He isn’t the fist-pumping, rhyme-spitting, or soul-belting upstart one would expect to be winning new fans in droves at a music festival, but people who were there will tell you, the breakout star at Coachella this year was renowned composer Hans Zimmer.

“The response from Coachella was extraordinary,” Harvey Goldsmith, who produces and promotes Zimmer’s show, told Pollstar. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a response like that at a festival.”


Photo: John Davisson

Hans Zimmer

A decorated composer and producer, Zimmer has already won scores of awards for his work on films like “The Lion King,” “Gladiator,” “Inception,” and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Thus, when fans heard music from some of their favorite films performed with an orchestra and choir, the experience was profound and people danced to cellos and French horns in ways that had never been seen before.

“You look at some of the social media chat after the concert, it’s extraordinary,” Goldsmith said. “People are just blown away by it and that’s the magic of Hans Zimmer.”

That performance was streamed online and attracted more than 1 million viewers, Goldsmith said, which blows away most other comparable acts.

Despite his success in recorded music, Zimmer wasn’t known for his live performances until recently. He didn’t embark on his first full tour, a European outing, until 2016.


Photo: Janos Marjai/MTI via AP

Hans Zimmer

Those shows did “unbelievable” business, Goldsmith said, and so Zimmer has gone global this year. He just completed a run in Australia with multiple sellouts and his next leg will be in Europe before heading to North America, where the pump has been primed by his sensational sets at Coachella and a few headline plays in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

The live show brings 20 players on the road and hires local orchestras and choirs, so audiences get the benefit of a small army of professional musicians operating in unison to create one magical live experience.

Zimmer is enjoying life on the road, Goldsmith said, which is proving to be a “whole new world for him.” He said there will be more performances in 2018, which could draw on entirely different material, as Zimmer has scored more than 150 films in his career.

Zimmer does not have a manager, Goldsmith told Pollstar