California Roller Derby Blood Drives Expect Record Crowds


Blood. Skates. Cookies. Community. Lives. Brown Paper Tickets and Red Cross team up with 8 roller derby leagues in the greater San Francisco Bay Area for the 2nd annual blood drive to save lives, rally the community and make it fun to tap your veins. Dates span August 9 to October 18, 2014.

bay-area-roller-derbyIn its first year, “Make ‘em Bleed” 2013 roller derby blood drives attracted record crowds (more than any other non-derby blood drive) and enough donations to save 660 lives. This year, local roller derby athletes will offer autographs, photo opportunities, T-shirts, roller skate cookies, buttons and temporary tattoos to anyone who donates blood.

“Summer blood drives are critical to maintaining a healthy community blood supply,” says Hanna Malak of American Red Cross. “A single donation can help save multiple lives.”

“Donating blood is a generous and selfless act, so by making it fun, we hope more people will come out to donate,” says Silver Foxxy, PR manager for B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls.

“We hope to double the number of lives saved this year,“ said Jerry Seltzer, Sonoma-based son of the inventor of roller derby, former commissioner for the sport, former board member for the American Red Cross of California and current outreach representative with Brown Paper Tickets. Seltzer also contributes to the Brown Paper Tickets Doer Program, an advocacy group that offers free assistance and support to derby leagues across the globe. “Just like every roller derby league in the world, Brown Paper Tickets has a community service mission.”

american-red-crossSchedule an appointment to donate by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visit and enter the sponsor code: DERBY. Walk-ups are also welcome to donate at any of these eight Greater Bay Area roller derby blood drives:

Saturday, Aug. 9 (Antioch)
Join the Undead Bettys from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus parked at the Antioch Sports Center, 1210 Sunset Dr.

Friday, Aug. 15 (Livermore)
Join the Quad City Derby Bombshells from 1-7 p.m. at the Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Ave.

Saturday, Aug. 23 (Redwood City)
Join the Peninsula Roller Girls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus parked at the Redwood Roller Rink, 1303 Main St.

Friday, Aug. 29 (Santa Cruz)
Join the Santa Cruz Derby Girls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus in the parking lot at Whole Foods, 911 Soquel Ave.

Saturday, Sept. 20 (Hollister)
Join the Faultline Derby Devilz from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus parked at 580 Tres Pinos Rd.

Saturday, Sept. 20 (San Francisco)
Join the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church, 495 9th Ave.

Saturday Sept. 20 (Santa Rosa)
Join the Sonoma County Roller Derby from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus, parked at 1351 Maple Ave.

Saturday, Oct. 18 (Rohnert Park)
Join the Resurrection Derby Girls from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Red Cross Bus parked in front of Cal Skate, 6100 Commerce Blvd.

Land of the Tease: Home of Burlesque


burlesque, fireworks, July 4th, patriotic, AmericaI know that technically, Europe is the historical home of burlesque. The term first appeared in 17th century Italian, French and British opera and literature. However, the modern definition of burlesque which provides the inspiration for the current revival has its roots in the burlesque houses of New Orleans, New York and Las Vegas, right here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A.

Therefore,  it seems fitting, as we approach the most patriotic of American holidays, that so many of our burlesque producers are paying tribute with 4th of July shows.

Today, we feature some of our favorite 4th of July shows along with quotes from the performers themselves on what audiences can expect. Sure, fireworks are great, but I think these shows will get your blood pumping as well. Nice thing is, most of these shows happen on Saturday, July 5th so you can enjoy a nice wholesome family Fourth on Friday and indulge your wild side on Saturday. Sounds like the perfect weekend to me!

Friday, July 4th

THE FOUNDING FOLLIES! An Evening of Explosive IndependencePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania   Come watch as Broad St. Burlesque & company pay tribute to the greatest country in the universe the only way they know how- with glamour, glitter, and acts of undress! Broad St. Burlies’ Hayley Jane and Liberty Rose said: “To us, Philadelphia is the home of independence and no national holiday cultivates community with such vigor as 4th of July…As Philadelphia’s tag team champions of burlesque, we could think of no greater way to honor our city, our country and our freedom than to dress up like presidents and go off like fireworks!” Can’t get more patriotic than that.

