National Shows 2 (NS2) is a Nashville-based, full-service concert promotion company. NS2 creates, produces and promotes live entertainment events in arenas, amphitheaters, performing arts centers, clubs and other venues across the country.

NS2 Enters Into Exclusive Promoter Agreement with Charleston Gaillard Center

Charleston, SC – April 26, 2018 — Nashville-based concert promotion company, National Shows 2 (NS2) has entered into an exclusive booking agreement with the Charleston Gaillard Center. This will be NS2’s second venue partnership in the area, further expanding the company’s presence in the Charleston market. The agreement gives Ns2 exclusive booking rights to all national touring contemporary artists, comedians, and commercial children’s shows.  Local events including jazz, dance, classical and educational programming will continue to be promoted in-house by the Gaillard Center.

Built in 1968, the Gaillard Center boasts a stately, grand façade that mirrors the great performance halls of Europe right in the heart of downtown Charleston. The 1,800 seat venue completed over $145 million in renovations in 2015 and its award-winning architecture and design has quickly made it the one of the most beautiful buildings in the city’s affluent historic district. With the a newly established mission of becoming a cultural center of arts and entertainment, the Gaillard Center has presented events such as Lewis Black, Tony Bennett, and ZZ Top.

Formed in 2010 by third generation concert promoter Darin Lashinsky, NS2 promotes all genres of entertainment, including full-length tours and one-off concerts nationwide. The Gaillard Center will be the 5th venue in the country to be exclusively booked by NS2. The decision to join forces was made after partnering with NS2 on a sold-out Diana Krall concert earlier this year, as well witnessing the continued success of its neighboring venue, The Charleston Music Hall, which has hosted over 200 events since partnering with NS2 in 2015.

In addition to the Charleston market, NS2’s growing portfolio of exclusive venues includes the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC, CMA Theater at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN, and Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, VA. Combined, NS2 promotes over 160+ shows a year in these rooms alone.

“This partnership with NS2 will only boost the Gaillard Center’s strong start in presenting contemporary and comedic talent. We are excited to be working with a high-quality promoter in NS2,” said Stephen Bedard, Gaillard Center’s President and CEO.

“Entering into this partnership with the state-of-the art Gaillard Center affords NS2 the opportunity to continue to bring artists to a community that has been an integral part of our success. We look forward to growing Charleston’s vibrant entertainment scene, and increasing awareness throughout the music industry that this not a market to be overlooked,” said Darin Lashinsky, NS2 President.

Shows currently on sale in this partnership are Bruce Hornsby & The Wood Brothers (June 27) and Bill Burr (September 16). Tickets are on sale now at gaillardcenter.org.

Other additions to the Gaillard Center event calendar under the new agreement will be added on a rolling basis.

Tickets to all shows at the Gaillard Center will continue to be sold at its box office and through the venue’s website, gaillardcenter.org. All operations, marketing, and day-to-day business involving the co-promotions will continue to be managed locally by the Center’s existing staff.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 2, 2017 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum has entered into an agreement with Nashville-based concert promotion company National Shows 2 (NS2) to book national touring acts into the museum’s CMA Theater.

Museum CEO Kyle Young lauded the new booking agreement for its ability to expand the number and kinds of musical experiences the museum can offer.

“We already produce dozens of programs a year related to our exhibitions and our mission,” said Young. “This partnership will only allow us to increase the number and variety of offerings that will find their way into our CMA Theater”  

This new agreement will play a role in establishing the CMA Theater as one of Nashville’s most desirable music venues for both artists and concertgoers. A complete lineup of shows to come in 2017 will be announced this summer.

“I’m honored to partner with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to promote their CMA Theater,” said Darin Lashinsky, CEO of NS2.

“Offering unique, curated concerts in this intimate venue maintains our combined mission of engaging Nashville’s locals and visitors alike with a diverse lineup of concerts.”

Tickets to all shows at the CMA Theater will be sold at the theater box office on 5th Avenue South, inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and through the venue’s website, CMATheater.com. The CMA Theater and the museum’s Ford Theater will continue to be available for private shows and corporate event bookings.

