Brian Penix – Talent Buyer
Cory Traversari – Production Manager
Kendall Maffett – Marketing Director
Meredith Galyon – Marketing
Craig Varian – New Media Manager
Steve Toepfer – Ticketing Manager
Boone Carter – Promotions Assistant
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.