In Review: Who the F*** is Arthur Fogel?

(Contributed Photo)
(Contributed Photo)

Despite it’s name, Canadian Music Week does not just focus on music. Screening films from March 21 to March 23 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, movies ranged from a preview of Spring Breakers to The History of Future Folk. The chosen film was Who The F*** is Arthur Fogel? a documentary focusing on the man behind the name.

To discover that a Canadian boy from Ottawa is responsible for seven out of the ten highest grossing tours in history is enough to raise your Tim Horton’s coffee with pride.

An intensely private man, Arthur Fogel doesn’t have a Wikipedia page and Google searches constantly prove to be fruitless. Director and longtime colleague of Fogel, Ron Chapman echoed this sentiment in his opening speech at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, “I was amazed to discover when I started looking for information on Arthur, there was next to nothing. How did he get so under the radar?” Fogel is currently the Chairman of Global Music and the CEO of Global Touring for Live Nation. He has been referred to as the most important person in live music by almost everyone from U2 frontman Bono to Chapman. Who the F*** is Arthur Fogel?  aims to answer the question who is this guy and why do we care?

Neither of those questions are properly answered. At no point in the 93-minute film does anyone stop to explain what Fogel’s role exactly entails. Instead we are treated to various celebrities and industry big-shots telling the interviewer how great Fogel is and how revolutionary he is. The “who” is answered thoroughly but the “why” is almost completely ignored. That aside, it is an interesting documentary. The story detailing his early years was infinitely more engaging than the story of the present.

Fogel began his career as a drummer for a local Toronto band. He befriended Chapman who owned a club called The Edge who then hired Fogel as a night manager. From there, he became a road manager, going on the tours with various bands and then worked his way up to where he is today.

The documentary has some extremely positive notes. Instead of giving a straight biography of Fogel, Chapman ties in relevant events in music to the actions of Fogel. Towards the end of the film, the story turns to the ever-relevant decline of the recording industry with the surge in downloadable music. They use this to tie over to Fogel’s extensive work in the touring industry to try to combat the declining record sales. Overall, this was a solidly developed documentary, but don’t expect it to answer your questions.

Leave a Reply