Saturday, July 5th

Cyn Factory Saves America at the Bier BaronWashington D.C.  Here’s what Mary Cyn and Sarah Tops of Cyn Factory have to say about their upcoming show: “Every city has a holiday that it “owns”. Chicago has St. Patrick’s Day, New Orleans has Mardi Gras, New York and San Francisco share Halloween. 4th of July is DC’s holiday and we’re really excited to be part of the celebration. The neo-burlesque that Cyn Factory presents is especially American because, while there is burlesque all over the world, it tends to be mostly classic and dance-based. What Cyn Factory presents is largely story-based and influenced by theatre and performance art, creating an American spin on a worldwide art.”

FireworksBeacon, New York  Fireworks producer Dr. Lucky had this to say about why Independence Day and burlesque are such natural bedfellows: “Independence is a great way to describe what so many performers and fans alike love about burlesque: independent women (and some men) creating their own personas, acts and costumes and really going for it on stage. It’s what America is built on: independence and individual free will.” Amen to that Dr. Lucky!

Black Widow Burlesque presents: America EXPOSED! – Politically Incorrect!Austin, Texas  Black Widow Burlesque‘s Ginger Snaps had this to say about their annual 4th of July production: “Black Widow Burlesque has a tradition of celebrating 4th of July with our America Exposed! shows. This year we get to take a more critical and comedic eye at American life and culture! This will include anything from political and historical figures to scandals and pop culture”

Pasties for Patriots Burlesque ShowAustin, Texas  Another incredible Austin-based troupe, the Bat City Bombshells will show you their best Americana-inspired bump and grind at this show at the incredible 6th Street venue The Parish. Bat City Bombshell Sherry Bomb says: “The Bat City Bombshells have celebrated the 4th of July for the past three years with our Pasties for Patriots Show, it is our time to really celebrate everything Americana. Burlesque is ingrained in American history, so it is only fitting for this time of year to be popular in the burlesque community. Whether it is satirical political humor, classic pin-up or a salute to the troupes, a wide array of performances can be found for this patriotic holiday!

Be sure to pick up tickets to these great shows as they’re going fast and, from all of us at Brown Paper Ticket, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!

Image courtesy of Vintage Gal’s Tumblr page.

Comedy Outliers: A Million Ways to Deal With Venue Changes!


CO29final-normal fontGuest post by Brandon Collins and Mike Brown of  Comedy Outliers. They offer advice to comedians and performers on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive artistic climate.

We Heard You.

We Listened.

We’re Back.

Those were the first three sentences in our first email we sent to our mailing list after the third showcase we held at Webster Hall. Based on the feedback we had received from our followers and our overall experience as producers, we came to the conclusion that our partnership with Webster Hall just wasn’t a good fit. The most difficult part about this revelation was that we had told our audience that it was essentially our new home AND we would now be changing the location of our show for the third time in less than six months. After a successful run of two years at Lilly O’Briens, producing a show for Yelp NYC and getting several guest appearances on popular podcasts we were hitting some rather rough speed bumps when it came to securing a new venue.

These things can happen and while it’s most important not to panic, there’s a few other things you should keep in mind as well:

1. Be optimistic and come up with an action plan! We followed up with our audience to let them know that we understood that they were not happy with Webster Hall as a venue and that we took their views to heart. We also knew that people appreciated our previous location at Lilly O’Briens in downtown Manhattan; a venue that was so random that they felt cool to be in the know about this unique event that took place every month. In the search for a new home, we knew we had to find a venue with owners that would not only be supportive of live comedy but would give us the ability to run the show the way it had always been successful.

2. Keep engaged with your audience! Using our weekly podcast and Twitter account to keep in touch with our following was crucial in making sure they knew about the changes we were making.

3. Don’t be afraid to admit when you made a mistake. We were initially very excited and proud of the opportunity to produce shows at Webster Hall. However after our first two shows, we realized that the venue didn’t quite understand what we were doing with “Comedy Outliers”. Our audience weren’t thrilled with the environment and as producers we found ourselves lost among the many other shows that the venue hosted. The decision to part ways with Webster Hall wasn’t difficult even though we didn’t have a secured new venue at that moment. We had to do what was best for our brand.

4. Be excited about the new changes! Finding a new venue required a lot of emails, phone calls with various managers and hitting the pavement to scope out potential venues. Finding the Wooly was a great success! Not only is it located only a few blocks from our old stomping grounds in downtown Manhattan but the manager is a strong advocate for the performing arts and really gets what “Outliers” is about. In our recent advertisements and promotion we have vigilantly expressed our excite about this “reboot” to our show with the new venue.