ACM Announces Industry Award Nominees

The Academy of Country Music has announced the Industry Award nominees for the 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Industry Award, Studio Recording Award and Special Award winners will be announced and celebrated during the 11th Annual ACM Honors, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

The event will take place Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Brent Fedrizzi – AEG Live
Ali Harnell – AEG Live
Darin Lashinsky – National Shows 2
Patrick McDill – Live Nation
Ed Warm – Joe’s Live

More here.

It was July 15, 1976, the day before Kiss would bring its Destroyer tour to the Charleston Civic Center, and Philip Lashinsky gave his son, Darin, and nephew, Michael, money to go buy the latest Kiss album so they could be up on the songs for the concert.

Darin Lashinsky went and bought the album at National Record Mart, and the next night saw Kiss in concert with his dad, met the band, and, ever since, has been exercising his “Freedom to Rock.”

Carrying on an old Lashinsky family tradition, Darin – whose grandfather Harry booked Hank Williams Sr. and whose father Philip booked that very Charleston Civic Center Kiss show – has been booking tours and artists now for 25 years.

But few have had the personal meaning of this summer’s work, as Lashinsky has not only gotten to book the superhero rock stars of his youth, Kiss, on their 35-city “Freedom to Rock” tour, but also was able to steer the tour’s final show back to his home state, where his love of the band and rock ‘n’ roll all began.

Produced by Lashinsky’s Nashville-based company NS2 along with partners Frank Productions and CMoore Live, Kiss’ “Freedom to Rock” concert, with opening act Dead Daisies, comes rolling into the Big Sandy Superstore Arena at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, armed with some dozen tractor-trailers’ worth of gear ready to rock the roof off the orange barn.

A movie couldn’t script it any better – Lashinsky gets to bring his 8-year-old son, Philip, back home to West Virginia where his family roots run deep.

Father and son have been to a handful of the tour’s dates together and are now ready to rock out one last time in Huntington.

“He (Philip) has been to four or five now, so it has really been special getting to share that,” Lashinsky said by phone from his office in Nashville. “I don’t know if the impact of taking Philip to these shows has hit me yet, but we are having a blast, and right now he loves Kiss. When he gets in the car it is

definitely a top request. He will ask for a song, and I’ll ask, ‘What album is that from, son?’ and I will chuckle because he knows what album that is on.”

Lashinsky said already the tour has been special, laden with the feeling of passing a love for the music from his father to him to his son.

“In Boise, Idaho, the first night of the tour, I introduced Philip to Gene (Simmons) and Paul (Stanley), and they are like ‘Philip Lashinsky!’ They of course remember my father and were real sweet with Philip and then immediately they are telling me stories about doing shows with my dad, and it’s some crazy stuff. If it is not full circle I don’t know what it is.”

Back where it all began

Lashinsky said his passion for music and for Kiss began when he saw what is arguably the most colorful rock act in the history of the biz in concert.

Although he would often be backstage at shows, he said it was just the music and the show that was – and still is – the magic.

“Honestly it wasn’t about meeting them. It was about seeing their performance,” Lashinsky said. “I have spent my entire career in the business, 25 years, and that show in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1976 was a game changer. As a kid seeing a concert like that I joke and say it was over. I tried to do everything but be a promoter. That inspired me to play and be in bands for a few years, but I was smart enough to know I wasn’t going to be making a living doing it.”

Three years after seeing Kiss for the first time he got an electric guitar from Paul Stanley of Kiss, which hangs in a case in his office with the date, Sunday, July 16, 1979. Lashinsky’s dad, who has since passed away, used to joke with Stanley that it was all Kiss’ fault his kid got into rock ‘n’ roll after he saw them and got that guitar.

His father could jokingly blame it on Kiss all he wants, but Lashinsky said he just naturally grew up in the music industry learning the business and shadowing the best – his dad, who was called “The Promoter” in a 1980 story in The Herald-Dispatch. Philip Lashinsky’s Charleston-based company produced rock concerts by the likes of The Rolling Stones, Kiss, the Doobie Brothers, Kansas and Willie Nelson in some half a dozen states and in such major cities as Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Lexington, Kentucky; and Bristol and Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as in Charleston and Huntington.

