Radio Starmaker Fund

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Radio Starmaker Fund Annual Report

2011 / 2012

Artist Profile: The Sheepdogs

The Sheepdogs

The Sheepdogs are mainly known for their most recent success, winning the Rolling Stone “Choose The Cover” contest back in 2011. What many people don’t know is the Sheepdogs have been a hard working band since 2006. After two records and countless tours across Canada, it wasn’t until they were selected for the Rolling Stone contest that they really started to gain national attention.

As the contest progressed and the band continued to make it through to the next round, things fell into place. Their first single, “I Don’t Know”, quickly rose up the radio charts. Press started covering the band on a level that they had never experienced and with the re-issue of “Learn & Burn”, records started to sell at an even more rapid pace. When the contest concluded and it was revealed the Sheepdogs would grace the cover of the August 2011 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, the band was also surprised to find they qualified for Starmaker funding.

That Autumn they applied for domestic marketing and touring to help support their release and upcoming national Canadian tour with Kings of Leon. It was this marketing support that allowed the band to go out and place traditional marketing ad buys at radio, hire a radio team and publicity. As a result of this tour, the band got the chance to meet Patrick Carney of the Black Keys at a special showcase in New York. This led to Patrick producing their newest, self-titled record. Shortly after completing this tour, the band headed south to support both Robert Randolph and Black Joe Lewis on back to back tours. With the support of Starmaker, the band got into some US markets they typically wouldn’t have played and into rooms that were full - putting them in front of thousands of potential new fans. Starmaker helped the band follow up the highly publicized contest with international touring that played a key role in maintaining and increasing awareness of the band.

The U.S. tour led into their first headline tour supporting the self released “Learn & Burn”. They sold out venues in multiple cities and played two completely sold out Lee’s Palace shows in Toronto. Touring across the country shortly after the conclusion of the contest, a tour with Kings of Leon and a successful first half of 2011, was the perfect way to end the year. This allowed the band to get into all the major markets, go into radio stations and play in front of new fans.

Starmaker played an integral role in helping the band take one form of success and transform that into record sales, radio support, press and touring. Since “Learn & Burn” was released completely independently, Starmaker funding really allowed the band to play in the same arena as other labels. Without this support, the transformation would have taken more time and potentially passed them by without achieving the same results. The band has spent the last eight months of 2012 playing festivals such as Osheaga, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Sasquatch and more. This opened the door for them to go out on their first US headline tour, where they played to a sold out Bowery Ballroom in New York City. On September 4, 2012 The Sheepdogs released their self-titled album, which debuted at number one in Canada. This would not have been possible without the support and funding from Starmaker, for which the band, management, label and whole team are truly grateful.

Ryan Spalding
Marketing and International
Dine Alone Records