As a producer, there will be many successes peppered with a few setbacks. You have to be willing to adapt and show your audience that you are humbled by the experience. If they see that you’re doing your best to give them a great experience, they’ll come back and support you!

 Comedy Outliers’ next show is at The Wooly (11 Barclay Street) on Saturday, June 28th  at 7pm. The show has a $10 cover with no drink minimum. Buy $5 advance tickets if you enter code: “BPT”!  You can also support their efforts by hitting the “Donate” button on their website.

Local Radio to Hit Seattle Neighborhood Air Waves


Waves of Puget Sound will soon crash into Seattle neighborhoods. Air waves, that is, will carry hyper-local news, music and community dialogue directly to your home sweet home.

Last October, Brown Paper Tickets publicly introduced between 12 and 15 new neighborhood radio stations that could be added to the Puget Sound FM radio dial by 2016. Join Brown Paper Tickets in helping the voice of your neighborhood build a permanent home on the public airwaves.

Fremont Solstice Parade © Jim CleghornHelp Promote Neighborhood Radio in the Solstice Parade

80,000 people are expected on June 21, 2014 to come out and enjoy the 25th annual Fremont Solstice Parade. This year, you can promote Seattle’s new neighborhood radio stations, meet other radio supporters and enjoy crowds from a new perspective. Volunteer to walk (or rollerblade) in the 2-mile parade with Puget Sound neighborhood radio station supporters as part of the Green Hat Ensemble, a fundraising float that hopes to raise $25,000 (one-third of the entire budget for producing the Fremont Solstice Parade).

24 volunteer spots are available, but going quickly. Sign up to march with the Green Hat Ensemble or call Pamela Burton at 206-601-5191, or email her at You can also just show up at 1:30PM on Saturday (June 21) at Fleur De Lis Statuary (39th and Leary). Look for other supporters next to 2 big green hats.

Will Your Community be Served by a Neighborhood Radio Station?

Peruse Brown Paper Tickets’ updated list below of all local radio license applicants to see if there is a station planned for your neighborhood. Want to become part of community radio in your neighborhood? Contact Brown Paper Tickets Public Media Doer, Sabrina Roach.

Why Neighborhood Radio?

“What if you heard your neighbor’s voice on air? Or your favorite local band? Or your barista?,” said Pam Burton of Fulcrum Community Communications, the nonprofit behind the neighborhood radio station planned for North Seattle, and organizer of neighborhood radio supporters in the Fremont Solstice Parade. “Young and old alike are invited to make neighborhood radio. We want everyone to join us in sharing your voices, amplifying what matters to Ballard, Fremont, Greenwood, Phinney, Queen Anne and Magnolia.” (more…)

Father’s Day Gift Idea: Give Dad an Experience


BPT_FathersDay_picLooking for a Father’s Day gift for your hard-to-buy-for dad (or father-in-law)?  What could be better than the gift of quality time spent together? For the first time, Father’s Day gift-buyers can send event tickets directly to Dad, enclosed in a Father’s Day card tailor made to match the theme of the event ticket. A couple of clicks or a toll fee phone call allows you to send a Father’s Day card that will get him to watch the New York Yankees play from a private Yankee Stadium suite (food, drink, once-in-a-lifetime memory included), tickets for a 4-course brunch and comedy event in Los Angeles, or a farm-to-table al fresco dinner at a Seattle-area farm, among other event gift ideas.

Tickets and cards are sent directly to dads anywhere in the continental US.

Father’s Day ticket gifts are available across the country right now for events in these cities:

Chicago: Cook Pizza or Go to a Baseball Game

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Cooking Class designed specifically for fathers and their kids to indulge together.

Chicago White Sox vs. California Angels Baseball Game in luxurious sky box overlooking home plate, including all you can eat and drink. Bonus: This event is also a fundraising benefit. Proceeds go to a no-kill animal shelter called Famous Fido.

Los Angeles: Laugh, Eat, Repeat

Brunch and Comedy Show in a Las Vegas-style format with 4 brunch courses.

New York City: Take Dad to a Luxurious Suite at Yankee Stadium

Yankees Baseball Game in Private Suite at New York City’s Yankee Stadium, with all food and drinks included. Bonus: Also a fundraising event. Proceeds go to Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Seattle: Dine Al Fresco at Local Farm

Farm-to-Table Summer Dinner on a Farm outside of Seattle, where chefs from notable local restaurants and wineries prepare the meal, and most of the food is grown 3 feet from your table (the dining room is in the fields).