The summer school of rock

Lashinsky said summers were spent with his dad on the rock ‘n’ roll road in the 1970s and 1980s when the country’s thirst for live music was exploding. Philip Lashinsky told Dave Peyton in 1980 that in the early 1960s cities would only book one or two rock concerts a year, but that all changed in the late 1960s and 1970s. It was then that cities began building arenas and filling them with the exploding number of touring rock bands, as well as navigating the ever-changing business and watching bands like The Who, which Philip had booked for $500 in Charleston, soar to booking prices of more than $100,000.

“I grew up in Los Angeles, but I spent my summers in Charleston and then traveling with my father on the road to shows,” said Lashinsky, who was raised by his mom and Philip’s first wife, Paula Barnett. “I refer to it as rock ‘n’ roll summer camp. My stories are about getting on a plane as soon as school was out and fly to Charlotte (North Carolina), or Louisville (Kentucky) or Greensboro (North Carolina). So the first night with our father was usually a big show, a rock show, and so my memories as a kid was always being around those shows and always getting in everybody’s way and wanting to get my hands on everything.”

That kind of curiosity of wanting to know how each piece of the business fits together to create a successful show and tour, as well as a work-til-it-is-done ethic, have been the great takeaways Lashinsky said he learned growing up.

“Spending day and night with my father I saw the kind of hours he put in,” Lashinsky said. “He showed up before the trucks opened and left after they closed. When I went to work with him he knew everyone from the truck drivers to the band, and they were all the same to him. They all had a job to do.”

Despite the long days, Lashinsky wouldn’t trade in the experience.

“The best part was sitting in the seats of the arena and watching the show being built and the sound check and then watching the show. All of it. I couldn’t get enough of it. To this day I love documentaries and all things about behind the scenes. If I see one of my favorite albums has a behind-the-scenes doc, I am watching that. I can’t get enough of the behind the scenes, especially in the music business.”

Carving a road of his own

While Lashinsky got his start in the music industry working with his father, who ran the Nashville-based concert promotions company National Shows, he would branch off and work for 12 years with Outback Concerts.

However, in 2010, Lashinsky would follow in his father and uncle’s footsteps, founding his own company, NS2 (National Shows 2) in homage to his family’s roots. He would, like they did, concentrate on producing shows in a handful of states as well as booking such hallowed venues as the Ryman Auditorium in his homebase of Nashville, where NS2 does 30 to 40 shows a year.

“When I came up with National Shows 2, I think the most important kind of message I got with my father was to learn all facets of the business and (be) able to do all the jobs a promoter does,” Lashinsky said.

He said a key difference in promotion these days is that a company will often have multiple staff members, each dedicated to one specific task in promoting or producing a show. Lashinsky said in his father’s generation and in his to an extent, promoters needed to be more diverse.

“His generation and some of my generation have had the opportunity to learn how to negotiate a deal with a show, with an agent and a building, and to market a show, and to do the production advance, and the day of production, and how to coordinate events, and understand how to talk to a ticket office and ticket a show. He gave me the initial groundwork and knowledge for all facets and I can do it all,” he said.

A Billboard magazine profile from 2010 noted Lashinsky was building his company at a time when the economy was down and the touring business was coming off one of its most challenging years.

But with his partners – indie promoters Larry and Fred Frank out of the Wisconsin-based Frank Productions – Lashinsky said business has been fantastic as they have continued to cherry-pick artists with whom they have relationships (such as good friend John Prine) and foster newer acts from Brantley Gilbert to Avenged Sevenfold.

“We are always looking for partners and artists and agents who want to work with us on a larger scale, and it is driven not necessarily by the hottest thing and getting our hands in it,” Lashinsky said. “We are realistic. We have a lot of people with a lot of experience and every specialized experience, and so I think we stand toe-to-toe with anyone.”

Bringing it all back home

If you’ve been a big show in the last few years in the Tri-State, there’s a good chance NS2 has been behind it. The company has brought such acts in as John Prine at the Keith-Albee and the recent sold-out Jason Isbell concert at the Paramount Arts Center, as well as an increasing number of concerts at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

NS2’s tour of Def Leppard, Tesla and REO Speedwagon broke the arena’s box office record for concert revenue, a record Saturday’s Kiss concert will break again.

