Tween tour honcho paves the way at CAA
For Jeff Frasco, it’s all about timing. As the roadshow ringleader at Creative Artists Agency of such highly successful tours as the Cheetah Girls, “High School Musical,” American Idol and the Hannah Montana Tour featuring Miley Cyrus, Frasco gets all his ducks in a row before launching a tour.
“Timing is very important, particularly when it’s a TV property as well as musical property,” Frasco says. “It has to be synced properly with the release of the record, the airing of the TV show and the release of the DVDs. It all has to be done right.”
After a decade at William Morris, Frasco jumped to CAA seven years ago and in recent years has turned the tween tours business into a multimillion-dollar juggernaut for the agency. But it wasn’t always this easy. When Frasco launched his first Disney-spawned tour, Cheetah Girls, in late 2004, it was a hard sell to some promoters. The tour sold out, but in much smaller venues.
“Nobody knew what was going on then or how big this would all become,” Frasco says. “We came back the following year, and Disney timed it with the release of the record and the movie, and because of the timing, everything blew up. We wound up doing 89 arenas,” he says.
The success continues: In the first half of 2007, the Cheetah Girls tour grossed an impressive $6.1 million on a mere 21 shows, according to Pollstar, which tracks concert grosses. Frasco is now shepherding the Hannah Montana tour, which is experiencing instant sellouts.
“The demand level for the Hannah Montana tour is off the charts,” observes Gary Bonjiovanni, editor of Pollstar. “And the excitement for these shows is reminiscent of the heyday of the boy bands era with New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys.”
Recent breakthrough: Coordinating tours for young acts, from “American Idol” to “Hannah Montana.”
Role model: “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller and Disney Music Group CEO Bob Cavallo. “I’ve known them both for many years. They’ve been terrific mentors.”
What’s next: “‘High School Musical 2.’ Hopefully, it will tour sometime in 2008, and ‘Idol’ will go out again next July after the show’s season finale.”