Brown Paper Tickets now allows any event organizer to offer tickets to any event mailed to dads across the US in a Father’s Day card, as one of the only ticketing companies that has the experience and resources in place to easily mail physical tickets. Our experience in selling and shipping millions of tickets a year makes us nimble for these kinds of promotions that help to sell out events. Live events create memorable moments, a perfect gift for any occasion. Events don’t have to be on Father’s Day – the card with the tickets enclosed just has to get to dad in time, so call (800) 838-3006 or order tickets before the end of the day, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, to ensure delivery in time for Father’s Day, anywhere in the continental US.

NYC Walking Tours Make Brooklyn Shine


Whether you are traveling to New York City to see local sights or want to become a tour guide yourself, we know a guy. Meet Dom Gervasi, owner and event organizer of Made in Brooklyn Tours. After being laid off, he transformed his career into tour guide and found joy and community in the midst. He sets up walking tours as events to sell more tickets and boost his revenue.

Brooklyn is packed with tons of local makers and Gervasi reveals that borough’s crafts, foods and goods. His walking tours focus on the history and current movement of manufacturing around Brooklyn.

madeinbrooklyntour2Brown Paper Tickets: How did you get into guided tours of local Brooklyn makers?

Gervasi: Like many, I got laid off. I was in high tech for many years doing sales and business development. At the start of my career I worked for manufacturers—an “outside salesman” visiting mostly financial institutions throughout the New York metro region. By the end of my career, I was inside mostly and my company was going bankrupt. After losing my job, I took time off and explored Brooklyn with fresh eyes. I wondered why manufacturing left and then discovered Brooklyn’s dynamic maker movement. How cool would it be to apply my business development experience with local makers—especially small businesses and start-ups? That’s how I got the idea about doing tours where the stars of the show are makers.


Brown Paper Tickets: What is it about Brooklyn that fascinates you?

Gervasi: I’m fascinated with all aspects of Brooklyn’s maker movement. It has many layers. For example, there are the “old school” and “new school.” The “old school” is typically a family business that began decades ago primarily serving an ethnic community. They’ve been at it for generations and are very good at what they do. The “new school” is composed of individuals and start-ups that have a unique approach. What they may lack in experience, they make up for with their creativity. (more…)

Charity Spotlight: C89 Radio Run by High Schoolers


Seattle radio station C89.5 FM (KNHC) just wrapped up their annual pledge drive. A supporter of community-run arts organizations, Brown Paper Tickets has donated to Seattle Public Schools-owned C89.5 FM over the years, including $1,000 in 2014 to match listener contributions.

C89.5FMWhy does Brown Paper Tickets support kid-powered radio?

C89.5 FM is a student-run radio station that gives high school teens an opportunity to explore technology, production, creativity, music, community and event organizing. With arts education funding trickling down to the bare bones around the US, a creative outlet for students that may not otherwise be available seemed a worthy cause. In following with Brown Paper Tickets’ low-power FM radio project (spearheaded by Sabrina Roach, our Public Media Doer), KNHC stresses the importance and value of broadcast as a community connector. KNHC also boasts a worldwide listenership via their online audio stream, and has received accolades as far reaching as Rolling Stone magazine and Billboard’s Top 40 of Top 40. Also, while a public Seattle-based radio station, New York’s Village Voice once hailed them Best High School Radio Station in New York (thanks to their web audio stream).

Music. Education. Nonprofits. Community. We support them all—especially when their stars align.

Comedy Ninja Q&A: Chuck Parello Discusses LA’s New Film and Screenplay Festival


Comedy_Ninja_Festival_Logo_no_datesCan comedy sneak up on you? Yes. The inaugural Comedy Ninja Film and Screenplay Festival takes place April 30-June 1 at downtown Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum. In addition to panels, parties and comic Dwayne Perkins hosting the final evening’s Hi-Yah! Awards ceremony, festival director and programmer Chuck Parello promises a non-stop attack of stealthy laughs.

Where did the idea for the Comedy Ninja Festival come from, and how does it set itself apart from other festivals?

