The life of a talent buyer seems glamorous, but it's much harder than you think. Wrangling up artists, venues, fans, and the relevant authorities is no easy task, which means that the folks that bring Dallas its best live shows are some of the hardest working people in the music industry. Unfortunately, these buyers and bookers often work in the shadows because they are so good at doing their jobs -- the shows that they're able to attract overshadow the work that they did to bring them here.
But we owe Dallas' hard working talent buyers a big debt for the work that they've done to build for Dallas' vibrant and eclectic music scene. On just about any given night in Dallas, you can find excellent live music that is current, fresh, and affordable. Which means that we should be thankful for these five talent buyers.
As last year's reigning DOMA winner in their category, Spune surprised no one when they came back to win it in 2014. Much ink has been spilled over this rapidly growing talent buyer's ability to bring quality acts of all genres to our city's venues. Somehow, these folks are just as talented at seeking out up-and-coming buzz bands for small, intimate shows at places like Three Links as they are at bringing some of music's biggest stars to play packed sold-out houses. In 2014 alone, Spune brought Run The Jewels, Index Fest, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. to our fair city.
This collective of forward-thinking buyers was founded in 2012, but 2014 may have been their biggest year to date. Intelligent Grind is known for bringing interesting projects and artists to Dallas, mostly focusing on engaging the city's younger music fans. Last year, Intelligent Grind brought the Bay Area's Lil' Debbie for a crazy show at the West End Event Center, but the star in their crown was Deep Ellum's Rageville Music Fest. Featuring Blue, The Misfit and Travi$ Scott, this fledgling fest set a new standard for hip-hop festivals in Dallas.
If the creativity in a name like Moody Fuqua wasn't enough to put this talented buyer and musician on your radar, his consistent ability to bring quality shows to Dallas through his position at Crown and Harp certainly should. Crown and Harp consistently presents some of Dallas' best shows, including the innovative and always interesting Fresh 45s DJ night with JT Donaldson and Spinderella. If old-school soul isn't your thing, though, there's always a DJ night at Crown and Harp that will suit your musical preferences.
Parade Of Flesh
Parade Of Flesh is still going strong, bringing a ridiculously diverse slate of shows to the city every month. Buyer John Iskander has put Dallas on the map as a must-stop city for up-and-coming indie bands, along with putting together an impressive calendar of metal shows and the occasional comedian. If you've seen a great show at Club Dada or Sons of Hermann Hall, there's a good chance that Parade of Flesh set that up. In the coming months, The Coathangers, Kyle Kinane, and Spillover Fest will all be some of Dallas' hottest tickets.
Technically, Tactics Productions doesn't exist anymore. Now, veteran talent buyer Kris Youmans is working with Austin's Transmission Events for his own Dallas-based iteration. Youmans is consistently known for attracting top-tier talent to Dallas, like Sturgill Simpson, but he's also committed to making sure that local acts get their due. Now that Youmans has a bigger platform with Transmission Dallas, there's no telling what he's got up his sleeve for 2015.
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