Before This Video Is Released, Educate Yourself On TourStop Minneapolis LLC
Before I release the ‘A Lot Like Birds’ video, I wanted to share with you the history of TourStop Minneapolis and educate you on the things you need to know…
Originally, this company was not owned by anyone, however, it was a “project” that was run though the college I went to. The idea was created and I was brought on board, simply to book the first band. By the next morning, I had booked punk-funk group, Bad Rabbits. Our first real session was in October of 2011 and from this, I was asked to stay on as the booking manager. I was told to book at least one band a month (which I did) and take care of the band while they were with us. I was the one and only person that was allowed to book artist and contact them about business related things (besides the instructor) up until the content generated was in their hands. During my time on said project, I was extremely happy. I did my job well and people were starting to really realize how serious I was about working in the music industry. I shared my experiences with said project with nothing but positivity as the artists kept coming in. It was only as the months went on and I was booking bigger acts that a few friends of mine and I noticed that we had a serious problem.
Our first issue started with a gentleman involved with the project who was rude to our artists. This is something I was and am not okay with. No matter how many times students or instructors chatted with him, his ego couldn’t seem to disappear for the short four-hours we had the artists with us. It took a while but eventually he was asked to leave. Our next problem, which I think, personally, was one of our biggest was people’s lack of interest. Not in our audience but in our own staff. As the months went on, people starting saying negative things, about me and the project. By this time, we had a good size staff, however, myself and less than a handful of students were the only ones really working. We ended up doing the work of 15 or more while everyone else just ran their mouth and only showed up the day of to do their job. Hell, some of these people didn’t even do their job well. The quality of work we were giving to these (big) artist was not up to my standards. For people who were coming to us while they were on tour, as early as 8am, the morning of their show in town, they deserve quality of work that will remind them and showcase all of the fun they had while they were with us. What I didn’t and still don’t understand the most about those people who were talking shit was that no one was forcing them to be apart of this. They could have left at anytime. But instead, they chose to stay. Which leaves me to believe they strictly wanted the bragging rights to say they had worked with the artist that I had brought in.
Lets fast forward to the last month or so of this project. It’s now spring of 2012 and I’m about to graduate from college and head down to SXSW with my fellow classmates. The idea of making our own version of this company had been in the talks for a while now and we were chatting up ideas on how we could do this. I knew we could do it, hell, we had been doing this since October of 2011, but of course, I’m a little nervous. I’m nineteen years old, can I really handle running my own company? In an industry that is so unconventional that only a few survive? These were a few of the questions that were always running in the back of my mind. But then, A Lot Like Birds came in..
Back in the winter, I had booked ‘A Lot Like Birds’ on none other than, my twentieth birthday. Our head engineer for this project (who is also the head engineer for TourStop Minneapolis LLC) is longtime best friends with Joe, their drummer. We originally wanted to have them come in for a session when they were here in the winter, but it didn’t work out, so we postponed their time with us until April 1, 2012. I was extra excited for this because I thought this was going to be the best way to spend my birthday. I really enjoyed their music and putting on these sessions is something that I loved to do. How can a birthday be any better?! But of course, there was some drama…
One week, to the date, before the guys were supposed to come in, I found out that some vital things had not been taken care of. No one had booked the studio, no one had gotten any food, no one had done any promotion and no one had gotten the equipment that we needed. As I laid in my bed and read this information I was beyond angry. I had booked these guys months ago, how had none of this been taken care of?! My job was to book the bands and handle their needs but now, my job was to make sure this event didn’t fall through. The amount of stress and aggravation I now felt was overwhelming. I went to my parents for advice, as tears of frustration rolled down my face and I told them what I had just learned. This event had been completely left for dead. Our instructor was no where to be found, we had a staff who didn’t care and it was up to me, TourStop Minneapolis’s other co-owner (Shelby Fisher) and two other’s to make all of this happen and run smoothly, in one week. My parents, bless their hearts, jumped right on board with helping me. They got right on the phones and made calls about food donations, which we got. One student got on board with handling the studio issue, the other with handling the equipment, we all promoted as if our lives depended on it and with days left to spare, the whole event was back on track. This is where I realized that I could really do this.
While we were planning this whole event on our own, Shelby and I decided that since our instructor or any instructor from our school was no where to be found we were going to do this our way. This session was no longer being called by the project name but by TourStop Minneapolis and we were going to run it how we would with our own company. A Lot Like Birds came in at 9am on the dot (very punctual guys) and the session ran perfectly. They were with us until about 2:30pm and to restate what Joe had told me on the phone weeks after they came in, “We felt like we left with a bunch of new friends.”
So here we are now, It’s Thursday, June 28, 2012 and we are releasing TourStop Minneapolis LLC to the world. I’m very excited for people to see how far we’ve come. To see how hard we work and to see that we’re all in this because we love music more than anything in the world. We still have a few more details to figure out but overall, we’re ready to rock. After releasing this information I know there are going to be a lot of opinions and comments. Simply because a) I’ve already heard the comments “Erin is stupid for thinking she can handle this, she can’t handle this” and b) no one knows that we created this company. We decided to keep everything so secret until now because we didn’t want our college to find out through anyone other than us, that we were doing this. Some people may not understand why we even care about our college’s opinion and that’s okay, but you need to understand this. Going to the college I went to was the best decision I ever made. I have never been so comfortable and confident in myself and my work until I enrolled there. I learned so much and made friends that I consider family. My college is my family, and I love them all so, so much. Having the old project fall apart was not my school’s fault. It was the fault of unmotivated students and the one instructor who was supposed to lead the way but didn’t.
What I hope for most out of all of this is that people support what we’re doing. I’m okay with the negative comments, I honestly could care less. What I care about most is that people realize how hard we work. How much this company really means to all of us and how excited we are to pursue our dreams. The few people who do know about this (including, friends, family and Twin City music professionals) tell us that this idea is going to put Minneapolis on the map and that they’re excited an idea like this is finally being taken seriously. As a young business owner, hearing this from people who only know the standards on what our company offers is past the word exciting. We’re not ripping anyone off, we’re not burning bridges or doing anything negative by doing this (despite what some people may think) we’re simply following our dreams and I hope, you all can be just as excited about this as we are.
*TourStop Minneapolis LLC is 100% separate from the project that ran through my school. We are also 100% separate from my college. We are our own, registered company with the state of Minnesota.
On April 1, 2012 Progressive/Post-Hardcore/Experimental group ‘A Lot Like Birds’ came in for a TourStop session. We all had such a great time with these guys and look forward to working with them again in the future.
This video is so sick. Release date to the public, tomorrow!