My friend, filmmaker Quentin Lee, and I decided to start a film festival a while back, but we weren’t sure what kind of a festival it would be or any of the other details. I am a filmmaker myself and I had been having a lot of fun attending comedy film festivals with a short I made called Dr. 420, so I suggested to Quentin that we start our own comedy film festival. He liked the idea because LA has such a huge comedy community and things just started moving in that direction from that point on. Comedy Ninja is different from other comedy film festivals I’ve attended because it aims to be completely unpretentious and fun. Ultimately our goal is to create a welcoming environment that celebrates funny filmmakers and screenwriters and the gut-busting work they create.

What did the selection process entail? Are there any specific styles, themes or attribute you wanted to highlight?

We received submissions from every corner of the globe and were happy to be able to view so much stellar work. The reason we called our festival the Comedy Ninja Film Festival is because we’re most interested in sly comedy that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. We really aimed to invite stuff that was extremely clever and unobvious, and when I look at our delectable line-up I have to say that we most definitely succeeded in this goal. Our submission team catchphrase was that we were seeking out “comedy with a kung fu kick!”


5 Ways to Attract Teens to Arts Events


TeenTixNewGuardSelfieHow do today’s teens become the next generation of urban art fans and event-goers? TeenTix is easing the way in Seattle. Founded in 2004 by Seattle Center and in partnership with 10 arts organizations on its campus, it draws teens away from smartphones and into venues to experience symphony, opera, ballet and film.

What’s their secret to success? TeenTix members shared insights with Brown Paper Tickets on how to nurture and engage future generations of culture consumers. Aside from their heavily discounted teen event pass, there’s more to learn.

1. What attracts teens to arts events and to arts involvement?

According to TeenTix members, already being a part of some form of art or performance activity at school seems to be key in attending arts activities outside of school. As well, the reduced price of tickets through TeenTix is crucial for helping students find arts participation accessible. In their words:

“I think being part of some form of art at school (such as being in band, orchestra, choir, art class, etc) has a significant influence on attending art events outside of school.”

“I aspire to one day be a stage manager so I like going to plays to see a good story and observe how the show is tech-ed.”

2. How does social media influence teens to attend arts events?

TeenTix members agreed that social media is key for learning about and sharing arts events. Part of the fun and motivation for attending is in seeing what arts organizations others have “liked,” or which events friends are headed to. In their words:

“Almost all teens are on Facebook so when you see an event being promoted on Facebook, you are more likely to tell your friends and kind of show off that you are going to something that looks cool!”

“Not only is [social media] an effective means of spreading the word about the event, it also is a way to see which of your friends are going…” (more…)

3 Best Washington State Music Festivals for 2014


9407113070_468b48cc6dI’m sure you all have noticed music festival announcements happening left and right in the past month, signs that music festival season has indeed arrived once again. Here in the Pacific Northwest, after being shrouded in clouds all winter, we like to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Throw in a ton of incredible local and national acts and it’s a no-brainer. The only problem is, we have so many great festivals to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones to choose.

Don’t fret. Today, we’re featuring our 3 picks for Washington’s 2014 music festival season. The Fisherman’s Village Music Festival in Everett, located just a half hour north of Seattle, is celebrating its inaugural year this weekend. Timber! Fest is celebrating its second year in the idyllic setting of Carnation and features some great national names alongside local talent. And, finally, Chinook Fest, located in beautiful Naches, Washington, in the heart of Central Washington’s agricultural lands, has an amazing lineup for lovers of roots-rock and Americana music.

Fisherman’s Village Festival

The good folks at the Everett Music Initiative have an incredible lineup in store for music lovers this coming weekend, Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17 in Everett. 60+ bands will perform on four stages in Everett’s beautiful downtown district. All venues are within walking distance from each other, including the historic Everett Theatre, the oldest running theater west of the Mississippi.

Northwest favorites The Moondoggies and singer Mary Lambert hail from Everett and this festival is all part of an effort to raise Everett’s profile as a bastion of local talent.

Festival organizer Steven Graham says, “After two years of putting on shows in downtown Everett as the Everett Music Initiative, Ryan Crowther and I decided it was time to launch our own festival. This is all in an effort to bring more quality music to Everett and make it a better place to live, work and play. Events like this festival help shine a light on some of the great talent we have up here in our city.”

The Moondoggies will be performing one of their only shows this year at the festival alongside Rose Windows, La Luz, The Grizzled Mighty, The Maldives, Fly Moon Royalty, Hobosexual and more. Be sure to pick up your tickets in advance as they’re going fast!