Trenton Banks, general manager of The Queen//Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli
When World Cafe Live announced earlier this year that it would no longer manage The Queen in Wilmington, Trenton Banks of Live Nation Entertainment stepped in. Now The Queen’s general manager, Banks hopes to bring even more diversity to the beloved venue.
How did you hear about The Queen and what made you interested in it?
I first heard about The Queen while working with Live Nation in Philadelphia. We were talking about projects and different venues that we were going to open as a company. When The Queen came up as a potential building that we were going to open, we started to come by and check it out, and that’s when we really got to see what it was all about.
What are the differences between your former job as GM of the Theatre of Living Arts and your current job?
The main difference is that you’re in a completely different environment. You take a city like Philadelphia, with the Theatre of Living Arts and The Fillmore Philadelphia, and you have some sort of precedent as far as what to expect. When you come into a completely new state environment and city, you have to feel it out. The biggest thing is trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t work, what people are like and what they want to see. You have to do a lot of research and development on the city to make sure you’re giving them the best.
Since Live Nation has a prominent presence worldwide, what acts or styles of music will you feature at The Queen?
We will have everything from hip-hop and R&B shows to rock and punk shows to comedy shows. We really want to touch on everything that we can to bring to the city. We also want to dive into the local scene. Whatever it is that we can attach ourselves to, that’s what we want to do, but we also want to bring some new stuff to the city.
What audience do you hope to attract?
Everyone, really. We do kid shows to bring in the younger demographic, as well as shows that appeal to the college students and to the working sector nearby. So really, we want to bring out every age group and demographic.
Who is the most famous person you’ve met?
There have been a lot. I think the most famous person I’ve met so far has been DMX, which was just a month or two ago. He’s a character, but in a good way.
Who are some of your favorite artists or genres to listen to?
It really depends on what mood I’m in when I wake up. It could be anything from Marc Anthony to some older stuff like Prince’s “Purple Rain.” It just all depends on the day and the mood.
Tell us about your first concert.
My first concert was a 1992 Powerhouse event at the Spectrum arena in Philadelphia. My dad bought group seats and we went as a family. We got there late, and Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) was sneaking in the back door. So we met Shaq.
What is your favorite place or experience since you moved to Wilmington?
All in all, everything has been a great experience. Walking up and down the streets with people saying hello and being friendly has been a huge welcome. We’ve only been here a few months, but we went to the Italian Festival, and that was one of the best things we’ve done so far.