Amplify has handed out its first ever Real Deal Award to Vanessa Kromer with Nederlander Concerts for the #WeAreTheGreek campaign, launched during her company’s epic fight to keep the contract to run the Greek. The image above was created by artist Greg Dohlen, who designs awesome covers for Venues Today. Vanessa is a Dohlen fan and has told me in the past that she always wanted to be drawn by Greg, and luckily I had the honor of commissioning him for this awesome piece.

We’re working on a feature on #WeAreTheGreek that will publish later this summer. The Greek Theatre story helped launch Amplify and it was an unforgettable education for Nederlander Concerts, AEG Live and Live Nation. Amplify has no stake in this fight and I have tried to remain impartial in my reporting —  but I think you can be impartial and still recognize excellence. The #WeAreTheGreek campaign gave Nederlander Concerts and AEG Live a much-needed rallying cry in their fight for survival.

#WeAreTheGreek was a major contributor to Nederlander Concerts and AEG Live’s victory at L.A. City Hall. The L.A. Rec and Parks board had awarded Live Nation a 10-year contract to manage the Greek, and many thought approval by the City Council was a foregone conclusion. The #WeAreTheGreek social media campaign halted that advance and created a succinct message for Tom LaBonge and the rest of the council — that a majority of people living near the venue did not want to see Nederlander Concerts lose its lease. 


Ultimately, neither side achieved total victory. If there’s any winner in all of this, it’s Rec and Parks GM Mike Shull, who was ultimately given the green light to pursue self-management. Nederlander Concerts will have to leave the building at the end of the season, but they do have a shot at one day returning to manage the facility. And so #WeAreTheGreek lives on, as a sgn of hope for the professionals who love this world class venue nestled in beautiful Griffith Park. The #WeAreTheGreek campaign will be studied by future generations, not just by music professionals, but by individuals who want to organize their communities for a cause they feel passionate about. That’s something that all sides can recognize. What better way to revive a friendship than calling up a longtime colleague and giving them congratulations on a job well done.

Lastly, this award was given to Vanessa during the Event and Arena Marketing Conference, of which Vanessa is the president. This year’s Hollywood conference was a huge success and there’s already plenty of buzz about next year’s event in Nashville. Congrats to Kromer and executive board members Sheila Francis, Cara Vanderhook, J.T. Tepolt, Tami Allen and Misty Cox on a hugely successful event.