By Juliet Cote | July 1, 2023
Dan Melnick brings great music to life. The entrepreneur, concert producer, professor, and artist, understands the power of human connection through art. His passion for concerts has driven his career: First, without a background in the music industry, he started TurnStyle Music Group, a music booking and promotional agency spanning four cities. Today, he’s General Manager at Sonicbids, an online platform that connects bands, music promoters and major brands. Over the course of his career, Dan has booked over 6,000 artists and 2,000 concerts, so needless to say, he’s an expert. He also teaches Concert Promotion at the Roc Nation School of Music, sharing his extensive knowledge with the next generation and building a legacy that’s here to last.
We caught up with Dan last month, where he answered a few questions for the groovement:
What was the first concert you attended?
The first concert I remember as a kid was the Beach Boys at Jones Beach. The first concert that I went to voluntarily was 311 at Roseland Ballroom in 2000 and left to help someone who was knocked unconscious by a mosh pit (who moshes at a 311 concert?). The first concert that made me fall in love with music was Dave Matthews Band in Hartford in 2001. It was the lights and the peppermint schnapps I think.
Where are you from/when did you move to nyc?
I grew up in Long Island, went to Quinnipiac, and it wasn’t until my senior year, that I realized I wanted to work in the music industry. I moved to NYC in 2007 to try to achieve that goal. It was very difficult, especially without graduating from a music industry program, and I never interned because I didn’t even know what I wanted to do until it was too late. I luckily fell into concert promotion and started my own company, TurnStyle Music Group in 2008.
What do you do?
I just took over as the GM at Sonicbids after six years at the company. Between my work with Sonicbids and TurnStyle, I’ve booked over 6,000 artists and 2,000 concerts. I used to go to at least three shows a week but lately my focus has shifted to brand partnerships, marketing, budgeting and education. I was also teaching ‘Concert Promotion’ at the Roc Nation School of Music at Long Island University. My passion is in creating symbiotic concerts. Opportunities where all involved take out what they put in. Live music is a daunting world. It takes a lot of time, effort, money, blood, sweat, tears & hangovers.
Who/what do you draw inspiration from?
I know it’s cliché, but from my family. And also my friends. I’ve met so many incredible artists and industry folk who are just awesome humans. Don’t get me wrong, there’s also a jabroni here and there. Being able to create and work with these passionate humans is what has always driven me to continue and push forward through the good and bad. The music world is a fickle beast, but I wouldn’t trade a minute of the last 17 years for anything.
What does live music mean to you?
It’s human interaction for me. Connecting with people who are all there for a common cause is powerful. Sharing in the experience of having your favorite artists hit the perfect flow or change the melody just by one note in your favorite song to give you something new is incredible. Nowadays, I’ve been listening to more artists like Edgar Meyer, Nils Frahm and Gils Lamb, but I love pretty much every genre live. Some of the best shows I’ve seen come from hip hop with a full band to bluegrass. If you can catch a quality band achieving the goal of putting out great art, it’s something special for sure.
Tell us about the music you make and your journey as an artist.
I haven’t played with my band, Buy The Sky, since 2014, but I still play here and there. I played a solo acoustic show at Rockwood Music Hall last summer which was a blast. I still try to make it an important part of my everyday routine, but more often than not, I find myself working on something else, but I still feel blessed to be able to be so close to music every day when I get to work.