We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Levine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul, how does your business help the community?
The loss of live music and the arts during Covid-19 proved what we already knew- that live music is not only just for entertainment- it is food for the soul and is an important part of many people’s mental well being and happiness. Watching people experience live music again for the first time in over a year recently was emotional.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have a longer history in the restaurant business than I do the music business. I’ve owned two restaurants. It’s far from unique but I have always brought a restaurant hospitality perspective to promoting live music. I look at music events in a similar way as operating restaurants. It’s all about taking care of people and providing them the opportunity to experience something wonderful and different outside of their day to day life. You have to provide some sort of hospitality to every group involved – the staff, the artists, the vendors, the fans. I have always taken pride in providing great hospitality and service to everyone associated with our events. The path I followed in becoming an event producer isn’t necessarily the path I would recommend to a younger version of myself on how to get into the field. After a few years of working in the restaurant business, together with three other 20 something friends, we opened a coffee house/restaurant/bar in Aspen, Colorado called The Howling Wolf. We started producing small music shows at The Howling Wolf and that is how I got introduced to the music business. A few years after opening The Howling Wolf, we started The Aspen Harmony Music Festival. It was one of the greatest times of my life and was wonderful being a part of such incredible memories. However, learning on the fly sometimes teaches painful and expensive lessons. There have been many high moments but also some very low ones.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am lucky that I have two places I can lay my head, about an hour and a half from each other. Most of the time I live in Pavo, Ga., near Thomasville, Ga. and about an hour north of Tallahassee, Fl. I also have a cabin at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, the same location that we host our music events. If my best friend was visiting, we would likely be in Live Oak. My cabin sits in this beautiful 800 acre park the rests along the Suwannee River. There is a restaurant/bar/music hall , general store, cabins and RV sites to rent, shower houses and tons of beautiful grounds to camp on. A great day at Suwannee( when there isn’t a music event) consists of a few hours swimming and enjoying the outdoors at our beach on the river. We would likely rent a canoe and float on the river for a few hours. At some point we would start up the grill cook up a delicious feast. At sunset, we would visit the largest bat house in the region and watch tens of thousand of bats fly out of their home. Normally we would build a campfire and sometimes someone would play some songs on a guitar for us. Later in the night, we would roam the grounds of the park by golf cart, visit with cabin owners and campers and howl at the moon a little.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Great question. Shoutout to my grandmother Evelyn Danzig Levine for her love of music, my folks for the love of the arts, my grandfather Theodore Chemers for his passion for the culinary business and to The Grateful Dead for opening my eyes to so many things.
Rex Thomson, Keith Griner, Eric Allen,