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Local music promoter offers tips to struggling Paradise Valley venue

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Jan 01 2013 08:01:08 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Over the weekend, NBC Montana told you about an iconic restaurant and music venue that's facing serious financial trouble after narrowly escaping the Pine Creek Fire and how they've had to make changes, like adjusting how much they pay bands in order to stay afloat.  

We wanted to know more about the music industry in southwest Montana so, we sat down with a local promoter Grant Gilmore.  He's responsible for booking shows at the Filling Station in Bozeman.

Gilmore tells us it's a tough business.  One of the greatest challenges, he says, is predicting how many folks will turn out for a show.

Gilmore says the trick is crunching the numbers to figure out how to make it work for all parties involved and to recognize when it just doesn't make sense to book a band.

"Unless you know a band is going to bring in enough people to warrant paying them a certain amount it's, again, that balancing act.  I would like to see Pine Creek become a really awesome outdoor venue over the summer and maybe do three or four shows there," says Gilmore.

He says making the Pine Creek Lodge and Café a destination for bands to play in the summertime, like the March Fourth Marching Band show he booked for them last year, will help.

"You get that type of show where there's 500 people and your restaurant's packed and you're serving drinks and there's kids running around and it's just a really good family type atmosphere and I think it's one way that they could kind of anchor their business by having some larger shows with some national touring acts," says Gilmore.

Once he's found a band that will draw a crowd, he says it's important to follow through with the right promotion in order to get the word out.  Gilmore adds, keeping expenses down is also key.

Gilmore says he'd like to work with folks at Pine Creek Lodge and Café to help anchor their business when it comes to music.  Pine Creek's owner Mark Hartwig says he already has big plans for the summer months and tells us he's excited to hear Gilmore's ideas.