After 35 years presenting live music in the northwest, Ed Beeson was hired to create a new live music series for the Seattle Symphony at Benroya Hall in the spring of 2012. About the same time, the City of Seattle Office of Film + Music, the Seattle Music Commission, and the Port of Seattle were creating the Experience the City of Music program for Sea-Tac International Airport. They had already launched the program with all-local artists being played on the overhead music throughout the airport, and were looking for ways to include live music in the program.
Inspired by the buskers at Pike Place Market, Beeson shared his idea to present the region’s top musicians “busker style”. All parties liked the idea, and Beeson was given a 12-week trial period to test the processes. The first step was to recruit some musicians, so he started texting “I’ve got gigs 4 u” to a few artists he knew would be a good fit. After just a few weeks, the Port loved the results, and they turned the 12-week trial into a twelve month program. In 2014, Gigs4U, LLC was awarded a three year contract to expand the program to its current level of over 1000 gigs each year.
Over the years, Beeson has presented live music at many of the top venues in the Northwest. The first concert he produced was in 1980 at the Silver Spoon Restaurant in Duvall, which he owned from 1978 through 1985. In his hometown Ballard he owned Seattle’s premier live music venue The Backstage from 1987 through 1995; and later Hattie’s Hat from 1997 to 2001.
He was also the Talent Buyer for Bumbershoot and Director of Summer Nights at the Pier for One Reel. (1995- 1999); Programming Director for the 3-day Grand Opening of EMP. (2000); and the 3-day Grand Opening of McCaw Hall (2002); and has consulted on several high profile live music projects including the opening of The Triple Door (2003-04).
Deeply committed to supporting local musicians, Beeson founded and currently serves as the President of MAKE MUSIC SEATTLE 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that organizes Seattle’s participation in the international celebration of Make Music Day on June 21st each year. And, from 1992 through 1993 served as President of the Northwest Area Music Association, during which time NAMA presented the first and only “northwest showcase” of local musicians in 1993 at over 14 venues throughout the city of Seattle.