Partner, Rival Entertainment
For Josh Antenucci, every day has a different soundtrack, and every night ends with a crowd of fans celebrating live music. “It’s just so much fun to be a part of creating that experience for our customers,” says the partner at Rival Entertainment, who oversees the company’s event production and concert promotion business. Based within Center Stage Atlanta in Midtown, Antenucci’s dayto- day involves working with talent buyers on artist booking strategy, with marketing and design staff to sell tickets, with production and operations teams to produce shows and with the collective Rival team to envision, create and produce memorable live events. There’s never a dull moment.
What was your first concert?
Run DMC’s “Raising Hell” tour featuring the Beastie Boys at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1987. What has been your coolest on-the-job moment? September 2014. Centennial Olympic Park. Rival had landed a gig with Outkast as their hometown stop on a summer reunion tour. What was planned as one show turned into three, selling more than 65,000 tickets instantly. The town was in an Outkast frenzy, and the weekend became an iconic Atlanta music experience. The stakes were higher than ever before, and our team executed flawlessly. Standing on that stage on night number three, the crowd erupting as the kabuki dropped and “Bombs over Baghdad” rang out over the downtown skyline—that was the moment that keeps me doing what I do every day.
What is your dream act to book?
It’s really more than the act—it’s the place, the crowd, the live experience. If nothing were off-limits, it would be Bruce Springsteen with the whole E Street Band at Center Stage Theater. That’d be one hell of a night.
What’s the hardest part of the job?
To be a promoter in the music industry can be self-inflicting cruelty. Competition is fierce, financial risk is high and the pressure is always on to execute. Every day is a new show, with a new band and a new audience in search of their own iconic music experience, and it’s our job to do our part to create those moments.
What are you looking forward to in 2018?
We’re bringing the world’s biggest rock band, Foo Fighters, back to town for the inaugural concert at the Georgia State Stadium. It’ll be a 25,000-plus-person rock and roll spectacular. I’m also focused on growing our outdoor festival business, anchored by the annual Candler Park Music & Food Festival. And we are excited to have completed an aesthetic refresh in the 60-year-old Center Stage Theater lobby, and looking forward to developing our corporate and private event business here at home in Midtown
STORY: Sonia Fischer
Photos: Nathan Bolster