- A & E
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Utah is teeming with local music, shows and events. Finding out the when and the where can sometimes be a daunting task.
ProjectSLC.com is a new medium to find the local and national bands playing in northern Utah. With the ingenuity of Justin Smith and Scott Vargas, Project SLC has taken off.
Project SLC is a collaboration to bring information about upcoming events and concerts, along with interviews with musicians. The site highlights shows all around northern Utah, sets up meet-and-greets with bands at restaurants, and throws after-parties at local clubs in order to introduce national bands to Utah’s downtown life and culture while promoting local bands.
“I was talking to one of my friends who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and he was just kind of asking where people in Utah went to find out where concerts were playing and when they were playing,” Smith said. “You know, some of even the smaller concerts that go on. I decided to basically put something together that would show the concerts all in one place. I brought in my good buddy Scott Vargas. He does a lot of the actual advertising and marketing. We go to different companies to see where we can cross-promote. I run a lot of the actual website.”
Smith said the site’s reception has changed from it reaching out to bands for interviews to having local companies and bands coming to it.
“We get approached by a lot of local and national bands,” Smith said. “My favorite part is probably how fast it has grown. It started out with an idea, and then all of these local festivals and local bands and even national bands are now approaching it to cover their shows as they come through Utah. My favorite part, in a nutshell, is that the bands are now approaching us and that we also get to meet really cool, national touring bands. It worked out really good.”
The site is steadily gaining more popularity and has a broader fan base. Smith said he runs the website and Vargas does a lot of the marketing on social media. Both interview bands, find connections to local restaurants and shops, and put these events out there as a way to boost morale about the local resources in northern Utah.
“The most important medium we have right now is our Facebook,” Smith said. “We get more hits on our Facebook than we do on the actual website.”
Smith said there is a big push to bring together people from Salt Lake City, Ogden and even Provo.
“Provo’s got a really budding music scene. They’re doing really good things. There was a three-day festival of only local bands. Our big thing is that we want to bring together Provo, Ogden and Salt Lake. It’s just trying to get enough people interested enough to drive the distance to see and support local bands.”
“Our big thing is to help people to discover the music first and foremost,” Smith said. “We’re just trying to keep this as Utah-oriented as possible.”