Tag Archives: Event Recap

Event Recap: The Annual IEBA Conference | Nashville, TN

For every Tim McGraw festival show or ZZ Top private performance there is a team of agents, managers, talent buyers, and tour crew behind the scenes negotiating contracts, setting up sound/lights, and making sure everything runs smoothly. National talent buying is something EastCoast Entertainment is known for globally and now more than ever we are proud to say we are a multi-award winning team of specialists committed to putting on the highest quality shows for you and your client.

A few weeks ago we recognized Mark Letson, ECE partner and National Talent Buying Director, who was named by IEBA as the 2016 Corporate Buyer of the Year and I was lucky enough to be sitting in the audience when his name was called. As a first time attendee of the International Entertainment Buyers Association’s (IEBA) annual conference I wanted to share a few national buying trends and the reason it’s important to use a specialist when planning your event.

The IEBA annual conference is held in Nashville (my adopted hometown) every year and offers a chance for buyers to meet face to face with booking agents, artists and their colleagues in the entertainment industry. It’s three days full of networking mixers, showcases and hotel room meetings that allows agents and artists alike to fill their calendars for the next year or more. Being the new guy in town, I got a chance to sit and observe Mark and ECE Atlanta Location Managing Director/Partner Rick Stowe meet with the heads of agencies like William Morris, CAA and APA. It was exciting to see the respect they were given and the longstanding business and personal relationships they held with the people responsible for the careers of everyone from Mariah Carey to Eric Church. No one else could get these type of deals done and Mark and Rick do it with a smile while swapping stories about kids and sports.

There is a hierarchy to everything and this conference is not unique. It features professionals who buy for everything from small county fairs to the heads of Coachella and nationally recognized venues like the Ryman and Madison Square Garden. The way I see it, the higher in the hotel you are meeting, the higher the dollar amounts being discussed. Deals were being struck in the hotel lobby, on the Penthouse floor and the highest dollar dates (and the best stories) are discussed over expensive meals lasting several courses/hours. As a fly on the wall, I heard breaking news about partial reunions, global tours for artists who swore they’d never play together again, and much more. These meetings are the reason EastCoast Entertainment is on the cutting edge year after year. Respect and trust are earned and with 20+ years and thousands of successful shows under our belts most of these agents can’t wait to share the exciting things their artists are up to for the coming year with our team.

The value in the IEBA conference is talking with buyers from across the country about what’s working in their markets, where they see the industry heading and experiencing the agency artist showcases together. Both young artists and globally recognized names are given four song sets to display their talents and, man, is it a good time. Here are the three types of artists that are trending this year:

Legacy Acts
These are the bands who have consistently cranked out hit album after album and have decades of performing under their belts. They are guaranteed to provide a family/corporate friendly show with a song list featuring recognizable song after song. This year we saw LeAnn Rimes, Sister Hazel, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Commodores, Three Dog Night, Lou Gramm, The Spinners, Rick Astley, and more.

Fresh Talent

These are the acts with something to prove. Their sets are high energy and geared towards a younger crowd. Perfect for outdoor festivals like Richmond’s Friday Cheers. This year we saw Judah and the Lion, Brandy Clark, Abi Ann, Morgan James, Welshly Arms, The Last Bandoleros, American Authors, and the Plain White T’s.

Internet/Reality TV Sensations
These faces are instantly recognizable to anyone under the age of 20 and some stars of shows like American Idol are household names. Most of these artists show up at fairs, festivals, and events like large scale mall openings where the audience is full of young kids, teenagers, and their parents. This year we saw Danny Gokey, Jordan Fisher, Kane Brown, Megan & Liz, and more.

Keep an eye out for these artists at your local fairs and festivals this year and be sure to contact EastCoast Entertainment if you’d like to provide your clients and guests with the chance of a lifetime to see their favorite artists in a private or corporate setting.

Here is a picture of Mark Letson hanging with Garth Brooks backstage at the awards ceremony!


