Written by Imani Wj Wright
The music business is a constant grind. Everyone isn't built for the fight. And yes- "fight" is the word I purposely choose to use here. Now, if it were a war, then one of the toughest battles for emerging artists would be finding performance opportunities. Even the greatest artists of all time had to start somewhere. Whether that somewhere is a church, a restaurant, a bar… those first few performances can make a world of difference for an artists' overall morale. Mackenzie Mathis and Stephen Kramer, two University of Delaware Alumni, hope to make those first shows much more attainable, with their company- Jukestand.
SwanoDown spoke with both Mackenzie and Stephen to get some insight on Jukestand and how they plan to make the booking process smoother for artists and inquiring venues.
Mackenzie explained: “When I was booking music, I was booking for a 3 location restaurant in Delaware, I was a student at the time, along with having other jobs. I always had a really hard time to fit, finding artists in my schedule. I would sit on Instagram and Facebook for hours, searching for an artist in my area, [and] searching for an artist in my price range. It was so frustrating to not be able to find people who I knew were out there and looking to perform.”
Mackenzie continued: “...We want a place where both restaurants and musicians can easily communicate [in order] to book gigs, book events, and also market themselves. Fans will be able to [go on Jukestand] and follow their favorite artists in the area, see their shows, and support them."
She also states that partnering restaurants will be able to promote their businesses via Jukestand.
Jukestand co-founder, Stephen Kramer, feels there is a major disparity between commercial artists, and those on the local scene. He asserted: "There's a huge gap between the artists we hear on the radio, and the college/coffeehouse type artist. There's a huge local scene that we feel hasn't been properly represented. We think there's a huge opportunity for a lot of these local acts to really become the next big thing."
Being a performer herself, Mackenzie Mathis believes that if artists have more opportunities to perform at "smaller" venues while getting paid to do so, they will be much more prepared to perform on bigger stages… while in the meantime being able to "pay the bills."
You can follow Jukestand on Instagram @juke_stand