Joe Sanchez reflects on ten years of 1826

A decade since stepping away from life on the road as a touring production manager, Joe Sanchez reflects on the growth of his global experience agency as he and the team embark on their busiest year to date.

Since 2020, there have been several experienced people within the live touring world who have successfully managed to achieve a career one step removed from the road while still a key part of the industry. While there have always been options working for a manufacturer or a rental house, in recent years the proliferation of design collectives or production companies suggest there is a viable way of being part of a touring camp without travelling. One such individual, who back in 2014 was already seeking a way to transition away from the road was Joe Sanchez. Having production managed several acts – from the Pet Shop Boys to Rihanna – he made the conscious decision to strike a new path, which led to the creation of 1826; a global agency and design studio which employs 50 people with shows no signs of slowing down.

With Sanchez’ roots in live touring, 1826 maintains a focus in the world of live entertainment, holding down the productions for almost 10% of the 2024 Coachella line up; most notably, Lana Del Rey and Tyler, the Creator. However, live music is only half the story, as 1826 recently produced the opening and closing ceremonies for the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. Just before the year got even busier for 1826, TPi sat down with Sanchez to discover some of his highlights and learnings over the company’s storied 10-year history. “I started touring when I was 19 doing some really menial tasks and I slowly worked my way up to selling T-shirts, tour managing for smaller bands on one van tours and eventually found myself production managing arena tours, which I did for around 15 years,” he recalled.

Words: Stew Hume

Photos: 1826