Following his departure from WME late last year, Austin Neal has officially opened The Neal Agency in Nashville.
“I hope to have an agency that’s reflective of the kinds of relationships with my artists that I have with the people I’m starting this agency with,” Neal said in a statement. “I truly care about each person and the vision of what that artist wants to build. Beyond long careers and relationships, it’s a way to make a community of people through touring.”
Wallen’s 46-city Dangerous tour was slated to start Feb. 3 in Evansville, Ind., but the first three shows were postponed because of Winter Storm Landon, which spread ice and snow from Texas through Massachusetts. It will now resume Feb. 9 with two shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Wallen’s Big Loud Records label mates HARDY and Larry Fleet are the tour’s opening acts.
As previously reported by Billboard, WME dropped Wallen from its roster as part of the industry-wide fallout following the racial slur. However, last fall Neal, while still at WME, began booking shows for Wallen “as a friend,” according to a source, including a handful of arena dates late last year.
Green wrapped a tour last week that included a sold-out show at Birmingham, Alabama’s Legacy Arena.
Neal is the son of longtime WME agent Kevin Neal, who was previously Wallen’s booking agent. Neal’s grandfather ran the original Neal Agency in Nashville in the mid-‘60s, booking such acts as Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Sonny James and Jerry Lee Lewis. Prior to his stint at WME, Neal was in artist management at Triple 8.
“My grandfather, who was a disc jockey, concert promoter and owned a record store, understood recognizing talent, then helping the artists realize their potential,” said Neal. “He brought people together, and that’s something I hope the new Neal Agency will do, too.”