By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
As R Entertainment principals, Kerry Dunne and Reed Glick are in the business of making people’s dreams come true by bringing events and celebrities to town.
The Airpark-based duo consults and produces events ranging from foodie events to major concerts. Glick, along with partner Dunne, have realized their dreams as well by supporting charities with their events.
“Almost every event we do is for charity,” Glick says. “Since I came here in 1996, I can’t tell you how much money we’ve donated to inner-city kids and other kids. We don’t do the big fancy charities. We send kids to camps. We do a lot of arts-related things, naturally.”
R Entertainment’s team specializes in talent buying, marketing, contracting, ticketing, social initiatives/PR, programming, enhanced revenue drivers, production, vendor acquisition, accounting settlements and billing, corporate sponsorships and special events.
Company representatives interact with every level of management and implementation to ensure efficiency and cost effectiveness across the board: CEO, GM and entertainment director accounting, ticketing, casino hosts, VIP and artist protocols, players clubs, restaurants, police, fire, hotel, catering, stage manager, marketing, media, public relations, and tribal gaming. At least one of R Entertainment’s principals attend each event, including the Scottsdale Fourth of July celebration at WestWorld.
R Entertainment works with other venues as well, ranging from Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino’s Ovations Showroom to the Pepsi Amphitheater in Flagstaff.
Glick has worked with nearly every major artist in his 35 years in the business.
“The most amazing person that I’ve got to work with is B.B. King,” says Glick, who also counts Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath among his friends. “I worked with him for years. With B.B. King, the way he treated his fans is what you think most artists were like. You genuinely felt you were the only person in the room. He was nice. It was nice to see somebody who so appreciated the people who allowed him to do what he loved so much.”
Dunne says that Glick has allowed R Entertainment to have a major edge in the business.
“Twenty years ago, I was doing festivals and I needed talent,” Dunne says. “I would call up agents and, one, they wouldn’t care who I was, and, two, I would never get a very good deal.”
He met Glick through a colleague and the two decided their business relationship could be mutually beneficial. They opened R Entertainment in 2004.
“We built our business one brick at a time,” Dunne says. “We are promoters ourselves. We promote all over the country. We create a lot of events. We tour a lot of artists. We also buy entertainment for a lot of people. It suits my business partner and all of our collective creative. We’re artists in our own way. We enjoy doing this and putting together concerts that we can take to the market and something people will actually show up to.”
Now R Entertainment works with events in Arizona, California, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Connecticut and Florida.
“We’re expanding where there’s opportunities,” Dunne explains.
Besides concerts, R Entertainment is deeply rooted in cultural events such as PBS 8’s “Check Please” and CBS’ “Taste of Tempe.”
“We have a major culinary initiative,” Dunne says. “We saw about 10 years ago that chefs were becoming the next rock stars. We’re working with a lot of the chefs. They’re fun. They’re creative. They have a wonderful following, so we jumped into that area with both feet.”
Dunne says one of the “coolest” festivals R Entertainment is producing is the American Trucker Festival set for April.
“We’re going to honor American truck drivers,” Dunne says. “Nobody has done anything for these guys. Everything you eat is delivered by a truck.
“In Arizona, the number of people employed in the transportation industry is staggering. We’re going to invite them to a national convention at WestWorld and start to build a national event—a job fair, trade show, major, major music. We think it has a chance to become a very, very large event.”
R Entertainment’s first office was on Scottsdale Road, but five years ago, it moved to the Scottsdale Airpark due to its “phenomenal location.” Glick and Reed live nearby; airports are close; as is WestWorld. Both of them have been impressed with their neighbors.
“I was talking with all these folks and it’s amazing the depth and breadth of the companies that are in the Airpark,” Dunne says.
“We were told that just across the street from us is a major video/film company. It always intrigues me. It’s like an iceberg. You never know what’s happening.”
Glick and Dunne hope to grow within the Airpark as well.
“We’ve been at it for 40 years and, in another 40 years, we’ll probably get it figured out,” Dunne says with a laugh.
“We have a lot of great opportunities. We’re now able to produce some really cool events. The best part is the public is responding to them. We also try to put together some events that have an economic development/tourism strategy to them. It’s a win-win.”