Booking live music gigs in Blacksburg, building a community
Walter Porter and Michael Stapor, a multifaceted duo, fulfill life-long dreams and promote live music in Blacksburg through their very own booking agency - Bird King Booking.
May 9, 2016
Blacksburg, Va., April 27, 2016 - Michael Stapor (left) and Walter Porter (right) in their home, which is called Robin Williams Center for the Arts. Photo Credit: Mary Desmond
Michael Stapor and Walter Porter - two young music fanatics - are resurrecting Blacksburg’s DIY live music scene with their very own music-booking agency - Bird King Booking.
Porter wants to see Blacksburg return to its former DIY glory.
“Blacksburg used to have a pretty prominent music scene about two decades ago… for a while Blacksburg got off the map and lost relevancy in the music scene, which is pretty tragic…” Porter stated.
The scene came to an abrupt halt in 2003 when a hardcore
mosh pit broke out at a house show and tragedy ensued.
One person died and four were seriously injured.
In the wake of the tragedy, community members worked
together to try to bring the scene back to life - with safety
at the forefront. Most of the shows were still only in houses,
In 2014, Stapor and Porter decided they wanted to see an
expansion. There needed to be safer, cleaner spaces for the
community to be able to go downtown to listen to real, live
music - not just DJs. So Stapor and Porter stepped up their
game and created their own agency about a year after they
started having shows at their house.
They wanted their events to stand out from the loud, sticky
bars that clutter downtown, overflowing with debauched
Stapor says, “We try to create an atmosphere that is really about the music… Sometimes it gets to be too much about going to see your friends… or you’re there to drink or party…”
Indeed, it is important to have a space for those who truly care about the music. They appreciate the people who come to every show, eager to support a new band and its music. To them, that's the nicest thing you can do for them because they put so much time and effort into these events. Stapor even said that Blacksburg now has one of the safest DIY scenes in the area. It's come a long way since 2003.
Their shows are held at Gillie’s and Ceritano’s, which are classic
Blacksburg restaurants.They're helping the music-lovers of the
community, the up-and-coming bands from all over the country,
and they are helping Blacksburg's local businesses.
That's an important intersection for a music-starved college town
and it is putting Blacksburg back on the map.
Here's an interactive sidebar of Bird King Booking's events - past and future!
Enjoy a closer look at the inner machinations of Bird King Booking - What makes it stressful? What makes it wonderful?