VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (CelebrityAccess) Bill Reid, veteran of Cellar Door Concerts, Rising Tide Productions and AEG, is about to head out on his own again, and Reid talked to CelebrityAccess about his past and his future.
Reid has been a staple of East Coast promotion, first as a contemporary of Jack Boyle at Cellar Door. That relationship ended litigiously when Boyle sold the company to SFX. Reid then opened his own Rising Tide Productions in 1997, where he renovated the NorVA and the National Theatre, plus the Classic Amphitheater. In 2014, he sold his company to AEG through the company’s Rick Mueller and COO Shawn Trell. The four-year contract is up and Reid says he’s moving on.
Some people renew their contracts. Any reason why you decided to think differently?
I’m looking forward to the future. I am developing some projects where I am better suited.
I have several interesting new situations, new ideas and concepts for venues and other possibilities. Now that I’m not with AEG, I can give these projects the full attention they deserve.
Do you see anything in the future where you will be announcing a new company with a new name?
I’m still talking to many people, so it’s too early to tell. One of the main reasons I sold to AEG was because I wanted to collaborate with people I had admired and respected throughout my career. I am hopeful that I will have the opportunity to work with industry professionals who share my dedication to excellence and competitive drive.
Yes, there will be an announcement very soon on a new project. I now have the time to pursue opportunities that create successful businesses that are also assets to the community.
Is this the same deal as mentioned in Billboard?
This project is in addition to what I mentioned in Billboard. I’m actually working on four deals now. My thing has always been creating new venues. That’s where I’ve found the most success. But as an experienced music promoter, I feel there is still a strong need for people who know the art of promoting, not just marketing a show. There is a significant difference between the two.
All of the eight venue projects I’ve created, including the Virginia Beach and Richmond Amphitheaters, the NorVa and the National, embody my passionate vision for unique entertainment spaces that provide a superior experience for both the audience and the performing artist. I stand behind every venue that I have worked on. Most of them perform exceptionally well and I am proud that people still speak of them highly. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to help create iconic venues that have stood the test of time and have been heralded as some of the best in the world. To have both Prince and Dave Grohl compliment your venues is quite flattering.
While I was at AEG, both the NorVa and the National were two of the Top 10 performing small venues– not only of all the AEG small venues, but in the world. We never reported the numbers because we didn’t want our competition to know how well they were performing.
I’m also proud of what I accomplished at AEG. I brought AEG Facilities into a deal I helped negotiate with a local developer for an 18,000-seat arena in Virginia Beach. Being part of the design team was an enriching experience. Bob Newman, with AEG, is a forward-thinking industry professional, a true leader in every sense of the word. I had the good fortune to work with him and his excellent team on two other arenas. AEG brought me in to help interface between them and the building owners, defining what was needed from a design perspective, to ensure the promoter the best possible building experience. Working with Bob and his team was phenomenal.
While working at AEG, I accomplished many things I would have never been able to do on my own. I have nothing but great things to say about my time at AEG.
I can now draw upon my experience to accomplish bigger and better things; either on my own, or with like-minded professionals.
Folks like Louis Messina and Steve Sybesma moved on from Live Nation and AEG, respectively, to achieve bigger things. I could almost say there is a resurgence of the independents (well, considering Messina is now part of the AEG family, he still lives in self-proclaimed “Louis World”).
I think so. I believe there is a spirit and a vision that both Steve and Louis have that is a direct result of seeing opportunities that other people don’t see.
I feel confident. I’m no longer hindered by geography and other constraints. I still have the creativity and drive to make a difference. I am looking forward to tomorrow.