Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel may not have graduated from Belmont very long ago, but the pair are already well-known as innovative industry disruptors in all the right ways. Introduced while in the Music Business department at Belmont University and both possessing a passion for live music, the two quickly began collaborating on everything from large house parties to small festivals. While they loved the social part of the job, the two quickly identified the messy details, paperwork, and uncertainty as limitations to their success. EVAmore was born out of Moreland and Stokel’s desire to simplify the booking process. The pair was quickly rewarded for their innovative ideas; their startup EVAmore was chosen for Project Music, the planet’s first music tech incubator, based in Nashville. Stokel and Moreland quickly found themselves surrounded by heavyweight label heads, booking agents, and marketing types – all of whom appreciate the concept behind their new company. “Makenzie and I were producing events in college for fun and promoting those same events through an online platform that we initially built as sophomores. Our favorite past time was to find ways to improve how we planned events for ourselves, and eventually, that led to us consulting others on their live events and festivals. Throughout this process it became more and more clear to us how disconnected the market was. Event planners didn’t know where to go to find the artist they were looking for, and artists wanted to play events but didn’t know how or where to communicate with potential buyers. For a technologically convenient answers, we built EVAmore: a platform that connects event planners with vetted entertainment and automates the event booking process.
Essentially a user-friendly, transparent booking tool, EVAmore focuses on benefit to both artists and those wishing to book talent, removing uncertainty and complicated paperwork on both sides. Moreland commented, “Consider EVAmore an additive revenue resource for artists. All of the events on EVAmore are private events in one sense or another, so the pay does not affect radius clauses nor an artist’s public tour in clubs and venues. Event planners can request to book a specific artist or the artist can place a bid and request to play an event. We have found that by allowing an artist to see what events they can request to play, it gives them direct access to opportunities they would have never known about.”
As students at Belmont University, both Moreland and Stokel watched the issues between artists and performance venues play out again and again, often resulting in a negative experience for one or both sides. Moreland recounted common frustrations she witnessed during her tenure at school that proved inspiration for the development of the EVAmore. “We went to a school where music was one of the most prominent components of the culture on campus. It was difficult to witness so many of our friends who were incredible artists be taken advantage of at clubs and venues or just get completely ripped off by an unknown, non trusted source. The reason we started EVAmore at its core was to get artists paid what they deserve and to provide more opportunities for them to further their careers. The music industry would be nothing without the talent and their creative work. And we found, as ironic as it is… we were able to ensure safety by placing a technology barrier between the planners and entertainment which requires payment, communication, negotiation, and contracts before a performance ever happens. We set up a standard that wasn’t there before. Simple, yet needed.”
One of the greatest things about EVAmore is the platform’s versatility. With each event technically qualifying as a private one, limits on what one can look like are set only by our imaginations. “Professional event planners, major companies, brides, hotels, live venues, backyard parties, you name it, they all use the platform, and we most likely have an awesome and vetted artist who would love to play your event,” Moreland explained as she dove deeper into the structure of the company, “We initially built this for the independent artist, but we are thrilled to now have agents on the platform showcasing artists from their roster. Managers and publishers are also using the platform for their up and coming artists. Our main goal is to assist the industry in the best way we can, so we are always listening and editing our platform with the entire music industry and our consumers in mind.”
Moreland and Stokel recognize their blessings in being chosen by Project Music take make their dream of EVAmore become a reality. “Before Project Music, we were just college kids throwing elevated parties in our free time. We left Project Music as business women with the knowledge and understanding of what we actually wanted to accomplish. We joke that it was like getting a MBA in 14 weeks. It was life changing for us and opened our eyes to what we were actually capable of executing.” Now, constantly planning and poised for the future, Stokel and Moreland are expanding the company outside of Nashville. “Our goal is to reach 10 cities outside of Nashville and Austin in 2019 with robust artist rosters in each of those markets. Luckily, we have solidified national partners that will be a huge part in our scale plan to those 10 cities.” Soon enough, EVAmore will be a country-wide resource for artists and interested parties looking to plan an excellent event together.
For artists interested in applying to be featured with EVAmore, you can visit the application site. In order to maintain premium quality for clients, Stokel and Moreland do require every artist submit an online application. Right now, EVAmore accepts approximately 5 percent of applications, but Stokel and Moreland are looking forward to welcoming more artists into the family upon expansion. To keep in touch with Stokel and Moreland, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit their website.