Michael Yerke - President of House of Blues and Live Nation Talent Discusses What Makes a Great Talent Buyer & Success in the Music Business

This episode is part 4 of our Talent Buyer series, and features President of House of Blues and Live Nation Talent, Michael Yerke. Our Talent Buyer series has featured many great conversations so far such as Wayne Lee former Talent Buyer for the legendary Tipitina’s in New Orleans, Dan Larson from Okeechobee Festival, and Allen Anders with AEG Live in Dallas, TX.

Michael Yerke got his start booking shows in Chicago, IL at a club called the Cubby Bear in Chicago, IL. His journey with Live Nation began with a pick up Basketball game with Kevin Morrow (CEO of Artist Management firm and label Steel Wool, and former Live Nation Executive). After a few years at House of Blues in Chicago, Michael’s journey took him to Los Angeles to work for Live Nation where he eventually became the President of House of Blues and Live Nation Talent. In this conversation, we discuss Michael Yerke’s journey in the music business, what makes a great Talent Buyer, his passion for Basketball, the incredible Ones to Watch program from Live Nation, and much more.

Highlights from this episode:
How Michael Yerke got started in the music industry (6:10)
First moment when Michael Yerke knew he wanted to work in this industry (9:45)
How to work your way up in a company like Live Nation (16:30)
A breakdown on the “Ones to Watch” (23:35)
How Michael Yerke manages his busy schedule (26:50)
Mentors and influential people thus far (33:35)
What “Making It” means to Yerke (39:50)

Quotes from Michael Yerke
“Our company is for someone who is hardworking, smart, and puts in the time and effort.”
“It comes down to hard work, putting in time and effort, and that isn’t just in the office. It’s going to shows and networking too”
“You choose your spots”
“If you’re someone people can’t get a response from, they’re going to find somebody else.”
“Responding quickly, being diligent, working hard, and trying to look at your time management and get better”
“You need balance too; you can’t always work.”
“I’m not gonna say everyday is a perfect job but 98% of the time it’s great.:
“The industry has never been boring.”
“If it’s not enjoyable, it’d be a drag.”

Links to People, Places, and Things mentioned:

Kevin Morrow
Smashing Pumpkins
A Tribe Called Quest
George Clinton
Anderson Paak
Twenty One Pilots
Imagine Dragons
Michael Rapino
Sonny Schneidau

Cubby Bear
Wrigley Field
DePaul University
China Club
Aces of Spades Venue

Live Nation
House of Blues
Chicago Bulls
Full Sail University
Shaky Knees Festival
Ones to Watch

Michael Yerke on Making It:
“Being successful in my position and being happy doing it.”