Thus, when Lashinsky was booking Kiss’ “Freedom to Rock” tour, a summer run hitting smaller U.S. markets, he couldn’t pass up a chance to bring it all back home.

“It worked out that way because I made it work out that way,” Lashinsky said of ending up in Huntington. “I had a list of about 70 U.S. cities when we were discussing it with Kiss’ manager, Doc McGhee, and his agent at CAA, and, of course, Charleston and Huntington were on the list.”

The original tour route had the final show in Roanoke, Virginia.

“… I had looked at the routing, and I said, ‘Well, this is silly, we need to play West Virginia,’ and it really was about my history and being born in Charleston and my family’s history in West Virginia, and seeing them for the first time in 1976 in the old Charleston Civic Center on the Destroyer tour – every bit of that came into play. I was sitting at my desk and was like, ‘Huh, let me see if it’s available.’ Rik (Edgar, manager of the Big Sandy Superstore Arena) was able to hold the date, and we moved Roanoke and put Huntington on. They were going to play it somewhere, and it is apples to apples for them. For me, this is too good.”

Edgar said they are blessed to have someone so respected in the industry with a tie to the area, and who is partnering to bring in top-notch tours to a region that sometimes can get overlooked.

“Darin is a rock star in his own right, and a true professional. We don’t have a better partner in the whole industry, and we love what he has brought us,” Edgar said. “He has brought us our two biggest shows in the history of the venue in the last six months, and we can’t wait to see what happens in the future.”

Lashinsky said he has his eyes on West Virginia for more shows – including the just-announced Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown national tour coming to the Big Sandy Superstore Arena – and would like to book more shows at the Keith-Albee, where John Prine sold the house out and where his grandfather, Harry, regularly booked touring acts.

“We have been doing some great music in the market, and what we have been bringing in has been selling really well,” Lashinsky said. “Rik called me and said the Kiss is the highest grossing show there ever, which is totally cool. Now we have some other things up our sleeves.”


NS2 Enters Exclusive Promoter Agreement with Carolina Theatre

July 12, 2016 — Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc., the non-profit that operates the historic downtown Durham performing arts venue, and Nashville-based concert promotion company National Shows 2 (NS2) have entered into an agreement that opens the door for the two organizations to co-promote at least 60 national touring acts at the historic theatre each year.

Carolina Theatre Interim President and CEO Dan Berman lauded the new booking agreement.

“This partnership allows the theatre to leverage the prestige and booking power of NS2, one of the country’s most active live event promoters.” Berman said, “It enables us to increase the number and variety of offerings at the Carolina at the same time that we dramatically reduce the economic risk of producing such a busy calendar of national touring artists.”

This new agreement, which was reviewed and approved by the theatre’s board of directors, will help the Carolina Theatre remain at the forefront of downtown Durham’s renaissance. In 2015, it was estimated that the historic venue’s economic impact to the city topped $15 million.

Formed in 2010, NS2 promotes all genres of entertainment, including full-length tours and one-off concerts nationwide. The rising national concert promotion company has already successfully presented artists such as Jason Isbell, Aretha Franklin, Alice in Chains and Eric Church in Durham and Raleigh.

NS2 has a similar relationship with the Charleston Music Hall, a 966-seat historic theatre, as it does with the Carolina. NS2 co-promoted 70 shows in Charleston in the past year, including Keb’ Mo’, Gregg Allman, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Shovels & Rope, and Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox.

“After 25 years of promoting shows throughout North Carolina it’s exciting for us to have partnership with the Carolina Theatre,” said Darin Lashinsky, CEO of NS2 “We look forward to putting roots down in Durham’s vibrant downtown and continuing our mission of enhancing this community’s thriving music scene.”

“The Carolina Theatre is a perfect fit for our vision of bringing a wide array of entertainment to the Southeast,” Brian Penix, Talent Buyer at NS2, said. “The Carolina provides an ideal showroom for established artists looking to provide their fans with an intimate entertainment experience, as well as emerging talent who will gain valuable exposure in this market.”

The first co-promotions under the new deal have already been booked. Tickets for the Wood Brothers (Oct. 12) and the Mavericks (October 21) will go on sale Friday, July 15 at 10 a.m.

