Jill and Hillary

DSM Magazine feature on 80/35, On Pitch, DMMC, and Poison Control Center

A special thanks to DSM Magazine, Chad Taylor (writer), and Dan McClanahan (photographer) for the “Music Makers” feature on 80/35, On Pitch, Greater Des Moines Music Coalition, and The Poison Control Center!

Music Makers

If you’ve lived in Des Moines during the past five years and have somehow managed to completely avoid the 80/35 music festival, I don’t even know what to do with you. 80/35 (July 6–7 at Western Gateway Park) has quickly built a national reputation, drawing acts from across the country, and has helped put the capital city on the musical map. Read more.

Read more about the awesome portraits Dan created for the article in this blog post.

New Client: Des Moines Social Club

We love people and organizations that are working on projects they are passionate about. Luckily, we live in a community that’s filled with these ambitious types.

One organization that fits the definition of ambitious people working on passionate projects is the Des Moines Social Club. We are excited to announce that On Pitch will be working with them on their marketing and public relations efforts in 2012. They have big plans for the year as they work towards securing a permanent home and continue their dynamic programming. Where else can you watch a play, drink a beer, buy local art, compete in trivia, perform, play ping pong, see a live talk show, laugh at improv, hear a concern, and network — all under one roof?

We look forward to working with the talented and motivated people at the Des Moines Social Club as they foster an environment that cultivates creativity, community and culture right here in the heart of Des Moines.

Learn more about the Des Moines Social Club at http://www.desmoinessocicalclub.org.


Crossroads Entertainment Conference – Nov. 10-11

We are looking forward to the Crossroads Entertainment Conference this Thursday and Friday in downtown Des Moines. The purpose of the event is to educate, connect and showcase the work of the Upper Midwest’s entertainment industry. Musicians, visual and performance artist, film makers, entertainment entrepreneurs, food and beverage masters and industries that support creativity all come together at Crossroads. The 2011 event “Challenge Drives Change” will feature two days of professional development seminars highlighting models and skills that have helped organizations triumph in challenging times.

We will both be moderating panels at Crossroads this year and are looking forward to attending other seminars and checking out the bands at the showcase. Below is an overview of the happenings. Hope to see you there!

Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country
Thursday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. at the 4th Street Theatre (216 Fourth Street)
Hillary moderated this panel at the 2011 SXSW and now gets to share it at the Crossroads Conference. While artists and music professionals continue to flock to large, entertainment-saturated cities like L.A., New York, and Nashville to chase their dreams, some are seizing opportunities right in their own backyards. In today’s music industry, it’s possible to land a thriving music career in flyover country if you’re willing to carve your own path. Explore techniques to expand your reach, and learn how to leverage opportunities in any region.

Panelists: Jade Nielsen of Jade Presents, Patrick Fleming of Poison Control Center, Becky Migas of Venu Works and Hoyt Sherman Place, and Aric Simons of Aric Simons and Associates.

Making Money in the Music Industry
Thursday, Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. at the 4th Street Theatre (216 Fourth Street)
Jill will be moderating this panel on how artists, bands, and labels can leverage the new business model to make money.  Various strategies will be discussed including creative product offerings, providing merch options for multiple levels of fans, finding success with crowdfunding, garnering worthwhile sponsorships, developing licensing opportunities, and more.

Panelists: Roy Elkins of Broadjam Inc., Adam Broman of Flood Bumstead McCready & McCarthy and owner of Giant Size Designs, Brandon Clark of Clark Law Firm, and Brandon Darner of The Envy Corps.

Other Music Business Seminars
There are a number of music business focused seminars happening at Crossroads this year. Some of these include Back to Basics: Marketing Your Work, Music Coalition Summit, Back to Basics: Ticketing and Box Office, Growing Your Festival Year to Year, Back to Basics: Programming Your Venue, and more. Learn more about the Crossroads Seminars.

Crossroads Showcase
The showcase this year will include seven Midwest bands at People’s Court Thursday, Nov. 10. The night will begin with a networking reception at 6pm. Bands will begin at 7:30 p.m., playing on two separate stages. Bands performing will be: Vanity Theft, Making Movies,  Mathien, Rebel Creek, The Sexual Undertones, Datagun, and Michelle Lynn. Learn more about the Crossroads Showcase.

Get Your Tickets
Seminars and Showcase – $40
Showcase Only – $10

Meet the On Pitch Fall interns: Nolan and Jennie

We’re lucky to have two rockstar interns this semester. They’ll be diving head first into a wide variety of marketing projects for events, bands, venues, studios, and organizations. Welcome to the team Nolan and Jennie!

Hello! My name is Nolan Greiter, and I am the latest addition to the On Pitch intern club. This fall I will be diving head first into the Des Moines music scene. I am a marketing major at Iowa State, hoping to make a career out of spreading live music to all who will listen. I was born in Ames, grew up mostly in Cedar Rapids, but am a Chicago man at heart. Since I could hear, music has been the most important thing in my life. From piano to drum lessons, show choir to drum line, and concert choir to jazz band; I’ve been actively pursuing music longer than anything else.

