Tom Ruwitch is Founder and President of MarketVolt — a full-service marketing, communications, and software firm that specializes in email marketing and content marketing. He’s also a Medici member who actively participates in many of our strategy sessions and events. In May, Tom debuted the first (ware)HOUSE Concert at Medici MediaSpace, a concept that was inspired by his passion for music. Tom answered our questions about how this brilliant idea was born.
What is a (ware)HOUSE Concert?
A (ware)HOUSE Concert is an opportunity to hear great artists/bands in a setting that combines the comfort and intimacy of a living room (grab a seat on one of our sofas or easy chairs) and the capacity of a warehouse (room for more fans and better paydays for hard-working musicians). Most people arrive early (doors open 90 minutes before showtime) to hang out with the artists and enjoy a potluck dinner. It’s like a dinner party with a great artist/band there to interact with and entertain the guests.
What inspired you to create this series?
I’d been to house concerts — which are essentially the same thing, except they’re literally in someone’s living room. Earlier this year, I was planning a surprise party for my wife’s 50th birthday. I arranged to bring one of her favorite bands — The Grahams — to St. Louis for the party. Our living room wasn’t big enough to hold the 125 people I was expecting so I was looking for a place to host the party. I was attending a seminar at Medici and the idea popped: “I can host my house concert in this warehouse.” I conducted a domain search and discovered that wareHOUSEconcerts.org was available. The idea was born. At that moment, I thought, “This birthday party may be the first of many (ware)HOUSE Concerts.”
What was the first concert like and what’s coming up next?
The first concert was a huge success. A great band. A full house. A total surprise for my wife. Everyone who attended seemed to have a blast. The band loved the venue. So…we’re going to keep doing this. Our next concert is August 19, featuring Peter Case, one of the great singer-songwriters on earth. We have concerts tentatively lined up for October, December. I can’t announce those yet because the contracts aren’t finalized. For February, we have booked Lindi Ortega, a great singer/songwriter from Canada who recently blew the roof off the Grand Ole Opry.
How has this impacted your life?
Music has always been a passion of mine. It’s been a remarkable experience to combine that passion with my business skills to create something like this from scratch. I love that this thing I’m creating touches so many people. It’s great for the artists who perform at the (ware)HOUSE and those who attend love the concerts. Of course, the surprise for my wife was a great way to launch it. We built a lifetime memory that we’ll always cherish. That’s a nice way to launch a business.
What role has Medici MediaSpace played in this experience?
Medici inspires big ideas. It’s no accident that the big idea popped into my head so easily while I was sitting in that room. Then it was so easy to share the idea with the Medici team. The response was, “Great idea. Go for it. What can we do to help.” Supporting big ideas is what this place is all about.
One cool thing about both Medici and (ware)HOUSE Concerts: The sense of community and the sense of discovery. Lots of people attend house concerts (and will attend these concerts) without even knowing the band. They just know it will be an entertaining night, hanging out with cool people, eating good chow and discovering a great artist in a really unique setting. It’s the same with Medici. You never know what you’ll get when you show up at one of the meetings, but you know you’ll be surrounded by good people and it will be good.
The great Peter Case returns to St. Louis on Saturday (8/19) for a (ware)HOUSE Concert gig. Sit back and enjoy one of the great singer-songwriters on earth. (ware)HOUSE concerts are invitation-only events. A few seats remain. Go to wareHOUSEconcerts.org to join the mailing list. They’ll send you an invitation immediately.
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” ~ Napoleon Hill