The singer “didn’t want to play the suburbs” and shifted his tour into downtown arenas.
Latin singer Romeo Santos’ Golden Tour is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever for the “Bella y Sensual” singer.
Santos’ crossover success has brought him to new markets in the Midwest and Canada on his 23-date tour, which has already sold out most dates and is on track to gross $1 million on average per show. Santos has already grossed $5 million from three sold-out nights in front of 42,000 fans at Madison Square Garden in New York, up substantially from his 2015 visit to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where he grossed $3.7 million according to Billboard Boxscore. When he visited Chicago in 2015, he grossed $1 million at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont — this year he moved the show to Chicago’s United Center, priced the tickets a little higher and netted $1.6 million, according to figures submitted to Billboard.
“Our goal with Romeo was to establish him as one of the biggest Latin artists with millennials,” explained Omar Al-Joulani, VP of touring at Live Nation. “While we did work with traditional Latin press, we did a lot of digital marketing and tried to reach a younger, millennial Latino audience.”
Al-Joulani said his team focused on aggressively pricing tickets for the tour, playing marquee arenas and testing out new markets like Montreal and Toronto.
“We didn’t want to play the suburbs this time,” he explains, saying the team opted for downtown venues like the United Center instead of Allstate Arena in Rosemont, where Santos has performed before. Same goes for Santos’ show at Phillips Arena in Atlanta — in the past he’s played Infinite Energy Center in nearby Duluth.
The “King of Bachata” signed with Roc Nation in 2016 and was named CEO of the company’s newly created Latin division. He continues to be managed by Johnny Marines, who left his position as president of Roc Nation Latino in July but stayed with Santos. In the past Santos had worked with a number regional promoters, including Henry Cardenas and Felix Cabrera, but opted to do the entire Golden Tour with Live Nation.
The tour played several new markets, including Montreal, following successful stops by Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias at the Bell Centre in October (three months after postponing the date hours before the show).
“It was probably one of the top grossing markets on that tour,” said Hans Schafer, head of Live Nation’s Latin group, who said census data shows that 120,000 native Spanish speakers live in the French Canadian hub.
“There’s no other artist that hasn’t released an English language album and still sells as many tickets as Romeo,” explains Schafer. “And he’s speaking to a new generation of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic millennials. There’s a good mix within his fan base and you see it when he’s singing in Spanish but engages with them in English. That’s how his fans live their lives, speaking in English but staying connected to their roots through music.”