My love for music marketing began my junior year of high school, when I decided the business side of the industry was where I wanted to end up. Attending Columbia College in Chicago my freshman year secured this plan. I got my toes wet through the GrammyU Chicago Chapter, started digging deep into social media, and decided a marketing degree from ISU would give me a good edge when searching for a career. Last summer I worked for a medium sized music venue in Knoxville, Tennessee. I gained a lot of great knowledge on the concert side, which lead me straight in the door of On Pitch when I returned to school.

My interest in music marketing, coupled with my social media addiction will make this internship a great learning experience. When looking into this opportunity, I became increasingly impressed with what Jill and Hillary do for the Des Moines music scene. I hope to gain every ounce of knowledge they can throw at me.

Twitter: @ngreiter
E-mail: nolan@on-pitch.com
Facebook: nolangreiter
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/nolangreiter

Hey everybody! I’m Jennie Bunkofske, the newest On Pitch intern. Currently I am finishing up my final semester at Iowa State University where I study marketing and advertising. At age 13, an older family friend introduced me to the band, Something Corporate and their debut album ‘Leaving Through the Window’. That band and that album are what drove me to want to work in music. I got my start in the music industry from the fine folks of Authentic Records and The Nadas. From there I started booking shows in Ames at a venue called Zeke’s. I was even able to book a few of my favorite bands, such as: Automatic Loveletter, The Audition, and Quietdrive. In 2009 I started a website called Toofinetobeunsigned.com, to feature my favorite unsigned bands from around the country.

This past summer I moved to New York City to fulfill a ‘teenage dream’ of interning for Fueled By Ramen Records. FBR taught me how to run social media campaigns for an active roster of artists soundly and with innovation. Going to shows every week and constantly meeting new people kept me running around the city all summer. Living in New York City was an amazing experience and I plan on moving back in January to continue to try and break into the music industry.

My main focus is in new media. I love connecting with people across the country and collaborating with them on ideas and projects involving all aspects of music. I’m excited to soak up as much information and experience from Jill and Hillary in the next four months. Looks like On Pitch is going to keep me busy and I’m already loving it!

Twitter: @JenBunk
Facebook: jennie.bunkofske
Email: jennie@on-pitch.com

Vote for On Pitch's SXSW panel idea: Behind the Scenes of a Music Festival

As you know, our panel “Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country” made the final cut for the SXSW Music programming last year, and we were honored to represent Des Moines and the Midwest music scene. This year we’ve submitted the panel topic “Behind the Scenes of a Music Festival” that will explore the inner workings of an outdoor music festival straight from the organizers. You can vote for our panel now through September 2.

Panel Description: Behind the Scenes of a Music Festival
The outdoor music festival business is booming. New festivals are sprouting up every summer across the country. Music fans love the value and variety, while industry professionals are working hard to make their festivals successful and sustainable. For musicians, securing a gig at any one of the major music festivals is a surefire way to gain visibility amongst a sea of receptive fans. Get a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of an outdoor music festival straight from the organizers. From booking, marketing, sponsorships, ticketing, vending and more; it takes a team of people to make a festival run smoothly. Panelists will share anecdotes of the highs and lows of building a music festival and their thoughts on the future of this live music model.

We are excited to have two speakers already confirmed to participate in the panel if chosen! Tre Brashear of the MAHA Music Festival in Omaha and Amedeo Rossi of 80/35 right here in Des Moines. We are also in communication with a couple other music festival organizers to bring together a panel of speakers from festivals of varying size and scope.

Each year SXSW uses the PanelPicker to select the panel topics for the upcoming conference, which allows the community to have a significant voice in programming Interactive, Film and Music conference activities for SXSWeek 2012 (March 9-18). The PanelPicker voting breakdown is as follows: 30% SXSW staff, 30% public voting and 40% advisory board, so your votes and comments account for about 30% of the decision-making process for any given programming slot.

How to Vote
1. Create a free PanelPicker account or if you have set up an account in previous years, simply sign in.

2. Go to our panel “Behind the Scenes of a Music Festival” at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/9928.

3. Please give our proposal a “thumbs up” if you like it, and feel free to leave a comment telling the world why you think our panel should be selected.

Help us spread the word by inviting your friends to vote for our panel idea on Facebook. Thanks for your support!

Internship Opportunities: Fall and Spring Semesters

Photo courtsey of Incase.

If you’re a college student with a bit of geek in them when it comes to the music business and marketing, consider applying for the fall or spring internship with us. On Pitch interns assist on marketing projects for bands, events, music venues, and small businesses. This includes fun stuff like:

  • Press and blogger outreach
  • Promotional campaign support
  • Street team management
  • Creative brainstorming sessions
  • Research projects (requires extensive music listening)
  • Online marketing efforts
  • Event planning
  • Writing assignments (copy, blog posts, bios, press releases, web content)
  • Social media pushes

The perfect candidates will posses the below qualities. Apply if this sounds like you:

  • Some marketing internship experience under your belt
  • Writing and communications superstar
  • Proactive, energetic go-getter
  • Passionate about music
  • Fan of process and organization
  • Very detailed oriented (at the brink of being annoying to friends)
  • Not afraid to ask questions – we want you to learn!
  • Ability to work independently
  • Personable and social – we want to enjoy talking to you!

