Listen Up / December 2010

Who to see and what to hear in December

December is always a busy month. schools are out later this month, the holidays are around the corner, and work gives way to travel for many of us before the year’s end. This time of year also gives us the opportunity to reflect upon the previous year and to give thanks for our blessings and good fortune. The things that matter most to us all, like friends and family, take center stage once again, if even only for a brief while.
Personally and professionally, I have plenty to be thankful for. As many of know, I am the Talent Buyer at the WorkPlay entertainment complex, located in Birmingham. I book all of the concerts that take place in the venue’s two rooms: the WorkPlay Theatre and the WorkPlay Soundstage. We produce approximately 200 shows a year and there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into each. It takes a lot of people working together to make a show a success and when it happens right; it can be a lot of fun. regardless, there are a ton of interchanging parts and it take a team to pull it off.
Going into my 4th year at WorkPlay, my willingness to take on additional work outside the WorkPlay umbrella increased. I helped program and produce the Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Festival in Gulf Shores last May and assisted with the programming of a number of Gulf Coast concerts held in response to the oil spill disaster.

Expanding my horizons over the last year has certainly brought with it many interesting opportunities along the way. Last month, I took advantage of one of these opportunities by signing on to work with Ticketbiscuit, a local company that plays a major role in the event industry; not only nationally but globally.
TicketBiscuit is a software ticketing company that has made major waves in the industry since its inception almost ten years ago. The company formed as a ticket alternative at a time when ticketing fees and impersonal relationships began to take over business. TicketBiscuit’s track record proves that people want more out of their ticket purchasing experience; not just a website that provides a ticket at a premium to the consumer. People really do still value simple transactions at a reasonable cost, while learning more about other upcoming events of interest.
WorkPlay was TicketBiscuit’s first client and since that time, their client list has grown from one to over 500. I have worked closely with the company over the last four years and because of my strong belief in the product and the relationships that I have built with the folks at TicketBiscuit I have decided to go to work for them full time. I will continue to book the WorkPlay music calendar but have relinquished the rest of my duties to our team positioned at the venue. This is a thrilling time for all of us involved, but a particularly special time for me professionally, as I continue to explore the additional facets of the music industry.
Check out some of the exciting things happening now at TicketBiscuit.
Now let’s look at what’s happening at a music venue near you this December…

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – TSO is a sound and light spectacle that visits the Magic City every year around the holiday season. Massive production peppered with a talented cast and group of musicians tell a Christmas story that is as timeless as any other. What better way to get in the holiday spirit than with this amazing exhibition of sound and light; just two weeks prior to Christmas?
Saturday, December 11 – BJCC Arena

Black Jacket Symphony presents AC/DC’s Back in Black – Arguably one of the most popular combinations of local and regional musicians return to WorkPlay later this month. I have mentioned them in the past but they warrant another mention this month. Black Jacket Symphony continues its artistic musical tribute by taking on the timeless classic, Back in Black by rock superstars, AC/DC. Black Jacket Symphony shows are known for selling out in advance and this time through, they will take over the WorkPlay Theatre for the entire weekend. Both will sellout so go make your plans to spend this particular weekend at WorkPlay in advance. You won’t regret it.
Friday, December 17 and Saturday, December 18– WorkPlay Theatre –

North Mississippi All-Stars – The All-Stars have been one of the hardest working bands in the business since 1996. Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson learned much of their craft from their legendary father, Jim Dickinson. While their experience and passion for writing and performing the North Mississippi Blues came largely from their dad, the experience that the band has gained from years of touring across the US and overseas has helped mold them into the Grammy award winning artists that they are today.
Tuesday, December 28 – WorkPlay Theatre –

Corey Smith– After almost ten years of hanging around the clubs and bars in Athens, GA, Corey Smith broke through with his renegade blend of rock and country. With a devout following, especially in college towns, Corey Smith continues to grow his fan base with each recording and live performance. While his talent is not crafted for all audiences, he is certainly worth checking out to see what all the fuss is about.
Wednesday, December 29 Alabama Theatre –

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