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Exploring Life & Business with Aaron Schilb of Nashville Tour Stop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Schilb.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
In 2018, co-founded Nashville Tour Stop as an opening act for a band I was in at the time which needed an ‘opening act’ for our shows.

We began doing weekly writers’ rounds at (now closed) a venue called Belcourt Taps which began growing in popularity quite quickly due to the volume of performers we booked each night – 20+ songwriters per show.

In the Spring of 2019, the band had since broken up and I began working on Nashville Tour Stop full time booking writers rounds and band showcases at various venues throughout Nashville.

It was primarily a means of building a sense of community around the songwriters of Nashville. When you’re brand new to town it can be very difficult to get involved so I set out to bridge the gap between those that were already integrated into the scene and those hoping to get plugged in.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Nashville Tour Stop has experienced some difficulties through the years just as any new, small business would. From getting our shows double-booked by venues failing to maintain their calendars to put on so many different events that I alone could not manage the workload, NTS has still persisted.

Of course, 2020 was a year of difficulties for many small businesses, especially those in the entertainment industry with bar and venue closures. However, after the dust had settled and venues began reopening we saw an unparalleled amount of growth.

The biggest struggle has been finding locations where our values as a company align with the values of our clients. We want to make sure that the performers and their fans are safe and secure and with many small and independent concert venues closing in the past two years it has been difficult to continually give the community a reliable “home base” so to speak.

As you know, we’re big fans of Nashville Tour Stop. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Nashville Tour Stop has been steadily growing since 2018.

Our bread and butter as a company have always been live music entertainment and we have specialized in curating lineups that ebb and flow. A good example of this is that even though we are in the country music capital of the world, this doesn’t mean that an audience wants every song for an hour to be about pickup trucks and small towns.

Keeping both genre and personnel diverse keeps a show more engaging and entertaining.

Our active work to keep the songwriter community involved with itself is something we’re very proud of at Nashville Tour Stop. While yes, we’re a business and we want to stay in business, we want to see everyone involved in our company (regardless of how) succeed. Giving creatives opportunities they may not have been afforded is something we work to accomplish every day.

For readers of the article here, I always encourage people to attend an event and meet the people who make up our community. Seeing the community foundation behind us is what has made us successful. If bars, hotels, and concert venues are interested in becoming involved, our team is very accessible and always ready to meet new people!

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Oh yes! I offer networking advice on a regular basis. There are two general principles that I follow that generally get doled out to people who have just moved to town, but the rules apply to everyone.

First: Don’t be a jerk. Just be nice.

It sounds elementary, but it doesn’t go without saying. There are people who move here all of the time who let their egos get in the way of their future.

Nashville is a town built upon relationships and if you aren’t willing to contribute to building a meaningful relationship by being difficult to work with, you’ll find it much more difficult to progress further in your career than someone who’s easy to be around.

Second: Be seen.

Our team fields hundreds of submissions to perform and we work to get as many people involved as possible, but what we see is that someone may submit to perform ten times but never attend a single show to see what it’s about. Conversely, someone may attend once and then submit and get booked immediately.

This falls back to the first point of just being nice. If you wish to be part of something, the only way to truly get involved is to be involved.

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