May 11--From the Dave Matthews Band to Skrillex, Matt Boyle's seen it all -- and now, with the help of some friends, he's bringing it all back to Butte.
With two music production companies, a scholarship set up to benefit students involved in the arts, and a new Butte festival on the way, Boyle is a busy man.
Butte born and raised, Boyle has always had two things: Surplus energy and a love for music. In the past few years, he's blended the two to bring great music from across Montana and the United States to music lovers in Butte.
It all started in the spring of 2010. After working at Park Street Pasties for three years after graduation, Boyle had saved up $20,000.
It didn't last long. In April, Boyle set out to travel and attend concerts and festivals.
"I spent every last penny of it," Boyle said. "I definitely don't regret it for anything."
By December, Boyle had seen more than 80 shows across the United States. The experience shaped his future as the head of two music production companies that have brought entertainment to the Mining City.
His first venture, Super Happy Giggly Fun Productions, was borne out of necessity more than anything, he said. Boyle and Curtis Reid, Charlie Apple and Nick Danner collaborated on an electronic show called the Bass Ball two days before his birthday in 2011.
"We just did it because we were broke," Boyle said. "We were like, 'I need to pay rent.'"
But the show turned out to be a bigger hit than anyone anticipated. About 500 people from Missoula, Bozeman, Spokane and even Salt Lake crowded the upstairs ballroom of the Knights of Columbus Hall on Park Street, taking in one of Butte's first electronic shows. Boyle said the experience was "insane."
"It exceeded our expectations," he said.
As satisfying as the Bass Ball's turnout was, these guys aren't the type to rest on their laurels. With attendees asking Boyle when the next show would be, he and the S.H.G.F. crew stepped it up and hosted Butte's first ever foam party at the Dublin.
Of course, it didn't stop there. In 2012, Boyle and S.H.G.F. Productions brought 11 shows to Butte, including Tech's homecoming dance at the Depot, which featured three stages and 15 artists from all over Montana.
With his new production company, Encomp-Us Live that widens its focus to all genres of music, Boyle's bringing a new festival to the Original mine yard venue this summer as well. The Original Festival will debut Aug. 16 with two stages, interactive arts events and a special tent for The Sara Miro Foundation, a scholarship honoring the memory of a local artist and musician that raises money for students interested in the arts. A list of artists attending the festival will be released later in May.
Boyle is hoping to raise $5,000 to keep the tickets for the festival down. To donate to the campaign, visit the website http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-original-festival/x/3041999.
-- Reporter Piper Haugan: 496-5572, email@example.com or Twitter.com/Piper_Haugan
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