In a week when everybody seems to be talking about touring, Post Malone pulled off his biggest feat yet: wrapping his 39-date Twelve Carat Tour with four sold-out shows in Los Angeles, the most he’s done in the city in his career. The run marked his return to touring, after a pandemic pause, and featured the hitmaker re-connecting with a fan base that has only grown with the release of his latest album, Twelve Carat Toothache, which he released this year.
Across the first 33 shows of the tour that were reported to Billboard Boxscore, Post moved 413,000 tickets between Sept. 10 and Nov. 6, bringing in $59.7 million, according to Billboard Boxscore — with the L.A. dates not even factored into those totals as yet. And it helps Post’s agent, UTA partner Cheryl Paglierani, earn the title of Billboard’s Executive of the Week.
Here, Paglierani — who also reps clients like Dominic Fike, who played the Palladium this week, and Flo Milli, who just wrapped her own tour at The Roxy — speaks about booking the Post Malone tour, the challenges caused by the pandemic and the return to live music, and the differences in booking an artist as their career grows from the club level to arena headliner. “We’ve seen a lot of success by not skipping any steps and staying focused on consistent growth with each tour,” she says.
This week, Post Malone wrapped his Twelve Carat Tour with four sold out shows in L.A., after having sold 413,000 tickets across the tour’s first 33 dates. What key decisions did you make to help make that happen?
It’s always a team effort amongst myself, his managers Dre London and Austin Rosen, and our tour promoter Colin Lewis. Each tour starts with mapping out the markets we want to play and then building out a strategy that allows us to hit all the major cities while also making sure we’re able to weave in smaller markets we may not play as often. Post already has such a massive fanbase, but the goal is to always continue expanding and make sure that we’re reaching more people each time than we have in the past. On the last tour, we did two nights in L.A. and New York and now we are doing four. We’ve seen a lot of success by not skipping any steps and staying focused on consistent growth with each tour.
This was Post’s first tour since the pandemic. How did you want to re-introduce him to audiences with this tour?
Post is an artist who needs no introduction. This tour was more about a re-connection with the fans after three years of being out of the spotlight. He really stepped up the production and put his all into creating not just an incredible show visually, but an experience that fans will remember forever. The stage is set up with two GA pits that allow fans to get right up against the stage. During the entire show, he is dapping their hands, taking items from the crowd and truly engaging with them in a way I have never seen an artist do. When the show ends, he stays on stage for an extra 30 to 40 minutes signing autographs and taking pictures with fans as the venue is clearing out. It’s truly mind blowing to watch one of the biggest stars in the world show so much love to his fans and go above and beyond. I think it’s a big part of what differentiates him from other artists.
How has touring changed since the pandemic?
At first there were a lot of new hoops to jump through to follow vaccination policies and COVID regulations. We are starting to see a lot of regulations that were put in place post-pandemic get lifted and touring feels to be on its way back to normalcy. I can’t say there’s any one thing I could point to that is drastically different as a result of the pandemic.
What challenges are you facing with routing, pricing and venue selection these days that perhaps weren’t there in the past?
The biggest challenge has been avails and oversaturated markets. With so many artists looking to get back out on the road we saw so many tours going out during the same time periods. You always want to make sure your clients are playing the right venue and we would often encounter venues that had no avails for weeks, so routing became a lot more challenging. We are starting to see things level out a bit but I think it will take another 12 to 24 months to truly go back to normal.
How is booking an arena tour different from booking theater or club outings these days, as for some of your other clients?
The booking process is very similar but there are more intricacies to work through as an artist grows into larger rooms on the deal-making side. As the show grows, so does the production, the amount of crew that needs to be out on the road, and the amount of money being offered to the artist. There are more deal points that need to be negotiated than at the club level. Ticketing also becomes a lot more complex at the arena level where you’re scaling rooms at different price levels versus general admission clubs. Paying attention to the ticketing and how fans are buying is crucial to maximizing show grosses and needs to be done in real time. If you’re doing it right it can be very time-consuming but also greatly impact the amount of money the artist makes, and as agents it’s our job to ensure that we get the best deal for our clients.
soul, classic soul, motown,