Rick Bartalini, the man-about-the-music-industry and former talent buyer for the Wells Fargo Center, has found a new home at the Green Music Center. Three years after splitting ways with the Wells Fargo Center, Bartalini is on staff at SSU, hired to book shows for an 18–25 student demographic under the center’s On Campus Presents banner.
“I’ve known Rick for years,” says Larry Furukawa-Schlereth, the GMC’s executive director, who kept an eye on Bartalini’s successful shows with Bill Maher, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross and others over the past three years. “He’s always had a strong interest in what’s happening with the Green Music Center.”
Eventually, Bartalini will have three venues as his playground: the center’s existing main hall, the new SSU student center opening in October, and a large outdoor pavilion with seating for 10,000, projected to open the summer of 2015.
The outdoor pavilion, boosted by a $15 million donation and naming-rights deal from Mastercard, still needs $3.7 million more for completion, Furukawa-Schlereth says. (Meanwhile, the student recital hall needs about $625,000 for completion, and “I feel very confident that we’re gong to get that done by the end of the calendar year,” says Furukawa-Schlereth, hoping for a fall 2014 opening.)
Bartalini, who during his time at the Wells Fargo Center gained a reputation in the entertainment industry for attending to artists’ every need and creatively courting them to return, has already assisted the Green Music Center with a Josh Groban concert last month. An upcoming show with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt is slated for Nov. 18.