So, you have a passion for live music? What steps do you need to take to turn your passion into a career? Pollstar CEO and CSU, Chico alumni Gary Bongiovanni is the man with the answers.
Bongiovanni will share his extensive insider information about the concert industry when he comes to Chico State on Thursday, October 24 for a talk and Q&A session. Moderated by Music Attorney and CSU, Chico Music Industry professor Anita Rivas Gisborne, “A Conversation with Gary Bongiovanni” takes place at 4 p.m. in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall; admission is free and open to the public.
“This event will give audience members a rare look into the professional inner workings of the music and concert business,” said Gisborne.
Bongiovanni is the CEO and chief editor of Pollstar, the world’s biggest trade publication in the live music industry. Considered the “who’s who” of the concert industry, Bongiovanni and his company help music industry professionals make informed decisions for their businesses and clients by providing them with information regarding tour schedules, ticket sales, contact directories, trade news and specialized data services.
Pollstar now employs nearly 50 people and has offices in both California and London. Pollstar proudly calls itself “the only trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry.” It is composed of two websites — one subscription based for professionals and one very popular consumer site for live music fans — along with a weekly print magazine. Pollstar provides fans and professionals with the most up to date concert information available collected from the agents, managers and promoters of concerts.
During his visit to CSU, Chico Bongiovanni will talk about his extensive experience in the music industry and give insight into current issues. Topics covered will include:
• How student-sponsored events have played an important part in the past and present concert business;
• The societal role of art and entertainment;
• The art of negotiation;
• The evolution of the music business over the past 40 years;
• Music magazine publishing in 2013;
• Some basic rules for entrepreneurship;
• Concerts and student life at Chico State in the ‘70s;
• And the history of his company, Pollstar.
“Bongiovanni is a pioneer in the entertainment, communication and information industries,” said Gisborne. “Pollstar is to the concert industry what Nielsen is to the Broadcast Industry — or Billboard to the Record Industry — and more. Pollstar delivers the analytics, along with artist interviews and reviews and special agent and management directories for insiders only. Pollstar also produces and hosts the annual sold out concert industry trade conferences and awards shows.”
Bongiovanni started out as a student at CSU, Chico in the 1970s doing volunteer DJ shifts at KCSC student radio and booking concerts on campus. After successfully booking well-known artists such as Chuck Berry, The Doobie Brothers and Cheech & Chong, Bongiovanni entered the music industry profession right after graduation with a job in Beverly Hills at William Morris, one of the top two talent agencies in the world. After working in the agency world, Bongiovanni was hired as the Program Director for Fresno State. He also worked as a promoter for major event production companies, such as Bill Graham Presents ,before finally heading his own company in 1981.
Page 2 of 2 - "Being given the opportunity to book and promote events on behalf of the students at Chico State was a life-changing experience for me,” said Bongiovanni. “I look forward to sharing my experiences with today's students."
Added Rivas: “It will be inspirational for us all to learn how one of our own Chico State graduates evolved from student concert director to an icon and leader in one of the most competitive industries in the world.”
Bongiovanni’s advice for current Chico State students is as straightforward as it comes and will no doubt resonate with students, graduates, and community members alike.
“Follow your passions and enjoy your time at Chico because life is going to get a lot more complicated and hectic after you leave,” he said.
This event is sponsored by Grammy U, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, CSU, Chico’s Associated Students, KCSC radio, Student Artist Rights Coalition, the IRA Fund, and Chico State’s School of the Arts, Department of Music and Theatre, and Department of Journalism and Public Relations. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and seating is very limited so come early.
For more information contact Gisborne at (310) 699-9434.