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What It Takes to Get and Promote Gigs

New, emerging, and established artists are having difficulty filling venues. Could it be that artists are not being booked in the right places? Could it be that ticket prices are too high even for smaller artists? Is it because nobody knows how to best promote the gigs? Or is it all of the above? This panel will focus on everything you wanted to know about getting a gig and how to promote it effectively and efficiently, and how new technologies can play a vital role in all this. Each panelist is an expert in their field and will talk about the traditional and nontraditional methods of booking and promoting gigs.



MODERATOR Lou Plaia Co-Founder

In 2006, LOU PLAIA co-founded ReverbNation, the leading online music marketing platform used by more than 1 million Artists/Bands, Managers, Labels, Venues, Events/Festivals and other Music Industry Pros to grow their reach, influence, and business across the internet. ReverbNation provides solutions to individual Artists and the music industry professionals that support them in the areas of fan relationship management, web promotion, digital distribution, social media marketing, direct-to-fan e-commerce, fan behavior measurement, sentiment tracking, web site hosting, and live show bookings and promotions.   Prior to ReverbNation, Plaia worked 12 years at Atlantic Records before becoming the Head of Marketing and Artist Development for Atlantic imprint, Lava Records, where he worked for 3 years. 

Tori Sparks Artist/Founder Glass Mountain Records

TORI SPARKS is based in Nashville, but spends most of her time on the road in the U.S. and Europe. At only twenty-six years old, the quirky Americana singer-songwriter has released four critically acclaimed albums on her own record label (Glass Mountain Records). She plays over 200 concerts each year. Tori walks the line between soulful and hilarious in her dynamic live performances, singing in English and occasionally in French or Spanish, but always carrying the audience on a musical journey they will not soon forget. Her latest album The Scorpion in the Story was produced by David Henry (R.E.M., Josh Rouse, The Cowboy Junkies, Widespread Panic, Vienna Teng). The All Music Guide gives her 5 stars, and the Village Voice calls her "a knockout." Her upcoming 2011 release features an array of guest vocalists including Shawn Mullins, Mike Farris, David Mead, others Tori will be speaking on the panel "What It Takes to Get and Promote Gigs" at SXSW 2011.Please see for more information.

Christopher Porter Programming Dir One Reel/Bumbershoot Festival

CHRIS PORTER has been a music industry professional for over twenty years. After booking various nightclubs in Boston in the 1990's, he continued his career in Seattle as the music talent buyer for One Reel, the producers of the long running Bumbershoot Festival as well as other events and concerts. He is currently the Programming Director for One Reel.

Valerie Gurka Dir of Business Dev & Special Events Knitting Factory Entertainment

VALERIE GURKA is a business strategist, event planner, music/TV producer, songwriter, performer and digital media specialist. She has produced industry showcases, worked with a variety of different bands, and hosted her own business talk show. As the Director of Business Development and Special Events at The Knitting Factory, she merges music and media with marketing and business strategies.

Andrew Goodfriend Agent TKO Agency


Friday March 18



Austin Convention Center

Room 17AB

500 E Cesar Chavez St




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