Brad Strouse
ECE Richmond agent, Brad Strouse, began his music industry career touring the country with seven smelly metalheads. He left the road and spent time working on the record label side of the business before transitioning to his current booking agent role. Brad is an avid vinyl collector, music listener, endurance athlete and Auburn Fan.

Event Recap: The Big Fake Wedding | The Livery | Lexington, KY

EastCoast Entertainment has been partnering with The Big Fake Wedding for a couple of years, participating in events from New England to Baltimore. We were thrilled to head a little farther south for the Lexington, KY event last month.

If you’ve never heard of The Big Fake Wedding, the concept is genius.  The city’s finest wedding professionals collaborate and design a Pinterest-worthy wedding.  The bride and groom are an already married couple who take part in a moving vow renewal ceremony, while the “wedding guests” are future brides and grooms who get to see and experience the wedding vendors in action. We love this video from Sampley Brothers that gives a great overview of the BFW experience.

Agent, Hank Patterson, represented ECE at this event. The Livery, an event space in downtown Lexington, was the host venue. The historic and rustic vibe of the The Livery was the perfect backdrop to the industrial glam aesthetic.

“It was such an honor to collaborate with the best wedding pros Lexington has to offer. I loved the camaraderie that surrounded The Big Fake Wedding — it truly is a team effort.  To help a couple recreate the best day of their life and to meet new couples planning theirs, it was a pure joy,” said Hank.

No wedding (even a fake one) is complete without some dance party fun. Diverse Groove brought their A-game and had guests and vendors alike kicking up their heels to today’s chart-topping hits.

We cannot say enough great things about the vendors we worked with during this event. Some were old friends and some we had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, but all were creative, professional and such a blast to work alongside.  To see a list of the amazing vendors who collaborated on this event, check out: The Big Fake Wedding – Lexington Vendors.

Special thanks goes out to Bourbon & Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography,  Kristin D. Photography and On A Whim Photography who were the photographers for the event. Beautiful job. 1.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (1) 2.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (2) 4.Kristen D Photography (19) 5.Kristen D Photography (20) 6Kristen D Photography (1) 7.Kristen D Photography (2) 7b.Kristen D Photography (24) 8b.Kristen D Photography (5) 9.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (6) 10.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (7) 11.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (8) 12.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (19) 13.Kristen D Photography (6) 14.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (22) 16.Kristen D Photography (25) 16b.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (26) 17.Kristen D Photography (26) 18.Kristen D Photography (3) 19.Kristen D Photography (4) 20.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (25) 30.Kristen D Photography (23) 31.Kristen D Photography (22) 32.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (24) 33.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (20) 34.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (21) 35.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (27) 36.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (28) 37.Kristen D Photography (7) 38.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (29) 39.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (10) 39b.Kristen D Photography (8) 40.Kristen D Photography (10) 41.Kristen D Photography (12) 42.Kristen D Photography (11) 43.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (14) 44.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (15) 45.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (16) 46.Kristen D Photography (13) 47.Kristen D Photography (14) 48.Kristen D Photography (16) 49.Kristen D Photography (17) 50.Kristen D Photography (18) 51.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (18) 52.Bourbon and Brides Kentucky Wedding Photography (17)











Hank Patterson
A native Charlottean, Hank Patterson has been exposed to the local special events scene since birth. After spending a few years away for boarding school and college, Hank returned to the Queen City to follow in his mom's mover-and-shaker event industry footsteps. Hank joined ECE as an agent in 2014 and loves helping clients find the perfect entertainment for all their special events.

Event Recap: The Wedding Crashers Tour | Richmond, VA

Wedding Crashers Tour RVA

Last year, EastCoast Entertainment had the privilege of participating in the first-ever Wedding Crashers Tour in Richmond. The Tour is a one-of-a-kind wedding planning experience that brings couples face to face with local wedding vendors in a real reception setting. Everything at each venue – flowers, food, drinks, décor, music, and more – is styled to a T, so although no one is actually getting hitched, it’s not hard to imagine partaking in all the wedding merriment and festivities on the Tour.

