Almost exactly one year ago, there was a stealth invasion in Dallas. The "DoStuff Media" Mothership hovered over the metroplex and beamed down some brand or business or humanoid blend of the two called "Do214." And since making first contact we've seen the alien entity spitting fire Drake jokes, giving sponsored drinks at shows and even doing giveaways for Lollapalooza tickets.
Tomorrow, Do214 is hosting a one-year birthday bash at Trees to commemorate the day it descended on Dallas, featuring Dan Deacon, Prince Rama, Ben O'Brien and Party Static. But with all this glitz and glamor, there are two fundamental questions we ought to ask ourselves: What is Do214? And should we be afraid?
Luckily we dodged a bullet in terms of sacrificing Texas pride by getting too cozy with Do214; the site is actually a spin-off of an Austin business naturally called Do512. Nine years ago, two Austinites created the flagship site to aggregate all the city's happy hour specials into one glorious font of knowledge.
Three years into the business they started adding entertainment listings and sprawling out to other major cities including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and, yes, Dallas. The overall goal remains this: To provide the answers to the age-old question, "What should we do tonight?"
Skeptical Dallasites would be completely in the right to worry about some national organization swooping in to curate local event listings. You're not out of line to be concerned whether some backwards cap-wearing executive is trying to tell you which of the latest "music bands" are "hip" from the comfort of an extraterrestrial boardroom.
Wary of this, Do214 made an effort to establish themselves and ensure they didn't feel like disconnected appendages from a foreign body. First, the company purposefully rooted itself in Deep Ellum, where it's run locally by numerous Dallas scene members tuned into the city.
Then they wasted no time teaming up with Spune, Transmission Events and The Common Table to help coordinate events and promote them through whatever Yik Yak/Tinder/Snapchat guerrilla social media campaign seems to work these days. Seemingly out of nowhere, Do214 accrued nearly 9,000 Twitter followers by basically being an omnipresent force in the Dallas scene. And giving away alcohol and tickets can't hurt, either.
While this sort of aggressive promotion is standard fair for national acts, local bands who get featured alongside these acts benefit just as much from increased attendance and more sold out shows. Do214's General Manager, Jay Howard, says that local and national acts are both equally reliant on whether or not people even know about the shows. That's where Do214 comes in, allowing users to influence what events are listed first depending on how much attention each one is getting.
"We want people to get out in DFW and do awesome stuff," Howard says. "And we want them to take advantage of what the city has to offer."
And proving that this isn't all talk, Do214's anniversary party line-up features a spread that bridges that gap between national bands and their local counterparts and comrades. The bill captures what Do214 has been doing in its infancy -- taking the local and national acts and shaking them up into some finely crafted music cocktail that feels custom-tailored to Dallas.
This could've been a copy/pasted Austin project without a semblance of soul, but by engaging in Dallas and knowing the right people, Do214 is overdue for a day of birthday celebration. So I, for one, welcome our new (or, well, newish) event listing overlords.
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