We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Chilton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
The core of both of my businesses is artist development. We work with bands and musicians before almost anyone else. With local artist we are normally working with them before press, labels, managers, or agents have noticed. Often for years before tangible sucsess. Live events and particularly concerts are an important core of the idea of the “third place.” I think for many people concerts are the first independent space or community people develop on their own separate form family or school. That is so vital for civil society, democracy, and civic engagement. So many of my friends in the business community or political world were fiends I made decades ago at concerts. I often point out how many business owners used to be in bands. Starting a band is just like starting a business only on a smaller scale. In a more tangible example of what we do to help our community, we often host benefit concerts and events for local charities. When ever possible we like too ad a charitable element to events. We regularly do benefit shows for charities like Rosie’s House, Local First Arizona, or Sounds Academy.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
December 2020 marks 20 years of Psyko Steve Presents. I put on my first concert when I was 17 and still in high school. That first event was just trying to help some friends bands I thought deserved more attention and create a fun night for all our friends. 20 years later Psyko Steve Presents is a full company with a handful of great still trying to to do that same thing, give more attention to great bands and create great events for their fans. I have always tried to create concerts I would want to go to. Over time I have learned what different audiences and fan bases want. Each event is different and finding the best space and conditions for every show is the first goal. I always try and think about how the artists want to be treated and presented while at the same time think how does the fan want to be treated. Some times the smallest detail can either make a great night or if ignored ruin the experience.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When we have bands or friends from out of town at Rebel I often take them to Pizzeria Bianco. Something perfectly Phoenix about that. Other than that I am probably taking someone to a concert. That will always depend on what I think they will be into and what is happening. It is always great to take some one to something they never would have thought of seeing on their own.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Right now I have been devoting most of my time to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). It is a new non-profit organization started during COVID to advocate for independent venues and promoters. I helped found the association and sit on its Board of Directors. Working with so many amazingly talented people from all over the US has helped me get through the pandemic. I have learned so much this year from too many people helping with NIVA to list.
Credits in the file name