Creative producer, Ian Kinnersley keeps a low profile, despite working with the world’s most recognizable superstars. Currently, the production manager for Travis Scott on the Astroworld Wish You Were Here Tour, the Arizona native’s resume features work with Madonna, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, and Van Halen. 

Boasting over 34 years experience in live entertainment, Kinnersley has been a motivator, manager and even the head carpenter in concert production, stage management, and site coordination. As old school as they come, Kinnersley has dedicated his life to being behind-the-scenes, but it’s any wonder why he remains to be such an enigma. 

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In February 1992, journalist Sandi Davis detailed her day at Myriad Convention Center Arena on the day of Metallica’s Oklahoma show. “The average concertgoer doesn’t stop to consider the work it takes to build the stage,” she wrote, “[or] hang the lights and sound, tune the guitars and set the arena up for the fans to come in and sit down.” Keen to discover the ins and outs of concert production, Davis was paired up with a young carpenter who would walk her through the hours leading up to the concert.

Credit: Moment Factory

“Ian Kinnersley kindly took me under his wing and was generously helpful the rest of the day.” Davis recounts “the harmonious efforts” and “organized chaos,” directed by a young Kinnersley who was keen to share. “People on this tour work well together. Everyone gets along,” Kinnersley told Davis. “No one says, ‘It’s not my job. ‘ ” He also assured me that, as confused as it seemed right then, the whole shebang would come together within 20 minutes once the sound and lights were up.”

Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Today, Kinnersley’s role is just as varied. Production management for Kanye West’s Pablo tour, stage management for Madonna’s MDNA tour and site coordination for The Rolling Stone, is remarkably part of Kinnersley’s day-to-day.

Having survived over 30 years on the road, Kinnersley has become part of live entertainment’s DNA.

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Kish Lal

Kish Lal is a pop culture critic based in New York.

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