April 3, 2013  •  by Jane Carter

SPOTLIGHT: Christina Shipley & The Live Vibe Collective

Christina Shipley Organizing any event can be a challenge and stressful, so you can only imagine how it would be to organize an event during SXSW. We were able to sit down with Christina Shipley, founder of LiveVibe Collective,  and get  some great advice and tips on her experiences organizing and hosting events such like The Sideshow Confessional at the Winflo during SXSW. Ticketbud: Tell us a little more about LiveVibe Collective! What does LVC do and how did it get started? Christina Shipley: LiveVibe was founded three years ago when I was asked to help book music for restaurants around the Austin area. At the same time I met James Chippendale the founder of Love, Hope, Strength – the world’s leading rock n’ roll cancer charity foundation. James asked me if I would like to put on a house concert for the charity. That concert became a series in which I host nationally touring artists at various upscale homes. After hosting my friend Bob Schneider he asked me to come on board with his team as his regional booking agent. LiveVibe books on average 250 shows per year and is foremost a booking agent company followed by promoter. TB: What made you want to step into the music business? Specifically, what led you to organize and throw events like your SXSW Showcase? CS: My general love of music combined with a good sense for creating an enjoyable event for guests. I like to watch the interaction between both the artist and the patrons. Seeing them get into the spirit of the surroundings, vibe, company and most of all the music. Then, in turn, providing a perfect and captivated audience for the artist – which is why they write music. 577232_10200469051105492_1558278662_n TB: SXSW is a chaotic time for attendees and throwers alike. What’s it like to organize and throw an event during SXSW? CS: Well, it’s pretty damn stressful to say the least. I start very early and it’s like throwing out a fishing line when you have no idea what you are fishing for! I start sending out venue info and set times to the big artists. Hopefully hear back on one or two and build the bill around those artists. If you get the big fish early then you can really pick from the smaller buzz artists and create a great show. The week leading up to the show is basically a tons of promo and computer work. Plastering the streets with posters etc. The day of the show it’s totally different as you are onsite enjoying the music but still working every detail of the event. TB: What insider tips do you have for organizers or musicians out there trying to be a part of the SXSW festivities? What are some keys to handling the chaos of SXSW? CS: SX is not what it used to be and there are so many bands trying to make it. I say to musicians – be selective on the events but play at least 4-5 shows. You NEVER know who is in that crowd. One person can make the difference in your career, whether it be a manager, agent or record label head, and they might just be stopping in for a taco at Guerros and hear you from the distance and say “Wow, who’s that?”. As for the organizers…start early, be organized and be proud of your event. Oh, and have an amazing graphic designer – that’s the key to getting the event noticed on the streets.   TB: A lot of our readers are event throwers on a much smaller scale. What are some super secret tips you’ve discovered to share with organizers about throwing a successful event? CS: Small scale events are the best. The personal relationship between patrons and event throwers is key. The event head has to be the most excited and it will filter down from there. I’m not the most organized person in the world but I’ve forced myself to learn this trait. If you are like me then start early and let the ball roll from there. Be present at your event, talk to everyone, make sure they are comfortable, shake hands, be confident and love what you are doing.   429674_10152657500345311_486021175_nTB: Is ticket cost a big factor when considering ticket sales? What benefits have you found from using a flat rate ticketing company like Ticketbud? CS: My ticket prices are high for my house concerts as they come with an open bar, nationally known artist and dinner from a private chef. If I used a ticket company other than Ticketbud my profit would be cut in half. Pretty simple. I’ve used them for all my events and they are the best hands down. I love the ticket page and when you share it on social media it looks great. It’s easy to use and to track sales. And, in the end it’s a lot about the money even though I love what I do. We want to thank Christina for sitting down with us and talk about SX and her great advice on organizing and hosting events. Click here for more information on LiveVibe Collective and Christina Shipley. Don’t miss LiveVibe’s next house Concert, Will Hoge and Waylon Payne on April 27th. Sponsored by Deep Eddy Vodka, Cameron Hughes Wine, Chef’s Menu by Chef Andrew Striver of Culinary Innovations.  Click here for ticket information.]]]]> ]]>