What Kind Of Deal Did Nick Checota’s Logjam Presents Just Sign With Live Nation?

by Travis Mateer

The rumors are now confirmed. Like the tech industry in Missoula, Logjam Presents is bending over and offering up the orifice of opportunity to a GLOBAL player in the music world called Live Nation, the company responsible for shows like Travis Scott’s lethal Astroworld production. From the link (emphasis mine):

Rapper Travis Scott was the most recognizable figure associated with Astroworld, the Houston music festival that ended in tragedy Friday evening when eight people died and hundreds more were injured. Also among the event organizers, however, was the conglomerate Live Nation, the world’s largest live-events company — and one that has already been linked to hundreds of deaths and injuries in the past 15 years.

Live Nation Entertainment and its subsidiary Live Nation Worldwide have been connected to about 200 deaths and at least 750 injuries since 2006, the Houston Chronicle reported on Monday after searching past court records, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports and news coverage. NPR has also found numerous OSHA citations against Live Nation.

It’s going to be really fun to hear how our local Checota apologists will assist our failed oligarch from Wisconsin. The first way to help out poor Nick is to allow the narrative control to prop-up this man’s VISION for Missoula.

Here’s what I’m talking about from the Logjam Presents official statement about this deal. I’ll just post the whole statement (with my emphasis, of course):

The entertainment operations arm of Logjam Presents has entered into a multi-year partnership with Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company.

The new partnership will pair the entertainment resources of a global promoter with Logjam’s local expertise and vision for the music scene in Montana. Under the partnership, Live Nation will make an investment in Logjam. The Checota family will remain owners, with the majority of their net worth remaining invested in the Company. They will continue to manage the company’s day-to-day operations.

According to Nick Checota, president of Logjam, “Out of state national and regional promoters are already actively promoting in venues around the state. This new partnership will allow Logjam to remain competitive as a Montana-based promoter and will retain our event booking, marketing, management and, most importantly, 100 percent of our staff locally. Our new partnership will also provide Logjam access to an incredible artist network and will provide additional capital to improve existing venues and explore opportunities in other Montana regions. Logjam gains the expertise and resources of a global promoter, while day-to-day decision making will remain unchanged. The current Logjam team will continue to manage all major operating decisions such as entertainment buying, staffing, staff wages, ticket pricing and concession pricing.”

The partnership with Live Nation centers on the company’s entertainment operations and promoter activities while the brick-and-mortar venues, such as the Wilma Theater and the Top Hat will remain 100 percent owned by the Checotas. The KettleHouse Amphitheater and ELM, which were designed, developed and constructed by the Checotas, will remain under long-term ground leases with their respective local land owners.

According to Ryan Torres, vice president of marketing for Logjam, “We now have access to world-renowned entertainment resources, while maintaining our current management team and all of our more than 300 local staff. The structure of this partnership allows Logjam to retain its culture and continue to operate with the same ethos and spirit that we always have.” 

Alanya Wissink, entertainment buyer for Logjam added, “As the Montana entertainment industry becomes increasingly competitive with national companies entering the market, this partnership allows us to remain Logjam while having the support and resources of a global promoter. Working with our new partners, we will be able to attract more entertainment to Montana, particularly in genres we are eager to expand such as country, rock and comedy. ”

Nick and Robin Checota formed Logjam Presents approximately 10 years ago. Robin Checota, a fourth generation Great Falls native, and Nick Checota, who grew up in Wisconsin, reside in Montana with their three children. As strong supporters of the arts, they are excited about this new partnership and the opportunities it will create for their commitment to the Montana arts community.

Are you feeling THE GROOVE of this Checotaganda? If not, allow me to give some historical context, since I’ve been following this RISING STAR in Missoula for quite some time.

One theory I’ve heard from someone involved in the industry is that Nick Checota has entered into a sort of audition/honeymoon relationship with this BIG BOY in cultural production (that only occasionally kills its music reveling customers) because Nick is gonna have to prove himself.

Why would Nick Checota have to prove himself? Let’s take a look at my local coverage and see if Nick’s track record provides any cause for concern for Live Nation:

Is Nick Checota’s Family History A Cautionary Tale For Missoula? (July 24th, 2019)

By Pretending To Help You The Wealthy Are Really Helping Themselves (November 15th, 2019)

Talking Checota Logjam Empire And Tax Increment Financing Tomorrow around 12:30pm at 105.5 KFGM In Missoula (November 22nd, 2019)

Nick Checota Decrees William Skink Uses Untrue Facts And False Narratives, So Let’s Review Our Lord’s Accusations (February 5th, 2020)

A Milwaukee Business Man Comes To The Defense Of Nick Checota (February 13th, 2020)

Don’t Worry, Nick, Here Comes Jon To Save The Day! (August 6th, 2020)

Nick Checota And City Of Missoula Are Getting Sued By The Paddleheads (August 12th, 2020)

Nick Checota Gets $1,244,243 in CARES Act Funding, But Can’t Answer Phone For Local Media (February 25th, 2021)

Logjam Presents Has An Employment Opportunity That Is Not In Accordance With Montana Labor Laws–Better Fix That Quick, Nick (April 14th, 2021)

Is Nick Checota’s Top Hat Restaurant Still A Music Venue? (February 1st, 2022)

The Historical Relevance Of Nick Checota Ending Music At The Top Hat (July 18th, 2022)

Cannabis, Public Money, And The Soft Power Of The Nickel Duo (November 4th, 2022)

Jon Tester Feigns Concern Over Millionaires Who Got Financial Covid Assistance…Like Nick Checota? (December 3rd, 2022)

As you can see, the impact of Checota’s meteoric rise and direct involvement with some of Missoula’s most beloved cultural assets has inspired quite a lot of content over the last few years, and I have NO PLANS to stop because all of this hits VERY close to home for an artist like myself who moved to this valley 23 years ago to be in proximity to one of the (once upon a time) best creative writing programs in the country.

Thanks to a few random strangers who have thanked me for my Checota coverage, I know I’m not the only one in Missoula that this once historic music venue…

…has an owner that prioritizes fucking hamburgers over jazz and bluegrass music.

If the cost of living in Missoula has put this piece of meat beyond your reach, then you probably can’t afford to put discretionary funds toward Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF), and you probably won’t use the donation button at my about page, but that’s A-OK because I’m not doing this for a buck. No, I’m doing this because I want it documented that SOME of us fought back against the entities threatening to destroy what made this valley special in the first place.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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