One of the biggest challenges facing promoters, event organizers, and event attendees in San Antonio has been the geographical expanse of the city itself. Our city consists of many contiguous sub-communities: pockets of small towns essentially situated next to each other throughout 407 square miles. This has posed quite the conundrum for promoters in San Antonio: how does one reach these disparate pockets of people in San Antonio from city center to 1604?
Many municipal entities, publications, bloggers, and community-based calendars have attempted to tackle this issue, through one mode or another, with little success that encompasses and engages the entire community. Not only do each of these separate calendars fail to communicate with each other, but many are not user-friendly, lack comprehensive listings, and in effect exist in their own respective disparate pocket. Moreover, the technology for most of these calendars, even some of the newer ones developed through the city or other community entities utilize very archaic technology that wholly lacks any interactive component. No one has successfully found the solution to this issue, until now.
I’ve often been asked by visitors from out of town, fellow promoters, and residents alike about where centralized listings for events throughout San Antonio exist. Locally owned and operated Do210 is the definitive solution. One of the major challenges promoting Maverick Music Festival was connecting all of the different pockets of people throughout the City of San Antonio.
Often people live and remain in their separate townships, or sub-bubbles in San Antonio, isolated from others around the city. Our city’s failure to conclusively provide adequate public transportation or allow options such as Uber and Lyft to compete against Yellow Cab only exacerbate this conundrum of isolation.
In any case, there is indeed a correlation between actually bridging the physical space between people in San Antonio, and the lack of knowledge regarding what to do within that space. At least for now, we are actively addressing the former issue, while the latter remains to be continued. My goal continues to be working to resolve both of these issues. As I’ve previously written, our city is missing out on economic development opportunity by not adequately servicing the young, concert-going public that consists of both residents and visitors alike. Again, this is not just a recreational activity, but a multi-billion dollar industry our city is not fully seizing upon. By continuing to work towards bringing people together, we can then activate our potential to provide a fertile ground in our city to actually nurture intellectual capital: our most precious resource.
In 2008, Scott Owens and Jimmy Stewart joined forces to create a website in Austin called Do512.com. Popularity for Do512 quickly grew, as Do512 established itself as the singular, most important resource for what to do at the SXSW Music Conference: the largest music conference and festival on the planet. Its popularity further expanded to the entire city of Austin at-large. Expanding even further on the success in Austin, the network has since successfully extended to Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Boston, Toronto, Mexico City, and now San Antonio. Perhaps most noteworthy is the network’s ability to reach the often elusive, yet very engaged demographic of 21-35 year olds in each market.
The beauty of the hyper-local website is that its simplicity relies on a platform run by technology created and continually developed by Do Stuff Media for the last six years. The technology they’ve developed is the most user-friendly, streamlined, comprehensive calendar platform available on the market, with an interactive, community-driven core, unrivaled anywhere else. Moreover, the technology thrives in each market based on user engagement, yet requires little to no participation by outside events or venues since the data is captured by the technology, with or without their involvement. Each particular market around the country, including San Antonio, is run by a local company and promoter. In this market, my company has been charged with the task. The relationship with Do Stuff Media itself is akin to a franchise or licensing agreement. As a local San Antonio-based company, we license the technology from Do Stuff Media, in exchange for a fee.
The content of the site centers on events, venues, event listings, and more events. Do210 is not focused on generating hoards of editorial content for readers, but rather, raw data that provides options for “where to go” or “what to do” in San Antonio for visitors and residents alike. Although the technology of the platform allows the site to comprehensively aggregate event data in the community, the method in which the event data is populated occurs organically, and through the participation of users of the site. The more attention that is given to a particular event, the more popular the event listing will reflect on the site, due to active engagement with the community.
Another feature on the site allows users to generate their own lists of events to utilize and populate the site. Anyone can submit an event, venue, or activity at any time. Moreover, the technology allows us to create a unique calendar for all interested local partners. An Electronic Calendar Partner is an event calendar we customize for a media outlet, venue, promoter, or special event series. The events will come from Do210.com, but the calendar’s design matches the partner’s website. This feature allows the data generated by partners to automatically feed into Do210.com, without duplicating the work on the partner’s end. The best part of this feature is the calendar platform is free to any community partner who wants the calendar created for their own site.
