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Must Go Faster...

by David Lee on Jul 18, 2019

I deeply believe that at their core, artists are entrepreneurial problem solvers and that if we, as a city, are to be a leading economic driver to meet the challenges of the 21st century and help jumpstart our state's woefully poor ranking in start-up business activity, we need to be a place where artists and creative people want to live and work. I believe we need more people like Jared Judge, who I met today.

Jared is a violinist who came to Milwaukee to study at the Peck-School of the Arts. To help pay for grad school and to hone his craft, he played weddings with his string quartet, Dream City Strings. Soon, he saw an opportunity to both grow his business and to also connect other musicians to the wedding market, so he started Dream City Music, a music agency for weddings. 

Then, to address the challenges he was experiencing in booking, scheduling, contracting, and payments for his growing agency, he created BookLive, an online service/market maker like Uber or Lyft that helps connect all kinds of musicians and bands to people looking to book them for their events. 

At BookLive, bands and musicians can create their own EPKs, upload videos, and once shows are booked, they auto-populate to the band’s profile page. Events looking to book bands can filter through any number of search criteria to narrow down the list of available bands. Since the vast majority of professional musicians also work other jobs, a service like BookLive can be extremely helpful to connect them to evening and weekend gigs. 

This exciting business wasn’t created by some tech firm in Silicon Valley. It’s Milwaukee born and bred by a violinist who came to our city to study at our graduate music school program. An artist saw a problem and he went ahead and solved it. 

With the Democratic National Convention coming to town in a year, BookLive and its members are sure to have some incredible opportunities. I shared with Jared that his team is going to need to find a whole bunch of jazz trios for all of the next year. He showed me how many they have so far

To which I responded:


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