Kelly Kapp - VP of Touring and Executive VP of House of Blues Entertainment Talent at Live Nation - 17 Years of Touring and Artist Development

Kelly Kapp with Adora DORAble Duchess of Fluffington

Kelly Kapp with Adora DORAble Duchess of Fluffington

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Kelly Kapp is the VP of Touring and Executive VP of House of Blues Entertainment Talent at Live Nation. She is the first executive working in a dual role with both the Clubs & Theaters division and U.S. Concerts division, reporting to both Bob Roux and Ron Bension.  Kapp has been with Live Nation for 17 years, where she started as a Project Manager for North American Concerts. One of her first major tours was Ozzfest, where she got to work with the team of former Live Nation touring VP, Jane Holeman, President at AGI and Agent, Marsha Vlasic, and Sharon Osbourne. In 2006, when Live Nation acquired House of Blues, Kelly Kapp became the first tour buyer working with Kevin Morrow. In this new dual role she books over 800 shows per year, and will now be able to develop artists from clubs and theaters to the next level of arenas and venues over 2,000 capacity. 

Some of the tours Kelly Kapp has worked with include Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Breaking Benjamin, Bring Me the Horizon, Dita Von Teese, Hanson, Frank Turner, Anberlin, Korn, Chevelle, Ghost, the Used, Hollywood Undead, All Time Low, Dashboard Confessional, Bullet For My Valentine, Sum 41, In This Moment, Black Label Society, Elle King, HIM, Bad Religion, Stone Sour, Circa Survive, Between the Buried And Me, Hobo Johnson, August  Burns Red, Mayday Parade, NOFX, Parkway Drive, Volbeat, Asking Alexandria, the Maine, Meshuggah, Motionless In White, As I Lay Dying, Black Veil Brides, Limp Bizkit, Trivium, 3OH!3, Nothing More, Amon Amarth, Taking Back Sunday, Against Me!, Issues, Seether, Periphery, Papa Roach, Pierce the Veil, Testament, Marianas Trench, One Ok Rock, Falling In Reverse, Sleeping With Sirens, Megadeth, I Prevail, Simple Plan, Beartooth, Clutch, and Dethklok, and many more. (List from Celebrity Access Interview)

I had the honor of working with Kelly Kapp for a short time when I was at House of Blues New Orleans. Our office booked quite a few of her tours at both our House of Blues Music Hall (850 capacity) and the venue I was responsible for, The Parish (370 capacity). It’s not everyday when you have people that believe in you and are supportive of you. It’s been very humbling and inspiring in the last couple of months to find so many supporters in one place. That’s a story for another time. I’m excited to share this conversation with all the listeners. This conversation is such a gift, and Kapp really dove in deep sharing lessons and wisdom from her time so far in the music industry. Thank you, Kelly Kapp!! 

Adopt a pet, learn more about the Bruce Kapp Animal Fund

Adopt a pet, learn more about the Bruce Kapp Animal Fund

Quotes from Kelly Kapp
“Everyone that’s in this business, is very lucky to be in this business.”
“It is really important to make connections, and stay in touch with people.” 
“Be so good at your job that nobody ever thinks about your gender.” 
“Letting people that are flying off the handle know that they’re being heard, is super important and it deescalates the situation.” 
“If you put it down in black and white, and send it over email, it’s going to live in infamy. And by the way, that email can go anywhere.” 
“If you have a relationship, nurture that relationship.” 
“There are not many industries where you are that entrenched with people outside of your company that you do work with.”
“The operations part of what we do is such an unsung part of our business.” 
“Talk to people that have been successful at it, but also talk to people that had to close their doors.” 
“We have production managers who are then asked to do math after a 16 hour day.” 
“Get to a place where you are an expert at deal types.” 
“A team behind a new artist is way easier to get going than just a lone wolf.”
“You don’t want to add people to your team just to add people to your team.” 
“The most successful artists out there have surrounded themselves with people that care as much about their career as they do.”  
“You are not going to be a successful artist if you cannot perform live.” 
“If it’s your goal, you need to be clear cut with your goal and not get side tracked.” 
“Have respect for yourself.” 

Kelly Kapp, Live Nation.jpg

Highlights from this Episode
[8:56] New roles as Vice President of Touring and Executive Vice President of House of Blues Entertainment Talent
[12:40] Growing up in the Music Business 
[14:58] Starting in the business as a Project Manager 
[19:08] Turning point of falling in love with the business 
[21:47] Working with old mentors 
[23:37] Building good relationships 
[28:35] The women of Ozzfest 
[32:25] Dealing with bad tempers 
[38:12] Staying organized with 850 shows per year 
[41:56] Major Markets, Secondary Markets, and Tertiary Markets 
[44:02] Working for House of Blues with Kevin Marrow 
[48:26] Lessons learned from her father, Bruce Kapp 
[53:01] Advice for someone wanting to open a venue 
[56:35] Courses college students should take to prepare for the music business 
[1:00:15] How do tour deals come together 
[1:07:10] What role does touring play into Artist Development? 
[1:09:30] Does an artist still need a label if they have a good manager, agent, and are able to do a Live Nation tour? 
[1:13:15] What every artist needs to be successful 
[1:14:50] Becoming a successful Talent Buyer 
[1:19:30] Getting to know Kelly Kapp 

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
Nick Storch, Agent at AGI
Bruce Kapp, VP of Talent at Live Nation
Jane Holman
As I Lay Dying
Steve Martin, Agent at APA
Bob Roux, Live Nation President of US Concerts 
Marsha Vlasic, President and Agent at AGI
Sharon Osbourne 
10% Happier App
Katie Davie, Project Coordinator at Live Nation
Falling in Reverse
Ron Bension, President of House of Blues Entertainment
Ben Weeden, COO of House of Blues Entertainment
Kevin Morrow, CEO at Steel Wool / former President at Live Nation New York 
Tim Borror, Agent at Sound Talent Group
Eric Tobin, EVP A&R at Hopeless Records
Frank Turner
Cypress Hill 
Amon Amarth
Dita Von Teese
Chris Carrabba 
Promoter 101 [Podcast]
Agent vs Promoter [Instagram] 
Celebrity Access 
Dave Shapiro, Founder of Sound Talent Group
Ryan Harlacher, Agent at CAA
Jared Martin, Agent at CAA
Eric Powell, Agent at Sound Talent Group 
Ice Nine Kills 

Kelly Kapp’s Definition of Making It:
“Everyday I still get up and strive to be better than I was the day before. There are still artists that I wanted to work with that I haven’t worked with.” 

Get in touch with Kelly Kapp 

Related Articles & Episodes: 
Ben Weeden, COO of House of Blues Entertainment at Live Nation
Michael Yerke, President of House of Blues and Live Nation Talent
Jim Mallonee, Senior VP of Southeast Booking for Live Nation and HOBE
Promoter Deals and Settlements
Inside the Life of a Talent Buyer