Promoter Jack Boyle of Cellar Door Concerts Dies at 83

Boyle's promotion company paved the way for current concert powerhouse Live Nation.

Concert promoter Jack Boyle, who, along with contemporaries such as Bill Graham, was a founder of the modern concert industry business model, has died after a long illness. He was 83.

During his career, Boyle turned his popular Washington, D.C., nightclub business into one of the most powerful concert promotion companies in the U.S. After becoming one of the most important names in live music throughout the 1970s and '80s, his Cellar Door Concerts became a prized acquisition in the 1990s of then-growing SFX, which was buying and consolidating the biggest regional promoters at the time, paving the way for the eventual creation of national concert powerhouse Live Nation.

Boyle was the very last holdout during the late-'90s SFX roll-up. He went on to a major role with Live Nation and owned numerous amphitheaters and venues throughout the U.S., among them the Nissan Pavilion (now Jiffy Lube Live) in Bristow, Virginia, and The Sunrise Musical Theatre in Florida.

In the age before corporate financing, Boyle was known for spotting rising bands and artists early — and betting his own money on their success. He promoted massive tours by Madonna, U2, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, The Who, Pearl Jam and many others.

During the late-'90s, Cellar Door was the highest-grossing concert company in the U.S. with revenues of roughly $75 million annually. After leaving Washington, Boyle ran Cellar Door from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was based for more than three decades. He also owned several prominent South Florida restaurants and clubs.

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