The New Generation of Latin Artists Who Can Fill U.S. Arenas


A wave of younger Latin artists like Bad Bunny are filling the large venues as soon as dominated by veteran acts, utilizing methods connecting know-how and demographics to entice a brand new era of followers.

Skip The Album, Hit The Road

Artists usually plan excursions round album launches, however Bad Bunny had been taking part in arenas for over a 12 months earlier than surprise-dropping his debut, X100PRE, on Dec. 23, 2018. One key technique: releasing a gentle stream of singles in tandem with a string of live shows, permitting him to right away begin constructing to greater venues in main markets like New York. In February 2018, he offered out three exhibits and over 9,900 tickets on the United Palace in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood; he returned six months later to promote out the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., taking part in to 10,830 followers. In April he’ll play a Madison Square Garden present solely within the spherical — “the most important capability we do for live shows, and really uncommon for somebody simply beginning out in arenas,” says Laurie Jacoby, senior vp on the Garden, noting that sometimes, solely big hip-hop artists like Jay-Z and Drake carry out in that format.

Mine The Metadata

“We know there are followers in cities that aren’t getting the exhibits,” says Henry Cárdenas, founder/CEO of Cárdenas Marketing Network, who’s producing the X100PRE tour and is North America’s highest-grossing Latin promoter. His firm cross-checks Ticketmaster gross sales information with music charts and demographic data from Spanish-language radio and streaming numbers to search out out the place the most important pockets of Bad Bunny followers stay, then establishes which venues they’re extra prone to spend cash attending. “Lots of these children have by no means seen a reggaetón present earlier than,” says Cárdenas, “or perhaps a Latin live performance.” In truth, he says, about 30 p.c of Bad Bunny’s followers are solely English-speaking.

Expand Your Map

Spanish-language excursions in North America used to play solely cities with giant Hispanic populations, however demographic shifts previously decade have helped artists like Bad Bunny set up bases in new locations like Minneapolis and Detroit. “We’re bringing Bad Bunny to Canada. He’s taking part in Seattle. He’s taking part in these markets that we don’t do,” says Cárdenas.

Focus On Young Fans

Booking agent John Pantle of Sound Talent Group, whose purchasers embrace Puerto Rican rapper Residente and Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade, attributes the fast development of arena-level younger Latin acts to the elevated spending energy of Latino music followers who grew up listening to legacy acts and at the moment are embracing artists their very own age. “The followers see themselves on this new era of artists,” says Pantle. According to Cárdenas, Bad Bunny’s followers grew up seeing acts like Marc Anthony, Maná and Chayanne. “They’re nice guys, however most of them are of their 50s,” he says. “Millennials have been ready for a brand new era of artists who’re extra relatable to their lives.”

This article initially appeared within the Feb. 16 difficulty of Billboard.