How the Mann Center plans to use Live Nation partnership to boost concert experience
by Laura Smythe | Philadelphia Business Journal
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts and live entertainment company Live Nation are teaming on a new multi-year partnership aimed at broadening the open-air music center’s lineups and elevating the guest experience.
After a decade of the Mann working with Live Nation's competitor AEG Live, Live Nation is becoming the location's exclusive booking partner. The company is responsible for bringing leading touring artists and performances to the 22-acre Fairmount Park site. The collaboration is cohesive with the Mann’s focus on making the location a premier concert destination in the region, said Catherine Cahill, CEO of the Mann.
The Philly institution plans to capitalize on the data Live Nation collects from its national and international partners to inform guest experience decisions. The information can help the Mann better identify successful food and beverage offerings, provide better security and ensure top-quality artists for wide-ranging, diverse programming, Cahill noted.
“We are envisioning in partnership with Live Nation ‘What are the expectations and demands of 21st century audiences?’ ‘What is a concert going experience that maybe for your parents was one thing, but for younger and incoming audiences might be another?’” she said. “Ensuring that we have the state of the art best offerings is important.”
Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is an international company comprised of Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts and Live Nation Sponsorship. The group books concerts for several Philadelphia-area venues including The Met, BB&T Pavilion, The Fillmore and the Theatre of Living Arts.
The summer lineup stemming from the partnership includes HoagieNation 2020, a May 23 event featuring hoagie tastings and performances by Hall & Oates, Squeeze and The Hooters; Rebelution's Good Vibes Summer Tour 2020 on May 30; and Goo Goo Dolls: The Miracle Pill Summer Tour on Aug. 22.
Live Nation has had an “ongoing relationship” with the Mann for years, Cahill said.
Last summer, the Mann and Live Nation collaborated on the festival-style Roots Picnic. The sold-out show brought 25,000 visitors to the Mann’s campus. The venue added a third stage to its grounds and expanded the audience area outside its gates into the parking areas to offer a new type of concert for the site. The event will return this year to the Mann on May 30 with a lineup including Meek Mill, Summer Walker and Dababy.
The Mann additionally offers three other concert-going options. The Presser Foundation Stage is the venue's main stage, seating 4,500 people with the ability to accommodate another 10,000 attendees on the lawn and in terrace seating. The Skyline Stage overlooks Philly’s skyline and accommodates 7,500 guests across three acres of park land. This year, the venue is launching Downstage @ the Mann, a more intimate concert experience where 300 guests can gather up close and personal with an artist on and around the main stage.
More than 200,000 visitors frequent the Mann annually. The nonprofit also has a deep-rooted history in the city of providing year-round arts education programming and serving as the summer home of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
The Mann aims to continue offering new, creative entertainment experiences out of the new partnership, Cahill said.
Live Nation shows at the Mann will be cross-promoted at the company’s other area venues to increase the Fairmount Park site’s brand presence in the region, Live Nation spokesman Ike Richman said.
“It’s about taking this venerable, beloved jewel in Philadelphia and adding more to it to make it even that much more special,” Cahill noted.