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Meet Austin Ham and Michael Holtberg of HAM Promotions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Austin Ham and Michael Holtberg.

Austin and Michael, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Austin’s Story – I’ve been in love with music for as long as I can remember. My first show was the Spice Girls for my 7th birthday party but I really started attending shows religiously when I turned twelve and attended Box Car Racer at the Bronco Bowl. I soon found myself as a young thirteen-year-old in the mosh pit for shows like Slipknot by myself after convincing their Japanese translator to give me a free ticket. Growing up through the rock phases of Dallas attending festivals like Edgefest, Warped Tour, and others I quickly learned more about myself and community than I ever could have imagined. I then stumbled into a completely different world of electronic music when I attended Nocturnal at Apache pass in 2011 thanks to OnStage Systems. I had previously been to shows at the Lizard Lounge in Dallas but not until this festival had I witnessed such a strong collective of people that cared about one another, loved their music, and encouraged everyone to be their authentic selves. I truly feel after years of attending shows that I have found myself through the positive communities I’ve immersed myself in. I also feel extremely fortunate to LOVE life and want to do anything to help others feel the same. My goal with HAM is to provide a similar opportunity I had while growing up in the Dallas music scene to others now.

Michael’s Story – I started off in the school band when I was in middle school playing piano, clarinet, bass clarinet, and guitar. I attended Edgefest in the early 2000’s for multiple years along with going to multiple festivals at the Bronco Bowl and the Lizard Lounge. After enjoying these shows and being mixed in with some music marketing for over a decade I decided that capturing the moment with a camera was what I was truly passionate about. In 2012, I started my photography career taking photos at EVERY electronic show that I could get into. Thanks to Banjos to Beats, Full Access, Disco Donnie, Afterdark and other small event promoters and companies I was able to build a portfolio. I then went on to shoot festivals nation-wide and later go on tour for 4 years nationwide and in Canada.

I had known Austin since the late 90’s and had found myself at shows with him numerous times while I was taking photos. Our paths crossed at a Caspa show during South by Southwest where we both discussed how we wanted to grow the Texas bass scene in any way we could. From there we started to lay the groundwork for building a bass community similar to the one provided for us when we were growing up.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Austin – Honestly, yes things have been fairly smooth. Every company and entrepreneur goes through struggles and has to put out a few fires here and there – but it’s just another reason I’m personally so thankful for the team we have built. Not only is Mike always there for me, but so is our right-hand girl Angie, and 30+ other HAMFAM members. As any community, we have ups and downs, but sticking together and going through it all as a team is what has honestly made things so smooth for us. So maybe instead of sharing struggles, my advice would be to build a team you have full trust/faith in that is capable and always there to attack any struggles head on with you.

Mike – It has been a reasonably smooth road but just like any fledgling company we have had our own trials and tribulations that we’ve overcome to allow us to have such successful shows.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about HAM Promotions – what should we know?
Austin – HAM Promotions is a full-service booking and promotional company based out of Dallas, TX. For the last 2 years, I’ve run Dallas Loves Music helping promote every show coming through DFW, and HAM was a way for me to take everything I’d learn and start doing it myself. Personally, I’m IN LOVE with anything bass heavy, so naturally, our bookings are more bass centered but we’ve had hip-hop, house, and other genres open our shows as well. We aim to bring underground/newer artists to smaller venues we now call home while also still bringing some of the biggest names in the industry through Texas while on national tours. No matter the show, the goal is for everyone to know that it will be a fun night, safe space to be themselves, meet similar minded people, and that they are going to witness some incredible bass-heavy acts in the scene today. What makes me the proudest though, is to see the community that we call HAMFAM and what it has turned into. We treat everyone like family and it’s our mission to spread good vibes and bass throughout the city at each and every show.

Mike – Ham promotions started from the love and respect for the community vibe along with the strong affinity for bass music. My roles in the company extend from talent booking, social media content creation, merchandise design, photography, videography and general operations. My specialty is the social media content creation, design work, along with the photography and videography. I’m most proud of our artist relations and promotions manager, Angie, who has enabled us to connect with artists nationwide, has managed a giant team of promoters, and provided a great environment for the artists we bring. Truly our team comprised of myself, Austin and Angie are what sets us apart from everyone else since each of us has our specialty in which we excel which is irreplaceable.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Passion, persistence, and ownership. Passion because if you don’t TRULY love it for the right reasons, you will burn out quickly. Persistence because you will hear “no” a lot, but it doesn’t matter what people tell you as long as you believe in yourself. And ownership, because sometimes things do happen whether it is under your control or not, but either way ownership is key to our success. We own the little things which add up letting our actions speak for ourselves. No one is perfect, but because we as a team are highly passionate, persistent, and have a great sense of ownership we are able to accomplish our goals.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
HAM Promotions + Kin Yau Photography

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