Commentary With A Local: Brad Danielson
Music venues are littered throughout our fair city. It seems there is always one near by. We are so lucky to have such a thriving music scene in the Twin Cities and even more so because there is an abundant amount of places for our talented musicians to play. And, if it weren’t for people like Brad Danielson, we wouldn’t be seeing any of them. As one of the booking agents at The Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis, Danielson is key to the success of this venue. And, he sits down with CBS Minnesota to share why he loves his job and his musical city.
CBS Minnesota: Brad, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do here in the city?
Brad: My name is Brad Danielson and I am the Wednesday through Saturday booking agent for the Fine Line. We currently have three agents here. Kim King books our national acts. David-Joe Holiday books our New Band Nights, which are Sunday through Tuesday nights. And, I deal with a lot of our local scene, as well as regional and smaller national acts.
CBS Minnesota: And, how did you get your start here in the Twin Cities?
Brad: I moved back to Minnesota, to Minneapolis, about eight years ago. I had finished up my bachelor’s degree at Columbia College, Chicago in their Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management department, and worked for a talent agency in Chicago for about a year and a half. Long story short, I spent more time rebuilding my boss’s business than earning commissions from my bookings. Frustrated with my job, I decided I might as well move back to the homeland and work in the industry here. After my move, I applied to every music venue in town, asking for any opportunity that they would give me. The Fine Line is the only place that was even courteous enough to reply, so I came in for an interview and was hired on as security staff. From there, I worked in the office a bit, became the Door Manager then was hired as the New Band Night booker and quickly moved up to booking other nights. That was eight years ago and I’m still in the family here at The Fine Line.
CBS Minnesota: Why is this important here in Minneapolis?
Brad: I believe my job is important in a few different ways. First, music is my life. Therefore, I have a strong desire for others to be able to share that same love of music for themselves. Recorded music is fine, but seeing live music, brings it to life. I feel blessed that I can help facilitate that opportunity for others. Second, I don’t really consider myself just a “booking agent”. I also played in band for about 5 years, and traveled all over the Midwest. In doing so, I learned a lot about booking from the other side of the table. Booking your band around the region is not an easy task, and I was realizing how the bookers I was dealing with treated people in general. I know many of them are busy people, but there was a lack of passion for what they were doing. Thusly, I have vowed that I would never be “that” booking agent. I would encourage bands, give them advice, help them understand the business, and take the time to mentor them in any capacity that would be beneficial for them. Ultimately, the more that bands understand about the business side of things, the easier my job gets and the more it benefits not only the band, but also the venue.
CBS Minnesota: What is your favorite thing about working in the music industry here?
Brad: I do love the Twin Cities music scene! The arts scene in general is something that is simply amazing! There are so many creative people in this area that there is never a lack of things to do, art to see, theater to watch, concerts to attend. After living in Chicago and moving here, I knew right away that the scene here was no doubt as solid as Chicago’s. The difference was the Twin Cities scene seemed to be so much more diverse, and the quality of the music seemed so much better. That may just be my opinion speaking, but there’s a ton of talented musicians in this city and they’re making some great music! I’m also always surprised by how many national bands come through town that have band members that are from Minnesota. Seems that we grow them here!
CBS Minnesota: Five-second shameless plug … Go!
Brad: I encourage music lovers all over the metro to go see live music! Check out our website, finelinemusic.com, and click some links to check out your local music scene. The majority of our Sunday through Wednesday nights is free admission, and we have some great drink specials as well. Beyond that, we are one of the best sounding rooms in town, so you won’t regret getting to watch a solid band play on our stage! Support your local music scene!
Fine Line Music Cafe
318 1st Ave. N.
Emily Buss is a music journalist from Minneapolis and author of On the Rechord blog. On the Rechord is a music site dedicated to the local music scene in the Twin Cities. Emily writes concert and album reviews, band and artist profiles, and provides information about local shows. A college graduate with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Journalism, Emily has been professionally writing for newspapers and online outlets for six years. You can find Emily at ontherechord.com, on Facebook at On the Rechord and on Twitter @TheEmilyB.