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.
  • Darin Lashinsky | CEO
  • Brian Penix | Talent Buyer
  • Boone Carter | Assistant Talent Buyer
  • Cory Traversari | Production Manager
  • Kendall Maffett | Marketing Director
  • Sarah Madalinski | Marketing
  • Steve Toepfer | Ticketing Manager
  • Craig Varian | Creative Dept. Head
  • Steve Abercrombie | Creative Assistant
  • Will Ford | Assistant
  • Christina Lundelius | Marketing Assistant


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.