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Austin Icon | Christina Shipley

Founder & Owner of LiveVibe Collective

This is the way Christina Shipley thinks

“Last year, restaurateur Rick Engel hired me to book his newest restaurant, Umami Mia Pizzeria,” she explains. “But right off the bat, I thought: music series! I only wanted to go big.” The resulting project was the KUTX Free Music Series, an eight-week Sunday lineup of Austin’s freshest talent.

“Going big” is an apt way to describe Shipley’s modus operandi: as owner, founder, music manager, booker, promoter, talent buyer, and marketing agent for LiveVibe Collective, Shipley’s work spans the Austin music scene as she takes on both traditional industry roles and creates untraditional opportunities that allow her various projects to connect.

After moving to Austin from LA in 1995, Shipley founded LiveVibe five years ago when a chance Lollapalooza encounter led to work developing “high-end house concerts” for the music-based cancer charity Love, Hope, Strength. Shipley, combining an “obsession with music and knowing how to throw a good party,” rose to the challenge. “I hired Bob Schneider to perform at two concerts that very first year, [and] at the end of the second concert he asked me to be his booking agent,” she explains. From there, “it just took off,” with her management role leading to more connections, “gathering more artists to work with and [meeting] everyone there is to know in Texas.” Other artists LiveVibe works with include The Roosevelts, Dan Dyer, Ben Kweller, Fastball, Tameca Jones, and Danny Malone.

Today, LiveVibe is a full-scale company—managing and promoting bands and venues, as well as coming up with unique, unexpected ways for people to experience and discover music in Austin. For example, the newest piece of Shipley’s music-minded puzzle has been the creation of a new West Austin venue, The Listening Room, which is in the basement of Winflo Osteria on West Sixth Street. With a 75-person-cap, The Listening Room was designed to create a collaborative experience that combines two things at the center of Austin’s attention: music and food. The Room offers guests a three-course dinner from Winflo’s kitchen followed by a one-hour music set by a different artist each week.

Despite the momentum surrounding her current projects, Shipley’s eyes are on the future. 2014 projects include running all the events, promotion, and talent buying for new music nonprofit Black Fret, and putting on two large SXSW showcases. LiveVibe will also gain several new stages to regularly book and promote throughout the year, including the casual listening spots Little Woodrows, Uncle Billy's, and Ski Shores.

And while Shipley is all energy, she is also acutely self-aware of her role in the complicated industry she works in. “The life of a female promoter and manager is pretty crazy. I'm home at 3am on a regular basis.” But if she’s learned anything, it’s to keep looking ahead—and keep being herself. “I don't do anything that I don't put my full heart and effort to,” she says. “It's worked so far.”

Credits

Photography by: Jessica Pages

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