Other additions to the theatre’s event calendar under the new agreement will be added on a rolling basis. Tickets to all shows at the Carolina Theatre will continue to be sold at its box office, through the venue’s website — carolinatheatre.org — and at Ticketmaster.com. All operations, marketing, and day-to-day business involving the co-promotions will continue to be managed locally by the Theatre’s existing staff. Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. will continue to rent the city-owned building to other local arts organizations, schools, nonprofits and corporate entities as it has done since 1994.

Independent of NS2, the Carolina will continue to present mission-driven performing arts programming, its Arts Discovery Education Series for schoolchildren and its award-winning independent film programs and festivals such as the North Carolina Gay + Lesbian Film Festival, the Nevermore Film Festival and its renowned Retro Film Series.

The Carolina Theatre will also continue to host local organizations and signature Durham events, including nationally and internationally renowned happenings such as the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Art of Cool and Moogfest.

Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Carolina Theatre has been in the heart of downtown Durham since 1926.


Click the image above for a PDF.


National Shows 2 and Charleston Music Hall Announce Exclusive Booking Agreement

August 11, 2014 — Nashville-based concert promotion company National Shows 2 (NS2) recently entered into an agreement to exclusively book the Charleston Music Hall in Charleston, SC.

The deal will allow NS2 to bring national touring acts into the facility, in addition to the local music events produced in-house. NS2 has worked with Music Hall owner Mike Bennett and Director Charles Carmody for several years leading up to this partnership.

The 20-year-old theater, located in historic downtown Charleston on John Street, seats 967 people and has hosted a variety of artists including David Byrne, Ricky Skaggs, Gillian Welch, Jason Isbell, Shovels & Rope and comedians Aziz Ansari and Mike Birbiglia, as well as upcoming concerts with John Butler Trio and Justin Townes Earle among others.

“We are thrilled to have National Shows 2 as our exclusive talent buyer,” said Carmody. “Not only are they some of the most honest, professional, and creative folks we have worked with, but they also bring invaluable experience to the table, as we seek to further develop our national programming. With NS2, we are confident that we will bring Charleston the most diverse and exciting programming since the Music Hall’s inception in 1994.”

Formed in 2010, NS2 promotes all genres of entertainment, including full-length tours and one-off concerts nationwide.

“After meeting with owner Mike Bennett and hearing about his passion for the history of Charleston, I was inspired to want to help develop more business for the Music Hall,” said Darin Lashinsky, CEO of NS2. “We are excited to present more shows at this fantastic facility in what has become a great concert market.”

Charleston Music Hall One Sheet

Click the image above for a PDF.

Darin Lashinsky Named to CMA Board of Directors

The Country Music Association announced today (Dec. 16) the new Board of Directors. The appointments are effective on Jan. 1, 2014.

Troy Tomlinson, President and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville, completes his term as Chairman of the CMA Board and current CMA Board President Ed Hardyassumes that post. President Elect, Frank Bumstead, Chairman of Flood, Bumstead, McCready, & McCarthy, Inc., becomes President of the Board. John Esposito, President & CEO of Warner Music Nashville, has been named President-Elect. Jessie Schmidt, President of Schmidt Relations, will become the new Secretary/Treasurer of the CMA Board.

“This year has been a very active and demanding year on many fronts for our Board leadership,” said Hardy. “Troy Tomlinson has been an inspiring, thoughtful and passionate leader and friend to me and the CMA Board this year. We have had many exciting successes in 2013 and I am so excited to be able to follow Troy and work closely with my friend, Frank Bumstead and our new CEO, Sarah Trahern, as we collaborate with our great Board to take the CMA to new heights.”

Frank Bumstead

“This is a very exciting time to serve as President of the industry’s premier trade association,” said Bumstead. “CMA is at a pivotal point with new staff leadership and unequaled success with our core initiatives. I’m looking forward to the future and serving our industry alongside my good friend Ed Hardy.”

Following is a list of 2014 CMA Directors and Directors at Large:

Directors By Membership Category

Carryover Directors, who are serving the second year of a two-year term, are followed by newly-elected Directors (indicated in bold).

