These promoters combine a distinctive voice with DIY ethics, passionate curatorial skills and event savvy to bring you an incredible range of touring talent and home-grown innovation.
As far as promoters go, 2017 has been Ugly Orange's banner year. The DIY booking collective has evolved in fast-forward, putting on carefully curated bills around touring heavies like Tall Juan, L.A. Witch, Death Valley Girls and Mild High Club. UO show no signs of slowing down.
Not "just" a metal booker – though Endoxa still lured Venom Inc., Belphegor and Obsessed to the City Beautiful – Endoxa's Pete Olen has been branching out into hip-hop and synthwave showcases. With a booking style geared more towards savvy taste than the almighty dollar, the best is yet to come.
Although Tierney Tough's indie-centric booking outlet has taken a bit of a backseat to a flurry of Pauses-related activity this year, OYG still came through with alternative stalwarts like Cindy Wilson, Shana Falana, a total immersion 1997-themed bash and the more intimate and local-focused East End Sessions.
Kyle Raker's long-running Norsekorea is one of the more prolific booking companies in town, putting on multiple shows per week in venues like Will's and Backbooth that take in punk, metalcore, indie rock and all points in between. Norsekorea is going all out in December with an Of Montreal show at the Abbey and a seven-year anniversary blowout in January at Will's.
Southern Fried Sunday
The folksiest of the bunch for over a decade, Jessica Pawli's intensely local SFS has always been as much about community as it is music, often involving causes and always featuring food. Though its heart is in roots music, SFS has been branching out nicely with new themes and partnerships. Events like this year's Southern Belle Ball, Citrus Circuit Tour and Soul Fried Sunday prove that Pawli's tradition not just endures but evolves.
Talented photographer and passionate local scene booster Harrison Thevenin stepped out from behind his lens this year to begin SR50, a combination webzine and promotional group. He brings a fresh sensibility to our concert landscape with nights dedicated to vaporwave and soundcloud rap as well as one-off events that defiantly cross genre lines.
Though redoubtable avant-garde boosters the Civic Minded Five (is it even a quintet?) have been taking it a bit slower this year, they came through when it counted – blockbuster shows from Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Zeena Parkins, the Nakatani Gong Orchestra and Karl Berger.