Dan Hansen enjoys music, but rather than being the frontman for his own band, he prefers working behind the scenes at concerts, especially when that work is able to raise money for people in the area who really need it.
A Magic City native, Hansen graduated from Bishop Ryan High School in 2005 and is currently attending Minot State University. He is the founder of Red Beard Booking and Promotion, which brings musical acts from all over the region to Minot, which ties in nicely with his broadcasting pursuits at MSU.
"I was kind of interested in music and stuff and putting on events, so it's like the event planning part of broadcasting," Hansen said. "It's the broadcasting department but I'm actually like an advertising, public relations major."
Dan Feldner/MDN •
Dan Hansen takes a break from classes and his concert promotion duties at the Bagel Stop Thursday afternoon. The latest benefit concert Hansen is promoting occurs March 21 at the Grand International Inn and is for Dominique Cavallo, who is battling breast cancer.
Local venues like the Amp and Red Carpet inspired Hansen to strike out on his own and bring in fresh new talent to the Minot music scene. In 2007 he pulled together "Rock the Leaves," a benefit concert in Oak Park for a local teenager who had brain cancer. The concert raised more than $3,000 and led Hansen to create Red Beard Booking and Promotion - named after his trademark facial hair - so he could keep doing the behind the scenes work that he loved.
"I put on that benefit concert, 'Rock the Leaves,' so that's kind of like when I really started booking bands and stuff, and putting events on," Hansen said.
Hansen books around three or four benefit shows per year, and does regular shows as well. He said being able to do something he loves while also helping out people in need is a big reason why he keeps working the phones show after show to pull acts into Minot from all over North Dakota and beyond.
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"I like doing it and then the fact that I can help people out too is pretty awesome, being able to do what I like to do and help people out at the same time," he said.
The latest benefit show Hansen is working on will occur March 21 at the Grand International Inn, 1505 N. Broadway. The concert begins at 6 p.m. and will benefit Dominique Cavallo, a former Minot High and MSU grad battling breast cancer. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the door. The concert, which is a family-friendly event with no drugs or alcohol allowed, will run until 11 p.m. or so and feature musical acts from a wide variety of genres.
The performers include Merick, Diabolic Octopus, I apparatus, In Defense of a Marionette, Carly Ann and more. The headline act is Last Great Summer, which is doing its farewell show.
Nick Cavallo, Dominique's younger brother, is helping Hansen pull the show together. As the former booker for the Red Carpet, Cavallo knows a thing or two about putting concerts together, and has wanted to work with Hansen since they got to know each other three years ago. When he found out his sister had breast cancer, the first thing Cavallo thought of was doing a benefit concert with Hansen, which will be the first big show the two have ever worked on together.
"Dan and I have been trying to work together for a long time. Dan is pretty much the premier booker in Minot now and I used to run the Red Carpet, so we've always wanted to work together," Cavallo said. "I found out my sister had cancer three months ago and I thought that after all the shows that Dan and I have done (separately), it'd be nice if I could somehow do a benefit and help my sister out and try to help pay her bills."
While Cavallo is nervous about the concert's turnout, Hansen is hoping for the best. He said his concerts in the past have averaged 100 to 150 people, but the personal nature of this show - even more so than past concerts - has him hoping to pull in between 200 and 300 people.
"Because I know Nick, I guess (this) may be the most personal, because I know a person that is affected by it," Hansen said. "Before, with 'Rock the Leaves,' I didn't really know them prior to the concert."
For more information on the benefit show for Dominique Cavallo, e-mail email@example.com, or visit the Web site (www.minotredcarpet.com). Those who can't attend the concert but would still like to make a donation can make checks payable to Nick Cavallo, 23-6th St. NW, Minot, ND 58703.
Once Hansen graduates, he would like to stay in the area doing what he loves most - putting on events. While Minot might be too small to allow Hansen to make a living at booking shows, he'd still like to stay in North Dakota, or in the region at the very least.
"Maybe Fargo I could work and bring bands to North Dakota and actually get paid decent," Hansen said. "If not, probably Minneapolis. I'd like to work here (the Midwest), it'd be nice."
No matter where he ends up working, Hansen will surely be helping people along the way and having a great time doing it.