Fresh off of major buzz behind videos for “Get High” and the hazy, druggy “Purple Swag,” booking agencies were hot on Rocky’s trail in summer 2011.
The Agency Group was chosen because, well, “We dazzled them, what can I tell you,” Peter Schwartz, who also books Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, told Pollstar, laughing.
However, Rocky hadn’t really done a headline show at that point.
“He did a show at Santos [Party House in Manhattan] and sold it out, it was a really big deal,” said Joshua Dick, who co-books Rocky in the U.S. “Drake was there in the VIP section, and it’s not the type of club where you’d normally see a Drake type. That’s when people started to say this seems legit and real.”
It became even more real when Schwartz and Dick took “the usual rock ’n’ roll approach” of “only one way to find out” and started booking all the way down the East Coast, Schwartz said, selling out basically everything. Rocky now has more than 30 headline shows under his belt.
“The true indicator was the Toronto show, where we sold out one show in a day, and upgraded to a bigger room [900 capacity] and sold out in three days,” said Dick. “And this is just Toronto.”
Drake was apparently impressed enough to take Rocky as support for his Club Paradise arena tour. Leading up to that and during Drake off days, Rocky did his first headline run, and sold out clubs including NYC’s Irving Plaza, Philly’s Theatre of the Living Arts, as well as shows in Baltimore, Houston and the S.F. Bay Area.
In the fall he’ll do 50-plus U.S. venues in the 1,500- to 3,000-capacity range, Schwartz says, as well as a full European headlining tour in June and South America dates in May. He’s also doing major U.S. festivals including Coachella and Bamboozle, and European summer festivals.