Wedding Crashers Tour RVAWedding Crashers Tour RVA
Wedding Crashers Tour RVA

Of course, staging a wedding reception – even a fake one! – is no small feat. The Tour took plenty of teamwork, coordination, and elbow grease from some of our favorite event professionals. It was a labor of love, for sure, but with heavy emphasis on “love”: every day we are grateful for and amazed by our vendor partners and the downright beautiful events that we, as an industry, can create!


The second annual Wedding Crashers Tour took place on Super Bowl Sunday (not to worry, our Planner made sure to set up a ‘gentlemen’s lounge’ area, complete with craft brews and Super Bowl classic clips), but we started working long before then. Our venue, the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, is located on historic Monument Avenue. It’s great for celebrations – but tough for load-in! To navigate alleyways, busy city streets, and limited parking, the Venue Manager (and one of my favorite ‘friendors’) offered the option of loading in a day early. We all took advantage of that generosity, so Saturday afternoon I arrived to help the band set up and assisted the other vendors; I can now officially add table set-up, linen arranging and catering dish transport to my resume!


After the initial load-in and preliminary set-up was completed, a few of us from Team Branch hopped over to Tarrant’s Cafe, a Richmond favorite, to grab a drink and swap stories about this crazy whirlwind industry that we call our own. We couldn’t spend too much time socializing, of course, because we were back at it on Sunday at 9AM.

With the band already set up and ready to go Sunday morning, I tackled various tasks with other vendors: hauling in décor, helping hang cake pops with the Planners, setting up catering, putting out more linens, you name it. With all the details in place, the final product was nothing short of stunning – just look at the photos from Don Mears! Our first Tour group arrived at 11:45AM and, needless to say, they were impressed too.

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I may now be an above-average cake pop hanger, but my favorite part was, of course, what ECE does best: the music. Forest Hill Trio was the perfect option for the vibe we had at Branch. One of our newest artists, Forest Hill, offers the trio configuration as an option for ceremony/cocktail hour. I was instantly impressed by their professionalism and enthusiasm – not to mention their musical prowess! The trio (sax, mandolin, guitar) covered tunes from ALO to John Mayer to Pure Prairie League: We’re truly blessed with some talented artists here at ECE.

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It should be no surprise that the afternoon absolutely flew by. Before we knew it, the final group had come and gone and we found ourselves with a quick moment to take a group photo and celebrate a successful day – leftover Lushy Slushy’s and Pearl’s Cupcakes for all! As a team, we began breakdown, and in just a short time the venue was once again a pristine and historic space with no trace of the daylong festivities. We all headed out to the Quirk Hotel to meet up with our friendors from the Tour’s other venues, talk about the day, and – not to brag or anything – to revel in Team Branch’s successful defense of last year’s People’s Choice title!


As much as I love to attend and drop in on my clients’ events, I’m not typically part of the set-up. The Wedding Crashers Tour was a wonderful opportunity to witness and appreciate first-hand just how much teamwork is needed to pull off an exquisite event experience. It also served as useful insight for guests to see how the individual vendors – bands, planners, caterers, and beyond – must work together, rather than as individuals. Bringing an engaged couple’s vision to life is a great responsibility, but with so many good friends and partners in the industry, we’re able to do exactly that with each and every event. And as for the Wedding Crashers Tour – well, I’ll see you next year!

Wedding Crashers Tour site: http://www.weddingcrasherstour.com
Wedding Crashers blog w/ highlights from Don Mears Photography: http://www.weddingcrasherstour.com/new-blog/2016/2/15/team-branch-highlights-don-mears-photography

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Stacy Schnetzka
Considering she was born in Baltimore, raised in Richmond, and lived in Atlanta for most of her adult life, Stacy Schnetzka truly is an 'East Coaster'. She currently resides in Richmond where she books entertainment for the area's most fabulous weddings, corporate events and festivals.