The United States of StageDrop is a series highlighting customer success stories from a different state each week. This week's United States of StageDrop features the Centennial State, Colorado!
Dog House Music is a hub for Colorado bands and musicians, providing a professional space to create, rehearse, record, produce, and perform live music. Located in Lafayette, Colorado - a charming Denver suburb just east of Boulder - the studio has been open since 2003.
With four hourly rehearsal spaces, 18 private studios for local artists, and a full production studio, Dog House Music caters to local musicians as well as national touring bands. They offer quick access to Red Rocks Amphitheater, 1stBank Center, Boulder Theater, The Fox Theater, and venues up and down the front range and have become Colorado's go-to rehearsal studio for touring artists, from the Indigo Girls to The Pixies.
When new owners Liz and Kenny Vasko took over the studio in 2019, they retrofitted it to cater to modern bands and artists, adding a full range of engineering, production and videography services. They also made plans to turn part of the space into a 1000-square-foot popup live music venue, aptly named "The End" for its location, at the end of the hallway.
Time to Do Something Different
Then in March, COVID-19 struck and Colorado's stay-at-home order forced nonessential businesses to close for several weeks. During the closure, the Vaskos came up with a brilliant plan to pivot their business during the pandemic: provide livestream production services to help bands stay connected to their fans virtually.
"We thought, 'This is the time to do something different so let’s figure it out,'" says Kenny. "We decided we could either turn this into the best livestream facility in the Rockies, or we could sit out the next 6 months."
“We decided we could either turn this into the best livestream facility in the Rockies, or we could sit out the next 6 months.”
The team at Dog House Music put their new plan into action, converting the former popup venue space into a livestream studio and giving "The End" a new beginning. To make it work, they realized they would need to add a stage to the space, so they got in touch with StageDrop to purchase a professional portable stage solution in time for their reopening in early May.
The Vaskos decided on an IntelliStage Lightweight 12'x16' Portable Stage Kit with textured black vinyl industrial finish. IntelliStage is a completely modular stage system composed of 4'x4' platforms and fixed-height collapsible aluminum risers. Each platform weighs only 55 lbs, so it's easy for one person to assemble and rearrange the pieces, and they store compactly when it's time to clear the floor. The 12'x16' size is spacious enough to accommodate most bands, along with equipment and monitors.
Dog House Music was able to finance the stage through StageDrop's partnership with Behalf, which offers net 30 terms and 6 months of extended payments for qualified businesses. With a mortgage to pay on their building and uncertain times ahead for the live music industry, the studio appreciated having the flexibility to make payments. The application process was quick and easy, and once everything was finalized, their new portable stage from StageDrop was delivered just 7 days later by freight truck.
Livestream Business Takes Center Stage
Did the pivot work? Kenny gives a resounding yes. Dog House Music has clocked more than 65 hours of livestream services since they reopened in May. They have averaged 2-3 bands livestreaming per week, and they also hosted the Underdog Music Festival, a livestream festival in July that featured their artists in residence and generated more than 50,000 views in just 2 days.
The Vaskos are especially pleased with the role the new stage has played. "COVID hit, and we realized we needed to make the room look like a venue we were proud of, a place where people would want to hang out as part of a VIP experience, and that’s what the stage gave us," Kenny recalls. The modular aspect of the stage even helped one band that needed extra physical distancing during their session; they set up the stage modules as several smaller stage "islands" and used a super wide angle lens to catch it all on camera.
“COVID hit, and we realized we needed to make the room look like a venue we were proud of, a place where people would want to hang out as part of a VIP experience, and that’s what the stage gave us.”
The studio has also recently completed a proof-of-concept demonstration concert with Medium Labs and the band Ramakhandra for a new type of live music experience: augmented reality concerts. The audience wears VR headsets and can see fantastic 3D images and effects that enhance the concert experience. "You look up at the rafters and see the sky," Kenny says, "and then you look at the band and there is a dragon snaking between them on the stage." The new technology offers up exciting possibilities.
The livestream business is still booming today at Dog House Music. Bands can pay an hourly rate to use the room, the portable stage, the multi-camera setup and the Midas console, or they can purchase a livestream package that gives a full-service on-stage concert experience with videographer and lights. What a great way to stay connected and support local music as the beat streams on!
Want to see more? Take a 3D virtual reality tour of Dog House Music's facility and check out The End!
StageDrop would like to thank Dog House Music for their business and for allowing us to highlight their music studio and livestream service, representing Colorado in this week's United States of StageDrop. We wish them and their “underdogs” continued success!
Looking to add a new portable stage to your music venue? Check out our extensive selection of Portable Stages, or call or email us today for a free quote!
Based at the Jersey Shore in Forked River, NJ, StageDrop LLC is a leading provider of stock and custom portable stage systems, stage accessories, truss and event furniture to businesses and consumers nationwide. We specialize in delivering custom stage configurations for business, government, education, religious, fitness and nonprofit organizations. We offer free quotes with expert recommendations to fit our customers' specialized needs.