Please send your resume and any writing samples to internship@on-pitch.com for the fall semester by August 8, 2011 and spring by December 12, 2011.

Behind the Scenes at 80/35

You’ve seen photos of all of the bands and festivities from this year’s 80/35 music festival. Now here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse from our perspective of the preparations and efforts that took place during the festival in the press room, on the streets and in the media.

80/35 press leading up to the festival. Thanks to our local media for supporting the festival.

Final meeting of the festival organizers on Friday night.

A look into the press room.

Our work area in the press room.

DMMC President Justin Schoen reporting live from 80/35 on KCCI's This Morning Saturday

Jill mastering power tools to build the community board.

The finished product - the community board in the YPC "Do More" Village


Mediacom recording Christopher the Conquered's set.

Hillary and Jill on site early to prepare for day two of 80/35.

Woke up to a cover story in the Sunday Register!



The fourth annual 80/35 music festival is finally here!

The fourth annual 80/35 music festival is fast approaching, and we’ve been busy working on the festival since July 5th of last year! From coordinating all the media relations, managing the social media presences, organizing the street team efforts, and collaborating on all sorts of fun promotions – we’ve been knee-deep in 80/35 marketing for the last 365+ days.

Jill has been involved with the festival from the beginning, and Hillary has been helping for the past three years. We love working on a music festival that pushes the boundaries of Central Iowa’s music scene and contributes to its growth. 80/35 brings in many acts that have never played in Des Moines before and exposes people to new music that may have otherwise not been aware of. Here are a few photos of some of our favorite marketing memories from this year!

See you at the festival! Follow us on Twitter: @hillabean, @jillh and @onpitch for updates.

Meet the speakers participating in our SXSW panel

Tomorrow we host Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country at the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas. We are honored to feature such an accomplished group of professionals with successful music careers in “flyover country.”

From a Grammy-award winning musician that maintains his home base in Des Moines, an entrepreneur that carved his own path opening a music venue and launching a major summer music festival, a record store clerk turned manager for major recording artists that cultivates his music community, and a blogger whose website not only revolutionized his city, but the entire indie music scene.

Please take a moment to get to know the Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country speakers.

Scott Booker

Scott Booker started as a clerk at Sound Warehouse in Midwest City, Oklahoma. After enrolling at the University of Central Oklahoma, Scott simultaneously managed Rainbow Records. After Scott met The Flaming Lips in 1990 he quickly became – and still is – their manager. In 2001 Scott formed Hellfire Enterprises with his wife Jennifer, helping get the word out about bands like Sigur Ros, Devendra Banhart and El-P. Currently CEO at the Academy of Contemporary Music at UCO, Scott’s focus is helping cultivate and educate future generations about every aspect of the music industry.

Find Scott on Twitter: @scottdbooker

Sean Moeller

Before revolutionizing online music, Iowa-native Sean Moeller was working full time as a sports and entertainment writer for the Quad-City Times and freelancing for various music magazines across the country. While out on a run one morning, Sean came up with the idea of having touring bands drop by a studio in Rock Island, Illinois, and play an impromptu set on borrowed instruments. Now considered one of the most popular indie music blogs on the internet, Daytrotter allows for free music discovery and is home to a host of creative music, writing, and artwork.

Find Sean on Twitter:

Shawn Crahan

Shawn “Clown” Crahan is one of the founding members of Des Moines-based metal icons Slipknot. His resume includes seven Grammy nominations and one win, 14 million albums sold world-wide, and tours spanning the globe. Shawn also performs with Dirty Little Rabbits and is currently preparing for the release of the debut album from his latest Group The Black Dots of Death. He continues to maintain his roots in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.

Follow Shawn on Twitter: @MShawnCrahan

Amedeo Rossi

Iowa native Amedeo Rossi’s goal is to foster a cultural landscape that encourages up-and-coming artists to stick around. After years of corporate human resources, Rossi shifted his focus to Des Moines’ budding arts and entertainment scene and collaborated to open indie music venue Vaudeville Mews in 2004. Rossi helped found the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition and has led the development of the annual 80/35 Music Festival.

Follow Amedeo on Twitter: @amedeo10

Panel Details
Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country
Thursday, March 17
Room 11AB

If you can’t attend, watch for updates on Twitter: @OnPitch.

Photo Credits: Scott Booker via ACM@UCO. Shawn Crahan via Brian Leli.

Music Marketing/PR Internship Available

On Pitch is looking for a music marketing/pr intern for the summer.

The intern will have the opportunity to work with bands, events, music venues, and small businesses to assist in press campaigns, write correspondence, participate in brainstorming sessions, execute online marketing efforts, handle research projects, support agency clerical duties, and coordinate social media pushes.

Applicants with previous marketing internship experience, ability to work independently, high attention to detail, and an interest in the music business are preferred.

To apply please send a resume to internship@on-pitch.com.