Live On Stage – Entertainment Excellence
Established in 2002, Live On Stage (“LOS”) has continually pushed the boundaries to achieve excellence as a concert services provider…on and off the stage.
- Annual roster of international talent has established LOS as the benchmark for professional touring performers
- Attentive, personal service helps volunteers navigate booking and organizational challenges
- Value-added services stabilize and strengthen national network
- National Conference showcases offer acclaimed interactive performance experience
This notoriety has established Live On Stage as the industry leader presenting talent to community concert organizations, attracting over 400 artist submissions each year.
More than a booking agency, Live On Stage is committed to the well-being of volunteer nonprofit concert presenters. From the Live On Stage point of view, concerts themselves are just one facet of their client’s life.
Long before a catalog lands in an affiliate’s hands, the staff and representatives of Live On Stage spend hundreds of hours each year considering the health of their affiliate organizations and board members, on a first name basis.
The issues at work in a concert association are no different than any other business or nonprofit organization:
- Strategic: What is the role of this organization in our community? Do we have a plan?
- Financial: Are we getting the most impact for our dollar? Are we using the most up-to-date tools to sell tickets, receive donations and account for this activity?
- Roles: Do we have the right people in the right role on the board? Does the board have the skills to manage and grow?
- Relevance: Do we “invite, include and invest,” reflecting the arts and entertainment sensibilities of our community?
It should be no surprise, then, that over one-half of LOS staff hours are focused on the effectiveness of each organization in areas such as board membership, technology, publicity and market position.
Live On Stage Concert Support Programs include:
- Strategic Planning
- Website Assistance
- LIVE Concert Tix
- Press Releases
- Publicity Consultation
- Streamlined Technical Riders
Live On Stage is Born
It is no secret that the performing arts face vast challenges in today’s culture – every season brings a new battle for the attention of the concert going public.
This reality has always served as an inspiration to Live On Stage president, Matt Davenport. “We recognize that all entertainers and entertainment organizations share in the struggle to preserve live performances in our communities,” said Matt. “We want our clients to know that we will always be there with them, shoulder to shoulder, to offer compelling artists and meaningful support services.”
This commitment to community arts is nothing new for Matt. His career was formed on the very stages that Live On Stage now serves.
“Columbia Artists Theatrical,” a subsidiary of “Columbia Artists Management, Inc” (CAMI), operated an organization of affiliates known as “Community Concerts” (“CC”).
In 1985, as a member of the “Tennessee River Boys,” Matt Davenport appeared on a national tour in CC venues.
Then, in the early 1990s, Matt successfully toured his first original production, “Tennessee Waltz,” followed by several successful tours: “American Rhapsody” (official tour of the Gershwin Centennial), “Birth of the Beat” and “Always Patsy Cline.”
By 1997, CAMI had spun off “Community Concerts” as a separate business entity. In 2000 the association again changed hands and soon faced dire financial difficulties, becoming insolvent by 2002.
In January 2002, the ramifications of these events were beginning to be understood. Matt, responding to the challenge facing his core business, made a move to book his upcoming tour directly within the former CC network.
Matt approached the existing Representatives of CC to activate their established regions and book “I Get a Kick Out of Cole” with the promise of a new concert services organization to serve community concert presenters.
As the Reps begin to approach individual associations it immediately became clear that the local associations had no intention of closing their doors. They began to request artist suggestions from the Reps. Coming from the entertainment and production side of the business, Matt’s personal network immediately became a resource. And thus the framework of today’s “Live On Stage” was established.
Unbelievably, by July 2002 a new business had been formed and a national conference hosted at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, boasting 275 attendees and 25 artists.
Character and Commitment
In those six months, Matt telephoned at least one board member at each of over 200 associations announcing his new organization. For many he was a champion; other groups who had been adversely affected by the collapse of 2002 waited to see if this new company could deliver as promised.
Typically a fiscal conservative, Matt took out a second mortgage on his home to finance the company. Since then, of course, history has spoken. The success of Live On Stage has proved the risk to be well-placed as the organization has shown itself to be a valuable resource to hundreds of concert associations across the country.
It has been said more than once that Matt saved the Arts in the heartland.
As is always the case with Matt, business is family. There are still a core of Representatives from 2002 who continue to be a part of Live On Stage – their careers secured by Matt’s commitment to excellence.
Live On Stage and New Horizons
LOS continues to grow and adapt to ever-changing realities in the world of touring entertainment.
Beginning in 2009 LOS launched a series of client support initiatives which are now an integral part of their business model.
Driven by the desire for “Entertainment Excellence” at every level within client organizations, efforts are continually under consideration to increase the competitiveness and relevance of local concert associations.