promoter extraordinaire Bret Grier on a break from the usual midtown mayhem. There's really no logical reason why Bend gets as much live music as it does, but we'll offer one semi-rational explanation: Bret Grier. This is the local promoter that has brought us Flogging Molly, John Butler Trio, and Pinback (and that's just in the last couple of months) through his company Random Presents. Bret is nearing in on a decade of bringing us niche favorites as well as bands whose tour buses barely fit in the Midtown Music Hall parking lot. Despite his very public work Grier guards his privacy. So we were pleasantly surprised when he agreed to an interview with the Source. Here's a snippet of our recent interview with Bend's music man.
The Source Weekly: How did you get into the music promotions biz?
Bret Grier: After a handful of trips to the valley to see concerts and noticing a good amount of people from Bend at each event, it became very obvious that this town had good potential of becoming a sustainable market. I have always been interested in the production part of live music, in the past sometimes more taken by what's going on behind the stage than on it.
tSW: You seem to have found the eardrum of Bend - Talk about finding talent and ensuring that they fit the local scene?
BG: Finding talent is the easy part, convincing them to divert off the I-5 corridor, drive over a mountain pass and play a club a third the size of the one they played the previous evening is the tricky part.
Lately all of the artists we've featured have been very well received by a growing number of fans and we attribute that to the market growing and developing into more than just a little blip on the radar for booking agents looking for a solid fill date in the northwest.
tSW: You use multiple venues - from the Domino Room to Troy Park - talk about the feel in each venue and how you pair the location with the act.
BG: Generally speaking we produce our events at Midtown Music Hall. The Annex for small 21-and-over shows, Domino Room for midsize all age events and Midtown Ballroom the largest of the three for shows with large-scale concert lighting and high-end sound production.
Over the last seven years these clubs have played host to countless different styles of music and have encouraged every age of patron to come in, be themselves, relax and take part in a vital balance of Bends art community.
The Grove has been greatly missed for our 21 and over small-scale events and we are currently in negotiations with a few different clubs in town to try and fill that void.