Advertising Agency/PR/Marketing
Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group
Ebie McFarland, Essential Broadcast Media, LLC

Steve Buchanan, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.
Tim DuBois, AMP, Inc.

Kix Brooks, Don’t Miss This, LLC
Karen Fairchild, Little Big Town

Broadcast Programming/Air Talent
Mike Moore, Entercom Communications, Portland, Ore.
Becky Brenner, Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Country Radio Specialists, Seattle, Wash.

Tom Douglas, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Shane McAnally, Smack Songs, LLC

Entertainment Services
Frank Bumstead, Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc.
Dwight Wiles, Smith Wiles & Company

Rob Potts, Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, Five Dock, Australia
Milly Olykan, AEG Europe, London, United Kingdom

Music Publisher/Performing Rights Organization
Jody Williams, BMI
Pat Higdon, Patrick Joseph Music

Charles Judge, Charles Judge Music
Glenn Worf

Personal Manager
Clarence Spalding, Spalding Entertainment
Marion Kraft, ShopKeeper Management

Jeff Stevens, Jeff Stevens Music

Radio Management
Natalie Conner, 92.5 WXTU, Philadelphia
Charlie Morgan, Emmis Communications, Indianapolis, Ind.

Record Company
John Esposito, Warner Music Nashville
Gary Overton, Sony Music Nashville

Talent Agent
Kevin Neal, Buddy Lee Attractions

Talent Buyer/Promoter
Tony Conway, Conway Entertainment Group, LLC
Larry Vallon, AEG Live, Los Angeles, Calif.

Lon Helton, Country Aircheck
Brian Philips, CMT/MTV Networks/Viacom

Sally Williams, Ryman Auditorium

Lifetime Directors
J. William Denny, Denny Properties
Ralph Peer II, peermusic

Ex-Officio Members
Jim Free, The Smith-Free Group, LLC, Washington, D.C.
Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Directors at Large:
Charlie Anderson, Anderson Media Corporation, Knoxville, Tenn.
Rob Beckham, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, LLC
Dierks Bentley
Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Label Group
Luke Bryan
Charlie Cook, West Virginia Radio Corp., Morgantown, W.Va.
Jay DeMarcus, Rascal Flatts
John Dickey, Cumulus Media, Atlanta, Ga.
Bob DiPiero, Love Monkey Music
Chris DuBois, Sea Gayle Music
Mike Dungan, Universal Music Group Nashville
Ann Edelblute, The H.Q.
Kerri Edwards, Red Light Management
Ted Ellis, CMT Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Joe Galante, Galante Entertainment Organization
Ed Hardy
Clint Higham, Morris Artists Management, LLC
John Huie, Creative Artists Agency
Clay Hunnicutt, Clear Channel Communications
Brett James, Cornman Music
Kurt Johnson, Townsquare Media, Dallas, Texas
Michael Knox, peermusic
Darin Lashinsky, National Shows 2
Ken Levitan, Vector Management
Jon Loba, Broken Bow Records
Michael Martin, ASCAP
Deb McDermott, Media General, Inc.
Brian O’Connell, Live Nation
Jason Owen, Sandbox Entertainment
David Ross, BossRoss Media
Stacey Schlitz, Schlitz Law
Jessie Schmidt, Schmidt Relations
Sally Seitz, iTunes
Victoria Shaw, Songalicious Publishing
Bob Shennan, BBC, London
Bill Simmons, The Fitzgerald Hartley Company
Troy Tomlinson, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Mike Vaden, Decosimo Vaden
Ben Vaughn, Warner/Chappell Music
Ed Warm, Joe’s Bar, Chicago, Ill.
Chris Young

Promoter Darin Lashinsky Leaves Outback Concerts To Form National Shows 2
November 16, 2010 12:00 EST – Touring – Ray Waddell

Darin Lashinsky, formerly a senior VP at Outback Concerts, is leaving that company to form National Shows 2 (NS2), a Nashville-based, full-service concert promotion company.

Lashinsky, a third generation concert promoter, will be CEO of NS2 and will manage all aspects of the company. NS2 will buy, create, produce and promote entertainment in arenas, amphitheaters, performing arts centers and other venues across the country.

