Macklemore is Seattle hip-hop artist Ben Haggerty, whose first EP in 2000, Open Your Eyes, was under his original moniker, Professor Macklemore. That was dropped when his producer, Ryan Lewis, took on such a collaborative role that his name was juxtaposed with Haggerty’s. The duo draws 7,500 in Seattle and is filling 3,000- to 6,000-capacity rooms on its current North American tour.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were introduced to their manager, Zach Quillen, about two years ago. Quillen, an agent at The Agency Group who helps book Wiz Khalifa, was booking Seattle’s Blue Scholars. The band introduced him to the Seattle underground music scene, where he came in contact with Haggerty, who had been booking himself for years. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis toured the country for the past two years, hitting major festivals along the way.
Quillen told Pollstar buyers have learned the duo is an easy sell.
“Their job with this act is extremely easy,” he said. “Our ad budgets are barely getting spent. It’s a very young demographic with an artist who understands social media very well, and understands marketing very well. I’d say that our efforts with social media and our own online marketing are the primary drivers of ticket sales. The promoter’s job becomes greatly reduced.
“If you were to take on a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis show almost anywhere in the country, you can expect it to be heavily driven through the artist’s social media and you’ll be spending very little money on traditional advertising.”
The act goes to New Zealand and Australia in February, then hits college campuses before the festival season.