Backstage with Louis Messina

Louis Messina from The Messina Group

This Friday, The King of Country will be rolling into town. But who’s responsible for the incredible sold-out show that’s about to take place? There are multiple parties to thank, but one in particular is The Messina Group, George Strait’s promoter. We had the opportunity to interview the founder of The Messina Group and highly respected concert promoter, Louis Messina.

With over 40 years of experience and big name stars such as George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney as clients, Louis is well known in the music business. The New Orleans native moved to Houston in 1975 to co-found PACE Concerts, which eventually became a part of Clear Channel. In 2001, Louis left Clear Channel and formed The Messina Group, which is now a part of AEG Live and based right here in Austin. Read our interview with Louis below!

George Strait and Louis Messina - photo Gary Miller

Pictured from L-R: Louis Messina, Christine Messina, George Strait, John Graham (Erwin Center) and Erv Woolsey (Strait’s Manager).

Tell me what inspired you to become a promoter? How did you get started?

My first inspiration was seeing Elvis at age 7, but even now I love music and I love the energy of a live audience.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I have a fantasy job!  It’s a lot of work and stress – but I love it and there is nothing else like it.

What are the benefits/drawbacks (if any) of the Messina Group being headquartered in Austin, Texas?

I love Texas and I love being in Austin – it’s a beautiful city.

Taylor Swift and Louis Messina - photo Brian Dewey

Pictured from L-R: Louis Messina, John Graham (Erwin Center), Taylor Swift, Krysten Casias (Erwin Center), Jimmy Earl (Erwin Center) and Anna Wong (Erwin Center)

How long have you been working with George Strait?

This is my 20th year working with George Strait.

What is your favorite George Strait song?

It’s so hard to narrow down – but “Troubadour” speaks to me every time, although also in my top five are “Somewhere Down in Texas” and “If It Wasn’t for Texas.”

George Strait and Louis Messina

George Strait and Louis Messina

So what’s next for George Strait? What are his plans after he stops touring?

George just signed another deal with MCA, so he’s working on a new record and kicking off his final leg of the Cowboy Rides Away Tour.

What advice would you give to people who are just starting their career in this industry?

Listen and learn and learn and listen. Be a sponge and never stop asking questions…and most of all remember it’s a music business.

Visit the Frank Erwin Center website to see who's coming, and subscribe to Be the First to Know to get a jump on upcoming pre-sales and ticket giveaways.

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