Thursday, March 16, 2017

To Be Heard celebrates their inception with Carrboro, Raleigh launch parties

To Be Heard is a new booking agency helmed by local
musicians Justin Ellis & Mark Connor
This weekend some of the most exciting acts in the North Carolina music scene will be coming together for two stellar bills split between The Cave in Carrboro and Slims in Raleigh, all to celebrate the kick-off of the brand new, musician-run booking agency To Be Heard. To Be Heard is helmed by Mark Connor (Owner of The Cave, member of SOON AD, Grohg, The Tomahawks) and Justin Ellis (member of Happy Abandon, Clockwork Kids, The Color Exchange) and the agency provides a unique perk that many other agencies are unable to boast, the owners are actually regularly touring musicians.

Night One will take place on 3/17 at The Cave and will feature Body Games, Davidians, Al Riggs & The Big Sad, Majestic Vistas, and Ravary. Night Two will take place at Slims and will feature Naked Gods, Wild Fur, S.E. Ward, Peter Vance (of Happy Abandon) and Fluorescence. Each show is $5 in advance, $7 day of.

These two shows serve as a means of highlighting the already robust roster that To Be Heard has gathered, ranging from shoegaze to punk to electronica to folk, the agency is already representing far reaches of the North Carolina scene. "The big thing with the roster for To Be Heard is that we wanted to feature bands that we think deserve to be heard on a larger scale," Ellis states, and they've wasted no time in working to get the word out on these stellar acts. Connor and Ellis have already begun booking nationwide dates for SE Ward, Happy Abandon, Wild Fur and Naked Naps while also helping to spearhead the Fluorescence album release show in Chapel Hill on 4/14.

As touring musicians, Ellis and Connor provide a unique perspective to the ever-changing realm of booking. With Connor serving as owner of the Cave and talent buyer at Slim's and both members having amassed a vast list of contacts throughout the country, the two not only understand what shows are worth pursuing but also how to maneuver through the negotiation process that may escape many musicians that just want to focus on their craft. Taking on 18 artists that range from the internationally acclaimed The Veldt to swiftly rising local standouts like Zack Mexico, Naked Naps and Body Games, To Be Heard has set some lofty goals for themselves to manage a roster brimming with such talent. But as Ellis puts it, it's always easier to handle these things when you've got a true dedication to the craft.

"At the end of the day, Mark and I actually enjoy doing this," Ellis states. "Booking a tour is like a puzzle that takes months to complete, and you get many setbacks on occasion, but when it's all done and announced - it feels great." Be on the lookout for a string of April shows in the Triangle from local favorites Naked Gods and head over to To Be Heard's website to get a full list of their roster and upcoming shows. You can also purchase tickets to The Cave and Slims in advance below:
The Cave