Asked why he made this move at this point in his career, Lashinksky tells Billboard.biz, “After nearly 20 years in the business, it’s time for me to work for myself. That’s the way my family did it.” Of his time at Outback, Lashinsky says, “Outback was a great opportunity and I think the world of [Outback owner] Mike [Smardak].

Prior to his 12-year stint at Outback Concerts, Lashinsky worked with his father, Philip Lashinsky, at his Nashville-based concert promotion company National Shows, to which the name NS2 pays homage. The original National Shows was owned and operated by Lashinksy’s late father, Philip, and uncle Gary.

At NS2, Lashinsky will promote “everything that everybody knows me for and what I’ve always done,” he says. “I’m not trying to change the way I personally have approached the business and the shows I’ve promoted, whether it’s Keith Urban, Metallica or John Prine. ”

Investing in NS2 are independent promoters Larry and Fred Frank of Frank Productions, the Madison, Wis.-based independent concert promoter. Though once known as primarily a promoter of country and family shows, the Frank brothers evolved and have found success in recent years promoting tours, or legs of tours, primarily by hard rock acts.

Conceivably, the two companies could partner and put together a long string of dates regionally or nationally. “The two companies are completely independent, but of course we’re going to play to all of our strengths,” Lashinsky says.

While the companies each have strong regional bases, “if you look at how both of us do business, there are no boundaries,” Lashinksy says. “I’ve always been that way, and I think that’s the independent spirit. If you want me to do a show in Portland, Maine, if I think I can make money, or Portland, Oregon, or South Florida, there are no limits to where I can do business and the guys I do business with know that.”

NS2 staff will include production manager/talent buyer Brian Penix, director of marketing Kendall Maffett, and New Media manager Craig Varian.

As for launching a new concert company at a time when the economy is down and the touring business is coming off its most challenging years in a decade, Lashinksy says, “I’ve obviously thought about this for a long time, and the truth is that sometimes in the worst economic times, people who go out and take a chance come out the other side winning.”

Lashinksy Leaves Outback
November 16, 2010 – Pollstar – Deborah Speer

Concert promotion is literally in Darin Lashinksky’s blood. And he’s paying homage to the company started by his later father Philip and uncle Gary by putting out his own shingle as National Shows 2 – or NS2.

Lashinsky has left his position as senior VP with Outback Concerts, where he spent the last 12 years, but remains in Nashville to start a full-service concert promotion company.

NS2 will buy, create, produce and promote events in venues including arenas, amphitheatres and performing arts centers. As CEO, Lashinsky will manage all aspects of the company, which will be able to promote individual shows up to full tours.

“National Shows is really and truly about the legacy of that company name,” Lashinsky told Pollstar . “The other side of the coin is that I’ve always said I can go anywhere and do a show. And now, being the owner of my own company, I truly can go anywhere I want to go, whether it’s Portland, Ore., or Portland, Maine. People I’ve worked with know that. My staff and I have the ability to promote anywhere.”

Joining Lashinsky in the new venture are production manager / talent buyer Brian Penix, marketing director Kendall Maffett and new media manager Craig Varian.

Frank Productions, another family operated promoter, is investing in the company though the two firms will be wholly separate, according to Lashinsky.

“They’re also a family business,” Lashinsky told Pollstar. “We have a great affinity for the way each other does business. It would certainly be a smart move to play to each other’s strengths, but the strategy is not to go out and partner on all our business. We’re clearly two separate companies.”

Yet it all comes back to the fact that this is a family business.

“I’m a third generation concert promoter,” Lashinsky explained. “My grandfather started out probably around 1940. . In the late 1960s, my father and uncle Gary launched National Shows. I was at concerts before I could remember being at concerts.”

And Lashinsky could have a fourth generation on his heels before he knows it, with a young son who’s already familiar with the stage.

“I love nothing more than, when I have a show in Nashville, to bring him to the Ryman Auditorium. And all those folks will tell you . he loves nothing more than running around back there.”

In the meantime, Lashinsky is doing his fair share of running, launching the new business and “getting my ducks in a row.” He expects to announce a new location soon, and get settled in to new digs.

After that, he expects to get down to business as usual. “My plan is to continue with the agents, managers and artists that I already work with,” Lashinsky said. There’s really no change in how I’m approaching things in terms of the business and the artists. I’m just now doing it for myself.”

