Happy Dog Joins Newly Formed National Coalition of Independent Promoters

click to enlarge Elise Trouw. - Courtesy of D TOUR
Courtesy of D TOUR
Elise Trouw.
D TOUR, a new, artist-driven collective dedicated to “doing business in the economy of touring,” has just launched. The network of independent venues and promoters from across the country includes the Happy Dog. The program will offer national artists "locally owned, unique venue experiences" across multiple markets.

It consists of independent venues and promoters across the U.S. that are “critical to the longevity and success in any artist’s career,” as it's put in a press release Through this new venture, the group seeks to ensure that the right artists reach the right audiences in the best spaces suited to them. The expertise of each state’s D TOUR representative enables them to advocate for the artist in their respective market and across the D TOUR network.

In addition to the Happy Dog, the independent promoters that comprise the founding D TOUR partnership include Drusky Entertainment (PA), Hartke Presents/Wave (KS), xBk Live (IA), Crowbar (FL), Production Simple/Headliners Music Hall (KY), Blue Water Partners (TX), Jay Ray Productions/Taos Mesa Brewing (NM), Bonafide Live and Inc./Exit/In (TN) — venue capacities range from 200 to 8,000.

These participating venues first came together at the start of the pandemic when all of the clubs were facing imminent closure. Now, after weathering the storm that was the pandemic, the collective formed D TOUR with the goal of "coming together to offer an ethical and efficient process of developing artists across their network and in their respective states."

The organization is in the process of finalizing its first collective tour booked with multi-instrumentalist, drummer and singer Elise Trouw, an artist known for her self-produced YouTube videos, social media presence, and tours both as a solo looping artist and with her band. Trouw has toured with Incubus, Moon Taxi and others and has performed on The Jimmy Kimmel Show. Trouw recently even filled in on drums for Seal at one of his shows.

“For me, the opportunity to work with D TOUR and the venues they represent is a powerful solution to the many challenges artists face when planning and booking a national tour,” says Trouw in a statement. “I am very thankful and honored that D TOUR has chosen me as their first artist to tour across the U.S., and I can't wait to get out and see my fans at the 35 shows we have on the books!”

The embodiment of the collective is Hartke Presents, an agency run by husband and wife team Adam and Jessie Hartke in Wichita, KS. Often overlooked when bands go from Oklahoma City to Kansas City to Denver, Wichita reportedly has a thriving cultural and community arts scene. Asingle point of contact for the entire D TOUR network enables greater reach with less effort for artists and their representatives, helping these teams reach key communities and compete more effectively within an environment that is quickly becoming more hostile towards independent businesses. Additionally, by way of this process, D TOUR aims to boost local economies by keeping revenue spent at concerts within the communities these shows occur.

“Independents from across the country, just like us, have continually worked for decades to build our local businesses within our communities. These are the businesses and communities we are organizing to protect,” says Jessie Hartke of Hartke Presents/Wave. “It is imperative to our survival that we create more opportunities in the face of the adversity we have witnessed in recent years. Our ambition stems from our love for our independent sisters and brothers and the local communities we all exist within.”

In the future, the group hopes to delve into artist development and work to develop local artists in each other’s cities as an exchange program throughout the country. The plan is to eventually extend the program to international artists as well.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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