Lastly, Do210 has a feature that is open to community tastemakers to weigh-in on particular events in San Antonio, in an effort to curate their own listings. In San Antonio we are calling these tastemakers Mavericks. Although many assume that “Mavericks” are a sports team from North Texas, the reality is the genuine Mavericks originate in San Antonio. The name itself is derived from Samuel Maverick who settled the San Antonio area around the time of the Texas Revolution. As a rancher, Samuel refused to brand his cattle, and other ranchers coined the word “maverick” for not doing so. In effect, he was doing something different. The real “Mavericks” are from San Antonio, and the word is now defined as an independent-minded person.
Prior to today’s launch, Do210.com has already partnered in one form or another with the AT&T Center, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, The Majestic/Empire Theatre, Aztec Theatre, Sam’s Burger Joint, the Korova, Limelight, Montage Vintage Clothing, Twin Productions, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 502 Bar, SATX Music, Mondo Nation, and others to promote various performances and conduct ticket giveaways.
At launch we are giving away tickets to Broken Bells, Demi Lovato, The Mars Volta side project Antemasque, Maxwell, Black Flag, Ryan Bingham, Old 97’s, Primus, San Antonio Beer Fest, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Citizen Cope, One Republic, G. Love & Special Sauce, Keb Mo, Utopia Fest, The Charlie Daniels Band, Marc Anthony, Zac Brown Band, and many others. Although the site itself focuses entirely on hyper-local events, the network of DoStuff related entities around the country also allows our City to tap into the hyper-local activities of other markets around the country through various means. For example, we could offer ticket giveaways for ACL Fest in Austin, Bonnaroo in Tennessee, or Lollapalooza in Chicago for those interested in making the journey to a big event elsewhere in the country.
Today marks the initial or soft launch of Do210.com. Working with Lone Star, we will be hosting events to commemorate the launch between now and the end of August. These will include a series of ticket giveaways, and complementary pre and post parties for Lone Star event attendees that may likely continue indefinitely. These are free shows for the entire community to enjoy.
On September 6, 2014, we will be a presenting sponsor for the grand opening of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on the River Walk Plaza. The “Siempre San Antonio” event will feature local sensation Nina Diaz and her San Antonio solo debut, as well as local guitar shredder Lonely Horse.
On September 27, 2014, Do210.com in partnership with Bullfrog Productions is hosting the inaugural Moonamp Music Festival at the Historic Sunken Garden Theater. Ryan Bingham is headlining the event, with acts by the Old 97’s and Marc Ford from the Counting Crowes.
In October, we will be hosting the San Antonio Beer Fest alongside the San Antonio Current, and for November we have partnered with the City for the promotion of the Dia de los Muertos Celebration in La Villita. Last year, over 20,000 people attended over the course of two days, and it’s likely it will again grow substantially.
In November, we will then have our formal launch party for the site: details will follow.
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ONLY THE BEGINNING
The launch of Do210.com is only the beginning. The site functions as a perpetual evolution in providing user-friendly event content refined and led by the people of San Antonio. We are starting this site focusing, at first, on live music in San Antonio, but have already created lists of restaurants, art galleries, community events, and nightlife for users to engage.
I encourage all readers to visit Do210.com, in order to re-discover all of San Antonio from downtown to 1604, everything in between, and then engage and interact with the site itself. Perhaps to even answer the age-old local questions: “who has the best breakfast taco,” or “where can I find the best margarita?” These questions could only properly be answered, not by critics or writers from other cities, but instead by the users of the site itself, who can capably and collectively answer these questions and others like them as a whole community.
Lastly, I challenge everyone in San Antonio to explore our city and go places you’ve never been, in an effort to look at ways to bring our city that is so spread out much closer together. Closing the gap among all of us will create a greater sense of unity and understanding of how events, initiatives, and movements in one part of the city benefit the collective community in general.
*Featured/top image: The 2014 Maverick Music Festival main stage in La Villita. Photo by Taylor Browning.