FACES & PLACES: Darin Lashinsky Forms Own Firm
December 1, 2010 – Venues Today Pulse – Linda Deckard

National Shows 2 (NS2), Nashville, is the newest independent concert promoter on the scene – new but old. It was founded by Darin Lashinsky, who learned the business from his late father, Phil, who owned the original National Shows.

Lashinsky worked for the last 12 years at Outback Concerts.

Lashinsky opened his doors a month ago and through the website is under construction, he already has some business on the books, including select dates by Avenged Sevenfold and some dates for Music as a Weapon with Disburbed and Korn, both in conjunction with fellow independent promoters Frank Productions and the Knitting Factory. NS2 is also promoting some Keith Urban dates, including a June 29 date at Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo.

Lashinsky has staffed his new firm with Brian Penix, production manager and talent buyer, and Kendall Maffett, marketing director, both also Outback alumni; and Craig Varian, new media manager.

His financial backers include Larry and Fred Frank of Frank Productions.

Lashinsky said he expects NS2 to promote 70-120 shows a year, which is what he had typically done prior to launching his own firm.

“Consolidation in our business has allowed small companies to thrive,” Lashinsky said. “The timing was right. I started working in this business for my father and he worked for his father. It’s in my blood.”

Lashinsky – From ‘Outback’ To ‘In Front’
November 17, 2010 – Encore – Crystal Lynn Huntoon

NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Darin Lashinsky, longtime Sr. V.P. at Outback Concerts, is leaving the company to form National Shows 2 (NS2), a Nashville-based, full-service concert promotion company.

NS2 will buy, create, produce and promote entertainment in arenas, amphitheaters, performing arts centers and other venues across the country.

Lashinsky, a 20-year veteran of the promotion business and third generation concert promoter will be CEO of NS2 and will manage all aspects of the company. Prior to his 12-year stint at Outback Concerts, he worked with his father, Philip Lashinsky, at his Nashville based concert promotion company.

Among other nominations, Lashinsky has been nominated twice for ACM Promoter of the Year. NS2 pays homage to the original concert promotion company National Shows, owned and operated by his late father, Philip, and uncle Gary.

2 Affinity & Beyond
November 23, 2010 – Country Air Check

Outback Concerts’ Darin Lashinsky is leaving the company to form National Shows 2, a Nashville-based, full-service concert promotion company. The 20-year vet will become CEO and has hired Production/Talent Buyer Brian Penix, Dir./Marketing Kendall Maffett and Mgr./New Media Craig Varian.

Investing in the company will be independent promoters, Larry and Fred Frank of Frank Productions. The Madison, WI based company is “proud to invest in another family run independent promotion company,” according to the press release.

Darin Lashinsky Launches NS2
November 17 – Music Row

Longtime concert promoter Darin Lashinsky is opening National Shows 2 (NS2), a Nashville-based, full-service concert promotion company. The 20-year industry veteran most recently spent 12 years at Outback Concerts, ending as Sr. VP.

Joining him at NS2 will be Production Manager/Talent Buyer Brian Penix, Director of Marketing Kendall Maffett, and New Media Manager Craig Varian. NS2 investors include Madison, Wisconsin promoters Larry Frank and Fred Frank of Frank Productions.

Lashinsky is a two-time nominee for ACM Promoter of the Year, and is currently up for Pollstar’s Bill Graham/Promoter of the Year award. His career began working with his father, promoter Philip Lashinsky, and the name NS2 pays homage to his father and uncle’s company National Shows.

Ex-Outback Concerts Exec Launches New Firm
November 17 – Post Business / NashvillePost.com – Geert De Lombaerde

Darin Lashinsky has left his senior vice president position at Outback Concerts after more than 10 years to start National Shows 2. The concert promotion venture harkens back to the original National Shows, which was run by Lashinsky’s father, Philip, and uncle, Gary.

Investing in NS2 are independent promoters Larry and Fred Frank of Frank Productions, the Madison, Wisconsin-based independent concert promoter. Though once known as primarily a promoter of country and family shows, the Frank brothers evolved and have found success in recent years promoting tours, or legs of tours, primarily by hard rock acts.