'll promote full tours, one-offs, weekend blocks, plus surround confirmed dates by assisting acts to connect the dots,” he says. He adds that, while Spectra Presents will deal directly with agents in procuring talent, the buildings should be ready to come to the table.
“The financial realities of the touring paradigm necessitate venues co-promote dates,” Jones says. “It's imperative that risk is shared and mitigated. I need venues to be my partners, not passengers.”
It’s also critical to the model that Spectra Presents goes outside of Spectra-run building. “Agents and managers need to know that SpectraPresents provides touring solutions, regardless of geography or venue affiliation,” Jones says, adding that feedback from the industry has been “incredibly positive. They all see this as a significant addition to the industry, and understand how it will greatly assist their artists’ ability to expand their touring profile.”
Spectra Presents is already underway, recently promoting shows by Lee Brice in Enid, Okla., and Muskogee, Okla., and Third Day in Loveland, Colo. Upcoming Spectra Presents shows include Dwight Yoakam in Enid, Oct. 22, and Clovis, N.M., Oct. 23; Randy Houser and Frankie Ballard in Muskogee, Dec 11; Mercy Me in Trenton N.J., Oct. 24, and Norfolk Va., April 7; Matthew West and Francesca Battistelli in State College, Pa., Nov. 7; Third Day in Fayetteville, N.C. on Nov. 20; and Alton Brown in Fayetteville, April 7.
In regard to having a Nashville presence, Jones calls the city, “the epicenter of secondary and tertiary touring, across genres. It's important to have a local daily presence while interacting with the industry.” He adds that, while the focus is on smaller markets, “we'll be cognizant of any major market opportunities that may present themselves.”