"My mission as an event producer in Central Oregon is to create opportunities for the community to be entertained, inspired and connected."
— Shannon Talbo
When it comes to your work life, it could get a lot worse than rubbing elbows with a rock goddess and a hip-hop godfather.
But that's just one of the many experiences recalled by Shannon Talbo, who owns her own production company, Sionna Productions, and helps to promote events throughout Central Oregon. In honor of this year's Summer Music Guide, we reached out to Talbo to talk about some of her experiences.
Talbo was born and raised in Bend and lived here for the first 18 years of her life, graduating from Mountain View High School. She says she returned home for summers while in college (University of Oregon and University of Cape Town) and then moved away for 15 years before moving back to Bend last summer with her husband and two young daughters.
She is always on the go, so when our schedules conflicted, we did a Q&A the old-fashioned way—by email. Here's what Talbo had to say about her life and career.
Source Weekly: How did you get started in your career?
Shannon Talbo: When I was 11 years old, I met a wonderful man who helped to shape the direction of my career—Cameron Clark, the owner and founder of C3 Events, who had started the music series, Munch and Music, one year earlier. A group of my middle school friends and I joined him in his early years of bringing free live music and an incredible community event to Bend. It was there that I started my career in event production. I continued to work for Cameron and C3 during the summers, all through high school and college. After college, I moved to California, where I continued to work in events with the National Football League and other large companies. Three years ago, I began coming back to Bend for part of the year to work on the production of Munch and Music and the Clear Summer Nights concerts at the Athletic Club of Bend. Last year, we finally decided to move here full time. I am still traveling back to the Bay Area for work that I have there, but the lifestyle we have here makes it all worth it.
SW: And now you have your own company?
ST: Yes, I started my own company, but mostly for logistical purposes. For me, it isn't about promoting my company; it is about promoting the events that I am a part of. It is incredibly rewarding to produce events and create opportunities for people in Central Oregon to come together and connect through music and live events. It can be stressful work, but in the end, that moment where I see fans truly loving their experience, it all becomes worth it. My mission as an event producer in Central Oregon is to create opportunities for the community to be entertained, inspired and connected.
SW: What have been your best/worst experiences promoting concerts?
ST: So many experiences that it is really hard to just mention one, but I have to say my greatest personal music experience was producing a Stevie Wonder show and having him ask me if he could play a small set for me before the show. I was able to sit right next to him for over an hour and experience a true musical genius. It was one hour of my life I will never forget. Of course, I have a few worst concert moments, as well, like being locked in a dressing room by a band manager, being screamed at by an artist for providing the wrong color limo, and almost having a show shut down because of power issues.
SW: What types of concerts have you put on, and what do you intend to promote from here on out?
ST: Introducing new music, celebrating old music, and growing with the ever-changing trends in music is what makes this industry so wonderful to be a part of. There are fans for all types of music and I am constantly being educated and surprised by what moves people in this town. For the size of the town that we live in, we have an amazing music and live event scene, and the caliber of musicians that we see is pretty fantastic. I love that Bend has continued to grow in this way, and I love that I am a part of continuing this growth.
SW: Who are your favorite performers you've worked with?
ST: That's a really hard question because I have so many favorites! In all honesty, 90 percent of the artists I have worked with have all been wonderful people. I would say two people who have really stood out to me and who I have had extra special experiences with are Bonnie Raitt and Snoop Dog.