Spokane Journal of Business

2023 Rising Star Matt Meyer: Rocking Spokane’s concert scene

Promoter grows, diversifies Spokane’s music landscape

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Entertainment in Spokane has expanded to a varied and diverse range of options for patrons to enjoy in the 13 years since Matt Meyer, 39, joined the Spokane Public Facilities District, says Jessica Deri, facility director and director of sales at the Spokane Convention Center.

“The diversity of the acts that are coming in has changed extensively since he’s taken the role,” Deri says. “He has really elevated the music scene, the entertainment scene here in Spokane.”

When Stephanie Curran first met Meyer, the CEO of Spokane Public Facilities District says she knew she wanted him to join her team.

“I just really saw something in him. He handled things well … and just had a very great presence about him,” Curran says.

From a young age, Meyer says he’s been consumed with music, which has translated well into a career with the PFD. He was first hired as a part-time event supervisor in 2010, and after years of moving up the ranks at the PFD, he was promoted to director of entertainment in January 2020.

Deri says, “Talk about putting the right person in the right position, right? Stephanie saw in him exactly what he could do, and he has just continued to kill it.”

Meyer is responsible for entertainment bookings at all of the PFD’s facilities: the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, the Spokane Convention Center, First Interstate Center for the Arts, The Podium powered by STCU, and the nearly completed One Spokane Stadium. He also works with PFD’s major tenants, manages scheduling, and oversees the marketing department.

With the addition of the Podium and the stadium facilities, Meyer says the PFD can begin planning large outdoor events. He says he’s added elements to support the entertainment options at the two new buildings, such as adding a loading dock and an artist compound at the stadium and installing an acoustic curtain at the Podium.

“Now we’re able to do some outdoor events that we’ve never been able to do in the past. We’re talking music festivals and comedy festivals,” he says.

Meyer is known to have his pulse on the music business and he understands what people are listening to outside of his own interests, and what’s going to be the next hit, Deri says.

Meyer and his wife, Nerissa Meyer, were brought together through music as well, after meeting online and forming a relationship by exchanging new music to exercise to, he says. A year after marriage in 2017, the couple also created and launched the Tinnabulation Music Festival that was held at Riverfront Park.

Curran says, “He couldn’t believe Spokane didn’t have a music festival already. He had a vision of the park and all that it could be, and he went out on his own and did a music festival.”

Deri says her goal in nominating Meyer as a Rising Star is to encourage community recognition for the person responsible for bringing in popular acts such as the Foo Fighters, Shania Twain, and Paul McCartney.

While most venues shut down and laid off employees during the pandemic, Curran says the PFD kept key players on board to prepare for an eventual reopening. During the 18 months the PFD was closed, Meyer continued to build relationships with artists and kept the city of Spokane in their minds, she says.

Landing the kickoff to McCartney’s tour was a direct result of Meyer’s relationship building during the pandemic, she says.

The concert was the highest-grossing single show in Spokane’s history. McCartney performed one night to a sold-out crowd of 11,000 people, Meyer says. The only artist that grossed more was Garth Brooks, who performed seven shows in total.

As a result, promoters for other artists became interested in the city, and Meyer decided to lean in and promote Spokane as a great place to kick off a tour. Starting a tour in Spokane will help both the artist and the city, explains Curran. 

“It’s a good place to come in for a few days to rehearse, get your feet wet, do your first show, and work out the kinks” she says. “That also helps us because we get people in the community longer. They stay in hotels longer; they eat in our restaurants. It adds a little bit more money.”

Shania Twain’s tour commenced in Spokane a year to the day after McCartney came to the city, says Curran. McCartney’s show also led to the booking of the Jonas Brothers, who will make a stop in the city this fall.

Deri says the sky is the limit for Meyer’s future and, while she hopes he stays at the PFD forever, she says he’ll always be at the forefront of the music industry.

“Everybody kind of knows his work, but nobody knows his name,” says Deri. “That’s why I nominated him. I think everyone should know his name.”

Erica Bullock
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Reporter Erica Bullock has worked at the Journal since 2019 and covers real estate and construction. She is a craft beer enthusiast, who loves to garden and go camping with friends.

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