Logjam001_Duensing

Nick Checota, creator of Logjam, sits in a booth at the Top Hat Lounge on Oct. 20, 2018.

Local promotion company, Logjam, is one of the best in the world according to recent polls. Founded in 2016 to book shows at the Top Hat and the Wilma, Logjam is ranked 83rd worldwide by amount of tickets sold by Pollstar, an international music industry magazine.

It now books Ogren Field, the Kettlehouse Amphitheater and is building a new venue, to be booked exclusively by Logjam, in Bozeman. The amount of venues, in addition to the effort put into Logjam shows, might help explain how a promotion company that books exclusively in Montana made it onto the list.

CEO and founder of Logjam, Nick Checota, 47, said he thinks the dedication of concertgoers in Missoula is a large part of the reason for Logjam’s success.

“I think we’re like no other place in the country,” Checota said. “One hundred percent of our ticket sales are in Montana.”

Logjam’s high rank as an overall promoter is supported by the high rankings of its individual venues. The Wilma was ranked 63rd and the Top Hat 99th in ticket sales worldwide. The relatively-new KettleHouse Amphitheater came in at number 45 in the list of the world’s top 50 amphitheaters.

“It really says a lot about the musicgoers in Missoula,” Checota said. According to him, Missoulians spend far more per capita on concerts and shows than people in cities like Denver.

Checota said the ranking could begin to turn Logjam into an industry name, meaning it will be helpful in booking larger acts in the future. He said the biggest challenge for the promoter right now is to convince big acts it’s worth the time to go “out of their way” to Montana. Being able to offer two big Montana shows, one at the venue in Bozeman and one at the KettleHouse Amphitheater in Missoula, will also weigh heavily on talent’s decisions to make the trip to Montana.

Logjam doesn’t just book big touring acts. Checota said Logjam donates to local nonprofits like the Zootown Arts Community Center and hires UM Entertainment Management graduates every year. The production company does its best to help grow local acts, like Shakewell and Tiny Plastic Stars, a local psych band that just announced its first Top Hat show, Checota added.

“We’ll do around 300 local shows this year,” Checota said. “[And] nobody pays local bands like we pay….I think that’s lost on the critics.”