Indie music promoter Jon Stoll dies


Jon Stoll, who turned a teenage love of rock music into one of the largest independent promotion and performance companies in the U.S., died Saturday at Good Samaritan Medical Center after an extended illness, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported. He was 54.

While on vacation in August in Aspen, Colo., Stoll had a stroke that required surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. About a month later, he returned to a rehabilitation center in Boynton Beach, Fla., but brain cancer and other complications set in.

According to his son Jesse, Stoll's condition had begun to decline in recent weeks.

In 1985, Stoll formed Fantasma Prods., which promoted concerts, staged trade shows and published Easy Times, a youth-oriented weekly newspaper. Gradually, the Fantasma empire expanded to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, then throughout Florida, the Southeast and other major locations, including in Las Vegas.

By 1987, Fantasma had grown to 50 employees who booked and managed more than 500 concerts a year.

In the mid-'90s, Stoll was one of the few independent promoters who refused buyout attempts by large corporations, maintaining that it was bad for business and bad for artists.

"I just think it's unfortunate that there are less options for artists," he told the New York Times in 2006.

Survivors include his wife, Lori, and his adult children, Jesse and Lauren, from his first marriage and three children from his marriage to Lori: L.J., Jack and Liana.