Austin's Transmission Events Absorbs Tactics Productions, Officially Enters North Texas Market.
It's been a week in the concert promotions industry.
On Monday, just after the first weekend of C3 Presents' two weeks worth of 2014 Austin City Limits Music Festival offerings, The New York Times reported that concert and ticketing behemoth Live Nation was in talks to acquire a majority share in that Austin-based company, which is also responsible for Lollapalooza, among other large-scale events. Then, just yesterday, rumors started swirling that Live Nation's main competition, AEG Live, may be in talks to acquire The Bowery Presents, the promotions company behind a number of the largest venues in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and various other East Coast spaces.
But at least one independent promotions upstart of note — Austin's Transmission Events, the entity behind the much-adored annual Fun Fun Fun Fest event and the company behind the bookings at esteemed Austin venues the Mohawk and Red 7 — isn't going anywhere.
Rather, it appears to be growing.
Today, Transmission confirms that it has absorbed Dallas' Tactics Productions to form a new entity called Transmission Dallas, which will mark lead its parent company's first formal charge into the North Texas market. Transmission's Dallas office will be helmed by former Tactics Productions head Kris Youmans and Ryan Henry, the now-former talent buyer at the Granada Theater, who just recently resigned from his post after a four-year stint at the Lower Greenville venue. (Interestingly, Henry was Youmans' replacement hire at the Granada after Youmans left that same post in 2010.)
“This is something that Transmission and I have been working on for quite a while, there's no doubt about that,” Youmans said when reached by phone, confirming that discussions on Transmission's transition into the Dallas market have been in the works for at least a year. “It's something that hopefully we can use to keep building upon what Ryan and I are already booking individually. The two of us have been booking shows in the area for a while now. With Transmission backing what we do, we just hope to do more — more shows, more events, more building the scene.”
And in all regards, Youmans says, while acknowledging that the majority of his own and Henry's backgrounds are in the indie rock markets. With Transmission on board, Youmans expects more punk, metal and hip-hop shows to become a part of North Texas' show portfolio. As for any other changes the regular concert attendee may notice, though, Youmans isn't sure.
“We're still going to be getting the shows we've been getting and promoting and putting on right now,” Youmans says, while adding that he and Henry plan to continue to book to such spaces as Three Links (where Youmans is a co-owner), Trees, Dada, Sons of Hermann Hall, the Kessler and other spaces. “Just about all of the shows I did in Dallas, Transmission did in Austin, too. So, in that regard, it only made sense to pair up. What's important to note is that this isn't Transmission bullying its way into the market.”
In fact, it was during an April 2012 co-production between Tactics and Trasmission — that memorable one-off At The Drive-In show at Trees — when Youmans and Transmission head Graham Williams began floating the idea of working together on a more regular basis. Since then, Tactics and Transmission have teamed up on a number of shows, including shows from Rancid, Cold War Kids, Phantogram, Little Dragon and Murder City Devils, just to name a few. Today's move, Youmans says, simply cements that relationship and formally joins the two entities moving forward.
“We wanna do more,” Youmans says. “I want to do more. I want to see the city better.”
Reached by email, Williams echoes that sentiment: “We're excited about Dallas and working with some good people.”
Granted, this doesn't necessarily mean seeing Fun Fun Fun Fest (North Edition) coming to fruition in the near future — although Youmans isn't ruling out some sort of festival coming down the line, either. Mostly, he says, it's a matter of Dallas and Austin starting to work together to build up Texas together, rather than the two cities competing against one another as they have in the past.
Of course, what that means for the Dallas market, specifically, remains to be seen. At the moment, FKA Twigs' November 28 show at Trees, which was initially booked as a Tactics and Transmission co-production, is the lone all-out official booking on the Transmission Dallas slate.
Given this reveal today, however, every event left on Tactic's calendar has essentially become a Transmission Dallas show. But the coming weeks and months, Youmans says, should be far more telling as far as what this means to the area promotions industry.
Adds Youmans: “We've got some stuff up our sleeves, for sure.”
Below, check out the press release announcing the move in full.
TRANSMISSION EVENTS ANNOUNCES EXPANSION AND PARTNERSHIP WITH DALLAS VENUES AND PROMOTERS
AUSTIN, TX (October 10, 2014) – Transmission Events, the full service events company and producers of Fun Fun Fun Fest, has announced they are expanding their booking and promoting services to Dallas and have hired veteran promoters Kris Youmans and Ryan Henry.
Transmission Events will be taking over the booking responsibilities for Club Dada and is in talks with other Dallas venues as well, in addition to hiring Youmans and Henry to bring shows catering to a wide range of music fans, including hip-hop, indie rock, electronic pop, metal, and all areas in between. Transmission seeks to bring the same level of performances, with an emphasis in discovery, which fans have come to expect from FFF Fest and venues like the Mohawk and Red 7. Transmission Events has been partnering with the Dallas music scene for quite some time now, and they are excited to further increase their involvement and partnerships to bring in even more shows to the Dallas area.
“Working with local stalwarts like Kris and Ryan who are already shaping the growing Dallas market makes sense as TE brings more shows outside of Austin,” says Transmission Events General Manager Bobby Garza. “Our partnership with Tactics and numerous venues in Dallas over the last year or so has grown quickly. Transmission Events is always looking for strong local partners in markets outside of Austin to provide great shows and great music to fans all over Texas. This is the first step in that process for TE, and we are excited it's happening.”
ABOUT TRANSMISSION EVENTS:
Transmission Events is a full service events agency that provides booking, location, production, sponsorship, and marketing services to a wide variety of clients across the country. Now in its 8th year, TE has experience producing events in 4 markets, including over 15 venues in Austin. Transmission Events also exclusively produces and manages one of independent music’s most popular music festivals, Fun Fun Fun Fest. Learn more at www.transmissionevents.com
BIOS FOR KRIS AND RYAN
Kris Youmans got into booking and promoting shows twenty years ago in Denton, Texas when he started booking DIY shows at several different houses. In 1997 Kris helped book the Argo and he started the venue side of Rubber Gloves rehearsal studios in September of that same year. In 2002 he took a break from booking for four years to direct a slew of music videos. But in 2006 he got back into booking when he took the job as the talent buyer for the Granada Theater. Since he left the Granada in 2010, he has booked at the Gilley's complex in Dallas (which included The Loft, Palladium, and South Side Music Hall) and after a year there, broke off for the independent promoter life with his own Tactics Productions. Kris has also recorded and toured extensively with Dallas artists such as Sarah Jaffe, The Paper Chase, and Austin's Bill Callahan (Smog).
Ryan Henry has been the talent buyer at the Granada Theater since 2010. Prior to that, he began his time at the Granada in 2009, working as venue staff in many different positions during shows. Ryan's experience with live music before then has been varied: he has played as a touring/recording musician, tour managed, and also served as a roadie, guitar tech, stage hand, and merch seller. Ryan is thrilled to begin work with Transmission in expanding from booking one venue to many other venues large and small throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Fun Fun Fun Fest cover photo via Transmission Events' Facebook page.