When Garth Brooks played a series of shows at the Spokane Arena in 2017, then-general manager Matt Gibson recalls snapping a picture with an 85-year-old woman beaming and clapping in the middle of a sold-out crowd.
“She’s just sitting, having the time of her life,” Gibson said. “She went because it was this massive thing for Spokane and she wanted to experience it.”
Gibson, who left his job with the Spokane Arena in December, aims to continue helping the community create memories through Silverscout Presents, a live events and entertainment management company.
Gibson launched the Silverscout last week with Becca Watters, former assistant general manager of the Spokane Arena.
“We want to create memorable experiences that people in this community can take part in year after year,” Watters said. “As we are looking in the future, we are trying to identify those opportunities and help grow the culture that’s already been established here in Spokane and really make it a hoppin’ place.”
Gibson and Watters, who have a combined 32 years of live-event experience, were instrumental in bringing Pearl Jam, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Elton John and other nationally recognized musicians to Spokane.
They also partnered with U.S. Figure Skating and the NCAA to bring several national championship sporting events to Arena.
Gibson began his career at the Arena as a marketing manager. He moved up through the ranks to become general manager in 2011, and was responsible for event and staff management, booking and contract negotiations.
Watters started a 12-year career at the Arena as an intern and held several marketing-related positions before assuming the role of assistant general manager in 2017.
“I’ve always been drawn to planning events and creating something people can enjoy. It was kind of natural progression,” she said. “We did some amazing things at the Spokane Arena. We’re very proud of that and think we can create more of an impact, and do more things for the community and the surrounding region (through Silverscout Presents.)”
The demand for local events is growing, with an influx of people moving from Seattle and larger metro areas in California, Gibson said.
“Some of these community events happen in those locations every weekend, and we don’t have those here,” he said. “They are expecting something, and there’s an audience for those sort of events.”
Gibson and Watters, through Silverscout Presents, are planning a series of concerts, music festivals, community events and larger-scale productions in secondary markets, such as Yakima and Wenatchee.
“There’s so many other cities in Washington that really don’t get any attention, and our hope is to ultimately jump in with bringing some touring content to those markets,” Gibson said.
The company’s first event is the Lilac City Brewfest, which will feature tastings from more than 20 breweries, live music and food trucks in downtown Spokane. The event, scheduled for May 16, is part of the Lilac Festival’s growing lineup.
Silverscout Presents and the Spokane Lilac Festival Association already are discussing how to expand the brewfest in the future, Gibson said.
“They want us to grow this into something larger than just one block on Wall Street,” Gibson said.“We’ve been talking about taking up two, three or four blocks for just this giant festival. They do it in other cities, so why not here?”
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