Today, Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company, signals its ongoing investment in Asia as the company’s Japan team announced the hiring of long-time talent buyer James Smith as VP, Touring and Festivals. Based in Tokyo, Smith will focus on attracting top global artists to Live Nation’s growing number of events across Japan and will report to John Boyle, President, Live Nation Japan.
For over 10 years Smith has been at the forefront of the music and entertainment industry, successfully securing premiere talent for Japan’s largest outdoor music festival, Fuji Rock – which draws over 100,000 fans annually, and has featured international headliners such as Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer, The XX, and Aphex Twin. Smith has also been instrumental in spearheading multiple international tours for artists such as James Blake, Grimes, and Bonobo, playing a crucial role in securing and introducing Japan’s market to newly emerging talent while connecting artists with this expanded fan base.
Live Nation currently operates across 10 markets in Asia including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. There is a strong demand for international talent across these regions, and most recently, Live Nation’s Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour sold out 14 shows across 7 cities throughout Asia.
“James’s knowledge of Japan’s music industry runs deep, and he has a true passion to unite artists with fans, existing and new,” said Boyle. “His dedication and expertise make him the perfect addition to Live Nation’s team to help us expand our business as we continue to meet the growing demand for international concerts in Asia. I can’t wait to see what amazing shows we create together for the people of Japan thanks to his extraordinary vision.”
“My ultimate goal is to bring acts from all over the world to Japan, which is why I’m so excited to be joining Live Nation entertainment and begin tapping into their unparalleled artist pipeline,” said Smith. “There is enormous potential in this market and I plan to maximize these opportunities for growth with a hands-on and artist-centric approach.”