Iowa Music

It's Happening: Shoot The Chutes.

Taking an idea from concept to reality is a rewarding feeling. Andy Cusack (Integer by day, 80/35 booking team by night) and I have been talking about doing a mini-music festival for a couple of years now. It feels good to have it in motion.
We launch this little festival seed on August 24th and look forward to making it grow and evolve for years to come. I hope to see many of you at the inaugural year of Shoot The Chutes. Take a moment to learn more about the festival at

Music Blogging – Des Moines Style

Music fans across Des Moines are taking notice of our burgeoning music community. Many of them are helping push our scene to the next level by blogging about it.

We absolutely love how many bloggers in Des Moines are covering music. We encourage all of you to follow and support these blogs and thank them for chronicling what’s happening here in Iowa’s capital city.

DSM Band Bombshell

Iowa Music Buzz

Iowaves Music Blog


Greater Des Moines Music Coalition

Des Moines is NOT Boring

Central Iowa Music Scene Examiner

The Lonely Note

des noise


Joe’s Music Blog (Metromix)

Did we miss one? Let us know by commenting below!

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

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.

Landing A Music Panel at South by Southwest

Last week I moderated a panel called Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country at the SXSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas. Jill and I submitted the idea for the panel last June, and after months of planning and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the big day, we were excited to finally come together with our rock star lineup of speakers to conduct the panel.

We’re happy to report that the panel was a huge success. Attendance was great, with about 70 people joining us for the discussion. According to the poll we took during the panel, our audience was about 50/50 musicians and music professionals.

We’d like to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the panel, including our panelists: Sean Moeller, Scott Booker, Shawn Crahan, and Amedeo Rossi, who provided invaluable advice and insight on the topic of how to launch a music career in any region.

From Sean Moeller’s desire to record and write about music on his own terms, which has ultimately led to a revolutionization of online music through Daytrotter, to Slipknot founding member Shawn Crahan’s innate need to unleash his creativity since he was a young child, there were a few consistent themes throughout the panel. All of our panelists exuded innovation, fearlessness and motivation – they have truly carved their own paths while creating their own unique and successful music careers right here in the Midwest.

All of the panelists also have a higher purpose and vision of creating a better tomorrow for the music industry. From Amedeo Rossi’s vision to foster a cultural landscape that encourages up-and-coming artists to stick around in Iowa through the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition, to Scott Booker’s innovative career path leading him to cultivate and educate future generations about every aspect of the music industry at ACM@UCO in Oklahoma City, the speakers have not only impacted the music scene and industry in their communities, but they’ve influenced movements that will ultimately impact the music industry as a whole.

Their stories and advice were inspiring, uncut and raw – the kind of stuff that SXSW is made of.

Listen to a podcast of  “Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country” here.

Check more photos from the panel on our Facebook Page and some recent press coverage below.

Silicon Prairie News PrairieCast
Radio Iowa
Iowa State Daily

Hey, I'm Andrew.

Well hey there.

The title says it all. To say I’m incredibly pumped to be interning with the On Pitch team is an understatement. I’m currently an electronic media major at Drake University, but music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether it be singing in my grade school Christmas concerts, playing saxophone for a year in middle school, or touring with my men’s acappella group in high school, I’ve been involved in music for almost two decades. At the moment, I’m a part of the Drake Choir, a select touring ensemble on campus. I’m also a specialist at the Apple Store in Jordan Creek.

I’m a Des Moines transplant by way of St. Louis. Working in restaurants and clubs during high school afforded me opportunities to work closely with both local and national artists. I love all types of music – I’ll listen to anything twice – and discovering new music is a favorite hobby of mine. I’m relatively new to the indie scene, and I hope to learn a lot about the inner workings of the music industry. I’m excited to help organize 80/35 and to work closely with local bands to get their music to the world by using social media tools and brainstorming creative ideas to get the word out.

I can’t say that I specialize in any particular area, but I love utilizing the power of social media and other emerging tools to communicate and inform. I’m really excited to learn about social media and music marketing from Jill and Hillary, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a blast.

Feel free to connect with me:
Twitter: @andrewpeters88
Facebook: andrewpeters88

Announcing our SXSW Music 2011 rock star panel lineup

When we found out that our panel idea “Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country” was accepted into the 2011 SXSW Music programming back in October, we knew we had to assemble a panel of rock stars to share their experiences, thoughts, and advice on the topic. Needless to say, we already had a wish list of industry professionals with success stories that we thought would be a perfect fit.

We’re excited and honored to announce the four confirmed speakers for our upcoming panel, “Landing a Music Career in Flyover Country” to be held at SXSW Music on Thursday, March 17 at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM in Room 11AB, Austin Convention Center. And the panelists are…

Sean Moeller, Owner

Scott Booker, Manager
Hellfire Entprises Ltd (The Flaming Lips, Devendra Banhart, El-P) – Academy of Contemporary Music at UCO

Shawn Crahan, Musician
SlipknotDirty Little RabbitsThe Black Dots of Death

Amedeo Rossi, Promoter and Venue Owner
Greater Des Moines Music Coalition80/35Vaudeville Mews

Stay tuned for our very own panelist spotlights leading up to SXSW Music in March. Thanks to Nina and Andy at SXSW for your help in confirming this talented group of panelists. We look forward to seeing everyone 43 days from now in Austin!