Three Music Hall Managers on the Power of Live Entertainment

Michael Booth

Executive Director, Hugh’s Room

Dream job as a child: “I always wanted to read the news on the radio.”
Celebrity Lookalike: “When I was younger and better looking, I used to get Christian Slater.”
The first song you learned to sing: “Probably ‘Getting Better’ by The Beatles.”
Artist – dead or alive – you’d like to see in concert: “Taxi Calloway. I had the opportunity to see him play his last concert at the Toronto Jazz Fest, but I didn’t go.”
Roy Thomson Hall or Danforth Music Hall: “Tough, but Danforth Music Hall. I used to play there when I was doing theater. It has that intimate vaudeville feel.”
Favorite place to sit or stand at a performance: “I’m a guy who stands in the back with his hands folded. I want to see people have a good time.”
Keeping talent happy requires… “Patience. The artists have to be comfortable performing and the crew has to ensure that comfort.”
Tips for attracting a crowd: “Be consistent in your messaging. You have to convince people to spend their hard earned money.
The biggest obstacle to seats today: “Staying afloat despite rising costs.” We find ways to use the space during the day for classes, recording sessions and community events.”


Three Music Hall Managers on the Power of Live Entertainment

Sean Creamer

General Manager, Concert Hall

Dream job as a child: “I was obsessed with rock stars. I would put a microphone on a pool cue and sing in my closet when no one was home.”
Celebrity Lookalike: “My kids call me Sean Astin. I don’t find that flattering.
The first song you learned to sing: “Puppy Love” by Donny Osmond. I had him at 45. My parents took me to see Donnie in London, where I’m from. When he came on stage and sang it, my mother cried.”
Artist – dead or alive – you’d like to see in concert: “I’m currently obsessed with Lola Young and English punk-rap duo Bob Whelan.”
Roy Thomson Hall or Danforth Music Hall: “I really like the Roy Thomson Hall for orchestral music. But for rock and roll, it’s the Danforth Music Hall. I love the artists they hire and the sound.”
Favorite place to sit or stand at a performance: “I like to step into the audience and get as close to the stage as possible. It’ll take me five or six songs to get there without bothering anybody.”
Tips for attracting a crowd: “Promoters, artists and agents need to work together. All the guns have to fire at the same time to get the word out.”
The greatest strength of your place: “Live music has lived here since 1918.”


Three Music Hall Managers on the Power of Live Entertainment

Gavin Whiteley

Chief Marketing Officer, Great Canadian Casino Resort

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Dream job as a child: “To be a pianist. But as I got older, I realized I would never be as good as the people around me, so I moved behind the scenes.”
Celebrity Lookalike: “Ed Harris.”
The first song you learned to sing: “On the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. It’s difficult though, as Phil has a much higher vocal range than I do.”
Artist – dead or alive – you’d like to see in concert: “I’ve never seen the Beatles, but I’ve met Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and George Harrison’s family.”
Roy Thomson Hall or Danforth Music Hall: “Oh boy. I have fond memories of both, but I think it’s the Danforth Music Hall. I love that casual atmosphere.”
Favorite place to sit or stand at a performance: “My wife doesn’t like it, but I like watching people watch shows, so I like to be in the front looking back.”
Tips for attracting a crowd: “It starts with having a great venue that artists want to play in – then they get the crowd. We’re starting from scratch in Toronto, so we have to build our reputation.”
The greatest strength of your place: “Flexibility. The same room can be set up for boxing or banquets.
Live music is better than Spotify because… “Because it’s better, no argument. Seeing the music come to life in front of you is magic.”

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