Individuals, some under the radar and others who create a public
name, have an impact on the concert scene in Fort Collins. From
hip-hop shows at the Aggie Theatre to punk rock at the Starlight
Theatre, local promoters and venue managers work to bring in
entertainment largely based on a grassroots level.
“I don’t just promote any show coming through, only those I like
and believe in,” said independent promoter Ben Schroeder. “I try to
build with like-minded individuals. If you’re in it for the bucks,
you’re setting yourself up for failure right then and there.”
Personal interest, passion and involvement make a difference on
who plays a show in town.
“I try to go through members of bands, because they’re usually
my friends,” said Starlight Manager James Sargent. “I don’t really
like the business side of it.”
The respect and care through scrutinized attention help keep
performers coming back. When a show succeeds and has a good
turnout, the promoter succeeds as well.
“For us it’s motivation to truly care about a band and how they
do,” said Ben Davis, a promoter with Soda Jerk Presents. “It’s a
When a band enjoys working with local promoters – from setting
up show dates and arranging the hotel to a promoter’s personality –
good things happen. The band will be all the more likely to return
to town and work with the promoter again and may also spread its
positive opinion to other acts in the industry.
“I want them treated like my best friend,” Schroeder said.
Dane Kane from 10,000 Breaks Productions wants to bring
underground hip-hop acts from Minneapolis to Colorado. He hopes
that those he works with, such as Heiruspecs and Kanscer, will
spread good word in the Twin Cities, fueling more artists’ interest
in the Front Range.
It’s this passion for music and those who create it that
develops the area’s concert scene and local artistic infusion.
“Fort Collins has a banging culture,” said James MacDowell,
promoter with and creator of CFS productions. “It’s quite the music
MacDowell brought Eyedea and Abilities to town last spring. They
responded to the energetic crowd turnout by saying that Fort
Collins was the single best show they have done outside their home
Getting the public interested in a show is another vital aspect
of the promoter’s job.
“The promoter is here to educate the locals and get out the
(merchandise),” Schroeder said.
Colorful posters and fliers distributed by a street team are two
ways to increase local knowledge. Mass e-mails, radio and newspaper
advertisements, and press releases also help to disseminate
After booking and promotion, many factors can potentially cause
a show to fail. MacDowell sites competing shows, weather and too
many good concerts busting the customers’ wallets as influencing a
“Every show goes wrong. It’s just a matter of being cool and
experienced to handle it,” Schroeder said. “That’s the time for the
promoter to shine.”